As some of you may know, I work as the Director of House of Prayer Edmonton (HoPE). Each week we choose a Scripture as a specific focus for devotional prayer and this past week we were looking at Psalm 33; therefore I want to share a few thoughts from Psalm 33 on how we can develop greater confidence in our prayers.
The Psalm opens with several verses exhorting us to praise God (v. 1-5) and then describes why God is worthy of such praise.
By the word of the Lord were the heavens made, their starry host by the breath of his mouth. For he spoke, and it came to be; he commanded, and it stood firm. The Lord foils the plans of the nations; he thwarts the purposes of the peoples. But the plans of the Lord stand firm forever, the purposes of his heart through all generations. From heaven the Lord looks down and sees all mankind;from his dwelling place he watches all who live on earth… -v. 6-14 (selections)
The Psalm continues with the incredible promise that “the eyes of the Lord are on those who fear him, on those whose hope is in his unfailing love to deliver them from death and keep them alive in famine” (v. 18-19).
Here’s what struck me: the entire focus is on who God is, not on who we are! When we pray we are speaking to the one and only true God who formed the universe, who watches all the plans of world leaders and establishes His plans for the earth. He is the God who ‘sees all mankind’ and ‘considers everything they do’ and who has ‘unfailing love’ for us.
The way to develop greater confidence in prayer is to focus on the truth of who God is, as revealed to us in the Scripture. The Psalmist (likely King David) is speaking about God’s ability to deliver people from the most dire circumstances -famine and death! In the midst of such circumstances, David emphasizes the nature and character of God. This may seem impractical to out modern western minds, however nothing could be further from the truth. We have a great ability to focus on ourselves and our immediate surroundings; just think about most people’s conversations at the local donut shop! We love to recount our circumstances and problems that we are facing. The problem is, that focus will actually weaken our confidence and even our motivation to pray!
When our perspective is on God’s power to form the entire universe, his continual involvement in the realities of the world, and his unfailing love towards us, we will have greater confidence in our prayers. This confidence can grow to the point where we are able to rejoice and trust God (v. 21), even in the most challenging circumstances of life!
I will conclude with verse 22:
May your unfailing love rest upon us, O LORD, even as we put our hope in you.
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