by: FCC Staff
“The Lord is my strength and my shield; in him my heart trusts, and I am helped; my heart exults, and with my song I give thanks to him.”
As David prays through the 28th Psalm, he is working his way through a way of praying that we have come to recognize with the acrostic A.C.T.S.--Adoration, Confession, Thanksgiving, and Supplication.
Beginning from verse one, David recognizes (in Adoration) the strength of his God, in whom he’s calling on.
As he continues praying, even as he’s “lifting up my hands towards your most holy sanctuary,” verse 2, he then begins crying out (in Confession) not to be counted in with the evil of the nonbelievers around him, specifically mentioning hypocrisy. (v.3)
By verse 6, he has confirmation in his spirit that God has heard his prayer, and he exults in praise and (Thanksgiving) and his heart is bursting with songs of thanksgiving through verse 7.
David closes out his Psalm in verses 8 & 9 with (Supplication)/Intercessory prayer for his people.
In our times of prayer, do we give any thought to how we pray? Jesus gave us a model of prayer in Matthew 6:5-15. He began with instruction how not to pray, and then models a prayer for his disciples. What has become known as the “Lord’s Prayer” would be more appropriately considered the Disciples Prayer, I would think. David, as well as other writers of Scripture, gave much thought to the prayers they recorded, and indeed were answered. In thoughtful prayer before our God, who deserves all our honor, praise and adoration, we must sincerely confess our sin and seek his mercy, acknowledging our complete dependence on the sacrifice of Jesus’ shed blood on the cross. Then we experience what David experienced—a complete trust and confidence that, “He has heard the voice of my pleas for mercy,” and we then, with fullness of heart, recognize that, “The Lord is my strength and my shield,” and “In him my heart trusts,” because I now know that “I am helped.” Lifting up our heads from prayer, we do so giving thanks and praise to our God, and we have a song in our heart. When we take time to have a thoughtful time of prayer, the Holy Spirit takes an active role and “helps us in our weakness. For we do not know what to pray for as we ought, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words and he who searches hearts knows what is the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for the saints according to the will of God. And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.” Romans 8:26-28
Prayer: Heavenly Father, you alone are worthy of all praise and adoration. It is you who takes such good care of us. You meet all our needs in Christ Jesus, our Lord, who through his “once for all” sacrifice on the cross made the way for all who believe to have a restored relationship with you through the fullness of the Holy Spirit. We pray with thanksgiving and praise in Jesus’ holy name. Amen.