the art of practicing prayer

{Communing with God Series: Part 3}

As we seek to spend time practicing prayer, let’s begin by looking at the last two parts of Psalm 51, a prayer of repentance.

The first part of the psalm was the “cleansing” part. This is the portion of the psalm where David acknowledges his wrongful behavior. This portion of the psalm begins with verse 1 and carries through verse 7.

The second part of the psalm, which covers verses 8-12 is the “restore me” portion. This is where David seeks a right relationship with the Lord. In the first part of the psalm, he recognized his sin and asked to be cleansed of it. Now he is looking for complete restoration of fellowship with the Lord.

Take a moment and read through Psalm 51:8-12.

8 Let me hear joy and gladness;
    let the bones that you have broken rejoice.
Hide your face from my sins,
    and blot out all my iniquities.
10 Create in me a clean heart, O God,
    and renew a right spirit within me.
11 Cast me not away from your presence,
    and take not your Holy Spirit from me.
12 Restore to me the joy of your salvation,
    and uphold me with a willing spirit.

Consider what one commentary says regarding this part of the psalm,

David’s sins had affected his whole person: his eyes (v.3), mind (v.6), ears and bones (v. 8), heart and spirit (v.10), hands (v. 14) and lips (v. 13-15). Such is the high cost of committing sin.

David knew this, so he asked for more than cleansing, as important as that is; he wanted his entire being to be restored so he could serve the Lord acceptably.”

He wraps up his cry to the Lord in the third part, this is the part defined by his call for God to, “use me.” When we are made right with the Lord through forgiveness, we are ready to be used by the Lord.

Consider Isaiah’s experience in Isaiah 6:1-8.

In the year that King Uzziah died I saw the Lord sitting upon a throne, high and lifted up; and the train of his robe filled the temple. Above him stood the seraphim. Each had six wings: with two he covered his face, and with two he covered his feet, and with two he flew. And one called to another and said:

“Holy, holy, holy is the Lord of hosts;
the whole earth is full of his glory!”

And the foundations of the thresholds shook at the voice of him who called, and the house was filled with smoke. And I said: “Woe is me! For I am lost; for I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips; for my eyes have seen the King, the Lord of hosts!”

Then one of the seraphim flew to me, having in his hand a burning coal that he had taken with tongs from the altar. And he touched my mouth and said: “Behold, this has touched your lips; your guilt is taken away, and your sin atoned for.”

And I heard the voice of the Lord saying, “Whom shall I send, and who will go for us?” Then I said, “Here I am! Send me.”

According to what you have learned about prayers of forgiveness, do you believe you are ready to be used by the Lord? Why or why not? I challenge you, as I challenge myself, let’s let Scripture define our reason, not our own feelings.

{Communing with God Series read Part 1 HERE & Part 2 HERE}


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