As I look around me, I see
so many people who are hurting. So many people going through a time
of trial and testing. Family members, friends and loved ones. Myself
included. All dealing with some kind of hardship. And I'm talking
about saved people. People that love the Lord and are
best to serve Him.
I've written about trials
and testings recently, but when you're going through difficult times,
it's a time to fall to your knees and search the scriptures looking
for wisdom and help. In these times, I find that certain verses tend
to jump out at you and take on a whole new meaning.
Psalm 55 was brought to my
attention through a sermon and I began to think about King David's
life and the difficult circumstances he found himself in.
Here was a man who had
people wanting to kill him. And we think we have it bad! I'm sure
none of us have someone seeking our life. Our time, our energies, our
advice, our resources, but NEVER our life. Yes, these things feel
like they are sapping the life out of us, slowly and painfully.
David states in Psalms
Fearfulness and trembling
are come upon me, and
horror hath overwhelmed me.
late, I have had times when I feel like this. I am fearful and
trembling and the trial feels like a horror overwhelming me. It is
then I want to cry out like David did in verses 6 and 7: “Oh
that I had wings like a dove! for then would I fly away, and be at
rest. Lo, then would I wander far off, and remain in the wilderness.
Selah. I would hasten my escape from the windy storm and tempest.”
many times do we wish ourselves somewhere else? We wish we could just
fly away to the wilderness and remain their forever. All our troubles
gone. But, you know, I thought about that, and well, then we'd be all
alone with a miserable sinner. Ourselves. Saved by grace, yes. But,
miserable. I think pretty soon, the excitement would wear off and
we'd find ourselves even more lonely and miserable than we were to
start with. Besides getting hungry!
David doesn't stop there. When we get down to verses 16 and 17 he
says,“As for me, I will call upon
God; and the LORD shall save me. Evening, and morning, and at noon,
will I pray, and cry aloud: and he shall hear my voice.”
realised where his salvation lay. In the Lord. And he decides to call
upon God to save him. And not just once either. Evening, morning and
many times do we cry out to God and then despair that He didn't
answer right away? God desires us to come to Him continually.
Thessalonians 5:17 “Pray without ceasing”
ways are not our ways. His thoughts not our thoughts. So, just
because we are going through a period of testing, doesn't mean that
God will answer in the way you want, right away. He has a purpose for
these seasons in our lives. And we can come boldly to Him and pray
for deliverance, over and over until God brings the peace that we
the sermon, it was said this way, “Keep on praying until you have
the victory. Keep on praying until peace comes. When peace settles in
, then you can stop praying”. We all know that peace that only God
can bring. And we know the moment it is there. The burden is lifted
and we feel like we've broken through the gates of heaven into God's
heart and He is lifting that heavy burden off our backs and we don't
have to carry it anymore.
a child, I saw the film “Pilgrim's Progress”, and one scene that
has never left my memory is of Christian, when he makes it to the
bottom of the hill, and he looks up, and sees the cross. He climbs
the hill to the cross and as he kneels there, his heavy burden falls
off his back and rolls down the hill into an empty tomb. Oh, the
blessedness of that very moment. I didn't understand the significance
of that moment until I was much older, but Oh how many times I have
lived through that very situation and God has brought peace to my
brings me to one of my favourite verses of scripture found in this
Psalms 55:22 Cast
thy burden upon the LORD,
and he shall sustain
thee: he shall never suffer the righteous to be moved.
started looking at the Hebrew meanings for some of the words in this
verse and I actually found the word “Cast” to be very
interesting. It has the meaning of: to throw out, down or
away (literally or figuratively):—adventure, cast (away, down,
forth, off, out), hurl, pluck, throw. Did
you see that? Hurl. Throw. This is not a passive act of letting the
burden slide slowly off our backs, half-heartedly, because we really
don't want to let go of our burden. “Just wait Lord, I have to undo
the straps. Oh, and there's another buckle, oh, and a tie, and, well,
you might as well go about your business Lord, this could take a
Emphatically No! The meaning here is to HURL! PLUCK! THROW! Wow! How
many of us hurl our burdens upon the Lord? Actually, literally,
meaningfully, really truly cast
our burdens upon the LORD.
like to hang onto our burdens don't we? Maybe we think that we might
be able to get it sorted without God's help. Maybe we're worried how
it might turn out if we really give them over to God.
hand them over, only to take them back again. How foolish we are!
Just like in the little poem at the start of this, we like to “cast
our confidence away and carry all our cares.”
reading this Psalm was a challenge to me to see all David went
through, yet he trusted the Lord to pull him through. His life was in
danger, yet he cried out to God. Because he had grasped the fact that
there was only One who
could save him and that was the LORD.
we really get a hold of this truth, that God will never leave us or
forsake us and that he WILL sustain us when we cast our burdens on
Him, it says, “He shall NEVER suffer the righteous to be moved.”
great comfort that should be to our souls.
leave you with a verse that has been a comfort to me through many
In my studying lately, I
have been learning about the importance of definite prayer.
stated or decided, not doubtful, explicitly precise.
are many examples in the Bible of men and women praying definite
receiving definite answers.
my favourites is found in the book of Joshua.
Then spake Joshua to
the LORD in the day when the LORD delivered up the Amorites before
the children of Israel, and he said in the sight of Israel, Sun,
stand thou still upon Gibeon; and thou, Moon, in the valley of
Ajalon. And the sun stood still, and the moon stayed, until the
people had avenged themselves upon their enemies. Is not this written
in the book of Jasher? So the sun stood still in the midst of heaven,
and hasted not to go down about a whole day. And there was no day
like that before it or after it, that the LORD hearkened unto the
voice of a man: for the LORD fought for Israel.
noticed something in these verses. Joshua wasn't vague in his asking
(or demanding, as it's not written as a question). He didn't say to
the Sun, “Just stay up all day will you?” No. He definitely,
clearly, decidedly, told the Sun to stand still upon Gibeon, and the
Moon to stay in the valley of Ajalon. He told them WHERE to stay. He
wasn't at all vague with his request. And God granted it and made it
example is of Abraham’s servant, when he was sent to find a bride
And he said, O LORD God
of my master Abraham, I pray thee, send me good speed this day, and
shew kindness unto my master Abraham. Behold, I stand here by the
well of water; and the daughters of the men of the city come out to
draw water: And let it come to pass, that the damsel to whom I shall
say, Let down thy pitcher, I pray thee, that I may drink; and she
shall say, Drink, and I
will give thy camels drink also: let the same be she that thou
hast appointed for thy servant Isaac; and thereby shall I know that
shewed kindness unto my master.
And she said, Drink, my
lord: and she hasted, and let down her pitcher upon her hand, and
gave him drink. And when she had done giving him drink, she said,
I will draw water for thy camels also, until they
servant asks definitely of God, even down to the exact words, and the
damsel speaks those words and gives him confirmation of God's will.
we might say that we're not like Joshua or Abraham's servant, and we
don't have God's ear like they did. Well, we should. And we can! If
we are really in the will of God, and we know that it is His perfect
will, then we can be definite in demanding of God and we can expect
to receive it.
I'm not saying that we should demand things of God in a 'give me'
spirit. Hear me out.
men and women in the Bible that obtained definite answers from God,
were walking with God. Their lives were characterised by a life of
does not mean that you try to make God come to your viewpoint.
Rather, it means finding just what the Lord wants to give you, and
what He wants you to ask for, and then praying the prayer that the
Holy Spirit lays on you heart.”
maybe I'll back up here and explain some things about indefinite
course, being indefinite means, not precise, not clear,
vague. The opposite of definite,
prayer often shows a sinful state of the heart. It is often an
insincere formality. It shows that there is no burden, no urgency, no
prayer proves that we haven’t found the will of God, so we don't
exactly what we should pray for.
Likewise the Spirit
also helpeth our infirmities: for we know not what we should pray for
as we ought: but the Spirit itself maketh intercession for us with
groanings which cannot be uttered. And he that searcheth the hearts
knoweth what is the mind of the Spirit, because he maketh
intercession for the saints according to the will of God.
in Romans, we see that we don't always know what we should pray for.
Sometimes, we hesitate to ask specifically for anything, because we
don't have the faith that anything will happen. Other times it's
because we don't know what the will of the Lord is.
the verses tell us that the Spirit will make intercession for us. He
intercedes for us. With groanings which cannot be uttered.
puts it like this :"The Spirit greatly aids or
supports us in those deep emotions, those intense feelings, those
inward sighs, which cannot be expressed in language, but which he
enables us to bear, and which are understood by Him that searcheth
where does all this lead us? To this. Indefinite prayer is the result
of not being led of the Holy Spirit. If we have grieved the Holy
Spirit by our sin or have ignored His plans, we have no assurance
that we are in His will and we don't know the mind of God. So, we
can't be definite in our prayers.
“..........since we don't know how to pray as
we ought (because we don't know the mind of God), the Holy Spirit
interprets our prayers according to the intent of our hearts , and
He intercedes for us so that our prayer is made to conform to the
will of God. And we have this assurance . . . that for those who
love the Lord and have committed their lives to the accomplishment
of his purpose on earth, the Lord uses everything that comes into
their lives to bring about the good He has purposed for them”
and women of God in the Bible that received definite answers, were
being led of the Spirit. They knew what to pray for and
from God their desires.
haven't made ourselves familiar with God's plans, through the Word of
God, and found the will of God, through reading and studying and
praying, by the Spirit's leading, we
cannot be definite in our
often do we pray through our prayer list, almost by rote, letting
name after name slip off our tongue, with almost no thought as to
that person's real condition and how we should be praying for them.
Guilty as charged.
it's easy to go to prayer meeting, listen to heartfelt requests, then
speedily pray through our list and, Amen. We're done. But what about
the Spirit's leading in our prayers. Do we pray for what God wants us
to pray for? It's easy to pray out of a sense of duty or to please
or as a matter of habit.
I think it would be better to cut things out of our list and really
get sincere in praying specifically and definitely for fewer
requests, then to prattle on meaninglessly, with no heart and no
leading of the Spirit.
desire is that God would deepen my prayer life. Help it not to be a
shallow, splashing about haphazardly, type of prayer life, but a
deep, focused, meaningful, Spirit led time. Centred on God's perfect
will. It takes time, and quiet and focus. Sometimes, I find I just
need to be still and listen for the Spirit's leading. Sitting still
is hard for me. I find it hard to sit still and focus on anything,
let alone what God wants to say to me. Studying is so much easier as
it means DOING something. Prayer requires a stillness. Eyes closed in
silent prayer. Not moving. Talking with God.
I don't know how to pray for something. I'm unsure how to ask or even
what to ask, but I do know that I can ask God for wisdom and He will
guide me to know how to pray as I ought.
have the confidence that if I am praying according to His will, He
will hear me.
1 John 5:14
And this is the
confidence that we have in him, that,
if we ask any thing
according to his will,
he heareth us:
shouldn't pray definitely, demanding something be done, unless we
have clear leading that it is the will of God. And to find the will
of God, we have to be in the Word of God.
wants us to bring our requests to Him. He longs for us to be specific
in our prayers. We know that God knows our thoughts and He knows our
needs even before we bring them to Him, but He desires us to pray to
Him and cry out to Him in humbleness, and ask great things of Him.
Ask, and it shall be
given you; seek, and ye shall find;
knock, and it shall be
opened unto you:
pray in general, such as, “Bless me, Lord”, how will we know if
He has answered?
didn't ask definitely, and specifically to be blessed in a certain
we really are at a loss as to how to pray for something definitely,
such as praying for someone and not knowing if the issue is a
spiritual one or a physical one. God still hears and answers our
prayers even when we are unsure how to pray. If we are walking with
the Lord and have our hearts in the right place, He will answer and
we will know when He does.
so much to learn on this subject and I've begun to realise that I've
only just skimmed the surface. There is so much more depth to praying
definitely. It is fathomless.
if I wait on the Lord and let the Holy Spirit speak to me, I know
that He will answer and lead me in