I love the Psalms, the songs of King David. They teach us, they comfort us, they help in our prayers to God. Many things I’ll say to day I have said over and over, but they seem to be things that need to be said, to you, to me, to anyone who needs God. And who doesn’t need God? Today I want to look at Psalm 65.
- Praise is awaiting You, O God, in Zion; Andto You the vow shall be performed.
- O You who hear prayer, To You all flesh will come.
- Iniquities prevail against me; As for our transgressions, You will provide atonement for them.
- Blessed is the man whom You choose, And cause to approach You, That he may dwell in Your courts. We shall be satisfied with the goodness of Your house, Of Your holy temple.
- By awesome deeds in righteousness You will answer us, O God of our salvation, You who are the confidence of all the ends of the earth, And of the far-off seas;
The Psalmist begins with praise and acknowledgement that God hears us when we pray, and that one day all people will fall on their knees, and Bible scholars say that they then will acknowledge that Yeshua Ha’Mashiach is the King of kings and Lord of Lords.
We have all had problems in our lives and we have tried to fix those problems in our own way. Too often God is left out of the solution until ultimately we have to give up because we are lost.
Many people who have little or no faith in God try to bargain with Him. “If You save me here, God, and take away or fix this problem, then I will go to church; or, I will stop doing this or that; or I’ll do whatever You want me to do.” Then, when God does answer their prayer they forget their vow and continue with their lives in their own way. King Solomon, the wisest man ever to live, wrote this admonition:
Ecc. 5:4-6: When you make a vow to God, do not delay to pay it; for He has no pleasure in fools. Pay what you have vowed. it is better not to vow than to vow and not pay. Do not let your mouth cause your flesh to sin, nor say before the messenger of God that it was an error. Why should God be angry at your excuse and destroy the work of your hands?
God expects us to do exactly what we said we would do. If we do not, God gets angry. Don’t we get upset with people who make promises and then never follow through? I believe God does more so than us. We just show it in a different way, and we hold grudges. God does not. If we confess our sin He will forgive us and restore us to fellowship with Him. That’s what we should also do, but . . .
Does God even answer the prayers of those who do not love Him, who are not fully trusting in Him? He’s not obligated to answer a prayer of anyone who is not a true believer. He has promised to answer the prayers of those who believe and trust in Him.
Non-believers, or those who are on the fence so to speak, like what Jesus says in Matthew 7:7-9. Jesus said, “Ask and it shall be given to you; seek and you shall find; knock and the door will be opened unto you. For everyone who asks receives; the one who seeks finds, and to the one who knocks, the door shall be opened unto him. So many expect God to be there for them even when they disregard Him, or don’t believe in Him.
Why should God answer their prayers? The only real prayer He promises to answer for everyone is when we come to Him and confess that we are sinners, and that we need Him in our lives. That is when we become true children of God, those He will truly listen to, those to whom He will answer without fail. That is the longing God has for all mankind. Believe, confess, and follow.
God is not obligated to do anything for those who are His enemies or even doubters. He has already done all that’s necessary by sending his only Son to pay the penalty for our sins. We accept or reject that payment. Accepting means God will fulfill all of His promises according to His will and in His timing.
The joy of anything, from a blade of grass upwards, is to fulfill its created purpose. Romans 8: 9, 20-23: For the earnest expectation of the creation eagerly waits for the revealing of the sons of God. For the creation was subjected to futility, not willingly, but because of Him who subjected it in hope; because the creation itself also will be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God. For we know that the whole creation groans and labors with birth pangs together until now. And not only they, but we also who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, eagerly waiting for the adoption, the redemption of our body.
Based in part on those verses, as well as in Genesis 3:17-18, I found a sermon by the Rev. Ronald Hanko, entitled The Groaning Creation. Near the beginning it says: “My beloved people of God, do you hear in such things the creation groaning? Do you hear the groaning of which our text speaks – the creation groaning and travailing in pain as it waits for the manifestation of the sons of God? The Word of God in our text makes sure that we do not only notice what is happening in the creation, but also that we understand it. And we must understand especially that the things that are happening in the creation are a reason for us to hope for the coming of Christ and for our own glory with Him. Even the creation speaks of the coming of Christ and of the end and to those who will listen it does so loudly and clearly, and more and more loudly as the end approaches.
Romans 8 does not, however, speak only of the groaning of the creation. It actually speaks of three groanings: the groaning of the creation, our own groaning, and the groaning of the Holy Spirit as He makes intercession for us according to the will of God. Our own groaning as people of God is mentioned in verses 23-25 and the groaning of the Spirit is described in verses 26 and 27.
These three groanings are proof – three proofs – that the amazing statement of verse 18 is true. That verse tells us that all the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory that shall be revealed in us. Think of it. Think of all the suffering of God’s people through the ages. Think of all those who are suffering and dying in hospitals, on battlefields, and as result of God’s judgments in the creation. Think of all the suffering that ever has been and ever will be. That’s the suffering of this present time, all of which cannot even be compared to the glory that awaits us.”
The Apostle Paul, Jonnie Erikson Todda, me, and likely even you, have asked God for healing at some time. Sometimes God answers immediately through a miracle, or slower by medications, and other times He says wait. We know that full healing will come for all believers when we finally see Yeshua face to face. Are you ready for that day?
Psalm. 65:6. Who established the mountains by His strength, Being clothed with power;
- You who still the noise of the seas, The noise of their waves, And the tumult of the peoples.
- They also who dwell in the farthest parts are afraid of Your signs; You make the outgoings of the morning and evening rejoice.
- You visit the earth and water it, You greatly enrich it; The river of God is full of water; You provide their grain, For so You have prepared it.
- You water its ridges abundantly, You settle its furrows; You make it soft with showers, You bless its growth.
- You crown the year with Your goodness, And Your paths drip with abundance.
- They drop on the pastures of the wilderness, And the little hills rejoice on every side.
- The pastures are clothed with flocks; The valleys also are covered with grain; They shout for joy, they also sing.
The Psalmist speaks about our great God who not only created this world, but He keeps on working on and in it. He enriches the earth with the falling rain, He blesses its growth bringing forth crops and fruit. He grows the flocks and herds; He lets us hear the noise of the waves of the seas. His power controls it all. This power is also what tells me God is able to answer any prayer, for any need, when I ask.
I want to end with a story I read about WWII and the power of prayer.
During World War II a Marine was serving in the South Pacific. His platoon was under fire and they were trying to signal their comrades that they had taken a certain hill. Their sergeant issued an order for a man to take the American flag and raise it up on a pole to let other units know they had taken this ground. As he grabbed the flag and ran off to raise it up, he was shot by a sniper. Another man was sent to retrieve the flag and raise it up. He too was shot. Finally, a young private spoke up and said, “Sergeant, in just a few minutes it will be four o’clock. If you will let me wait until then, I will take that flag, I will raise it up on that pole.” The sergeant thought for a moment and said, “All right son.” At four o’clock, that private jumped out of his foxhole, ran over and picked up the flag, and then he ran to that pole and raised it up. He then turned and ran back to his foxhole and jumped in without so much as a scratch.
The men cheered and the sergeant asked him why he wanted to wait until four o’clock to do what he did. The private replied, “Well sir, its four o’clock here, but it’s 6 AM back home in Kansas. My mother loves Jesus and she told me that every morning at 6 AM she would be on her knees praying for my safety. I knew that I would be safe while mama touched Heaven for me.”
Are you praying for yourself only, or do you pray for others; the sick, those with dementia, your nurses and doctors, your families? Do you know for sure you can touch heaven for someone, someone our heavenly Father wants to touch? Can you call God your heavenly Father? You can know for sure who God is and that He loves you so much He sent His only Son to die on a tree outside Jerusalem. That’s God’s love. That’s my great God. Trust in Him today.