Have you ever been in the place where all the energy you have left is spent crying out to God? It’s that place where you’ve tried everything, you’ve relied on your own wisdom and strength, and you are left broken and feeling helpless. It’s that place where all you can do is say, “God help me.” If you’ve lived at all, you have probably been there at some point in your life.
In my study of Psalm 119:169-176, the authors, gives us five short prayers that really do have the power to change your perspective and your life.
Prayer #1: God give me understanding. (v169)
What does the Psalmist cry out for? He cries, “God give me understanding according to you word” He’s not asking for worldly wisdom. He’s not calling for help from Dr. Phil or Oprah (I have nothing against them!). He’s asking for spiritual understanding to know God and to know his Word. He’s crying out for discernment as he deals with all the stuff going on in his life.
Are you dealing with something or going through something and you just don’t know how to handle it or don’t know what to do next? Ask God to give you spiritual understanding because he loves to answer that prayer!
Prayer #2: Deliver me! (v170)
The Psalmist first asked for understanding then for deliverance. How often do we want deliverance first and then understanding! But maybe God is up to something in your life? Maybe he has you right where he wants you? Ask for understanding first and then deliverance second.
Is there anything in your life where you need God’s deliverance? Maybe it’s external; enemies, persecution, financial, legal, etc. Maybe it’s internal; addictions, self-loathing, anxiety, depression, etc. Whatever it is, pray, “God deliver me!” In his timing and in his way, he will!
Prayer #3: Help me to worship you. (vv.171-172)
As the Psalmist spends time in the Word of God, he is overflowing with a desire to sing and praise God. This is why we need to make it a daily habit to spend time with God in the Bible and in prayer. The Word of God increases our joy and our delight that naturally comes out in singing and praise.
True worship is not just about singing songs and feeling good, it’s seeing God for who is and aligning your life in response to Him.
Prayer #4: Give me the power to live for you. (vv.173-175)
You cannot live for God in your own power or strength. Sure, you can read the Bible all day, pray all night, and come to church every week but, without the Spirit of God empowering you, ultimately you will fall flat on your face.
If you are tired of religion, tired of faking it, and tired of failing, come to God and pray, “Give me the power to live for you!”
Prayer #5: When I stray, come find me! (v176)
After writing 175 verses, after telling us about his delight in God’s word, after encouraging us and challenging us, how does the Psalmist see himself? Puffed up with ego and pride? No. Instead, he sees himself as a poor, vulnerable and needy lost sheep.
This verse is emotional, honest, and real. He crying out, “God I’ve strayed, come find me!” Even the most devoted Christians still need help to remain devoted to God. We all stray, wander and get lost! Thankfully, the Chief Shepherd, Jesus Christ loves to find and pursue lost sheep (Luke 15)!
Which of these five prayers, do you need to pray this week?
How can I pray for you?