Text: Psalm 119:18
In the longest chapter of the Bible, we find more prayers that we can possibly pray along with the psalmist
The motive behind our praying is important Psalm 119:17.
A. The motive in praying.
1. Jesus had much to say about praying with the proper motive. Matt. 6:5-8.
2. James declares that an unworthy motive can deprive us of an affirmative answer from Cod when we pray. James 4:3.
3. The psalmist prayed for the abundance, which God is able to provide. The Revised Standard Version translates his petition, "Deal bountifully with thy servant, that I may live and observe thy word" Psalm 119:17.
a. Today's English Version translates it, "Be good to me, your servant, so that I may live and obey your teachings."
b. This saint of long ago was requesting that God deal generously with him in order that he might be able to live a life of obedience and helpfulness to others.
4. He could have prayed for riches.
5. He could have prayed for acceptance and popularity.
6. He could have prayed for that which would be pleasurable to his appetites.
7. He could have prayed for that which would have contributed to his comfort.
B. The psalmist prayed with a proper motive.
We should examine our motives and try to bring them into conformity with the character and will of our Father God.
A prayer for spiritual sight
" Open my eyes, that I may see the wonderful truths in your law " — Psalm 119:18.
1. It seems as if sin and selfishness create a film over our eyes that makes it difficult for us to see anything except that which is physical, tangible, material.
2. Paul taught that it was the strategy of Satan to put a blindfold on the minds of unbelievers so that they could not see the truth of God as it was revealed in Jesus Christ 2 Cor. 4:3-4.
3. Throughout the ministry of Jesus He was seeking not only to cure those who were physically blind, but He sought to open the spiritual eyes of His disciples that they might see the truth of God.
4. It is significant that, following His resurrection, "... he opened their minds to understand the scriptures ..." Luke 24:45.
5. Every time we open up God's Word, we need to pray for eyes that truly see the marvelous things that spring up out of God's truth.
a. Ellen C. White says: "When the word of Cod is opened without reverence and without prayer; when the thoughts and affections are not fixed upon God, or in harmony with His will, the mind is clouded with doubts; and in the very study of the Bible, skepticism strengthens. The enemy takes control of the thoughts, and he suggests interpretations that are not correct" Steps to Christ, p. 110.
b. We need eyes to see God as we study His Word Isaiah 6:1.
c. We need eyes that will enable us to see ourselves as we read God's Word Isaiah 6:5.
d. We need eyes that see the needs of others as we study God's Word. Matt. 9:36-38; John 4:35b. In our praying we should ask the Lord, "Take the veil from over my eyes and help me to see what You want me to see."
A prayer of gratitude — Psalm 119:24
In verses 21-24 the psalmist speaks of troubles and of enemies who were plotting to bring about his downfall.
1. During this time of great travail of soul, he found strength, comfort, and help by listening to the great truths of God's Word.
2. He had discovered that studying God's Word could be a listening experience.
3. It is more important that we hear what God has to say than to give voice to our petitions.
1. Do you want God to deal bountifully with you? Then examine your motives as you pray.
2. Do you understand all of the mysteries and problems that perplex you?
3. If not, then pray that God will open your eyes as you study His Word.
4. As you read God's Holy Word, listen to the voice of His Spirit.
Spirit of Prophecy supplement
"It is impossible for the church to be a living, active church unless its members shall be willing to bear burdens and assume responsibilities. In church relationship are brought together different tempraments and dispositions. There are a few devoted, God-fearing faithful souls who pray much, who carry the burden of the church, and whose happiness is in the prosperity of its members. Here, as everywhere, Satan is constantly at work to drag down and demoralize. It is the business of the adversity of souls to weaken and destroy every organization which, if prospered, would glorify God." Testimonies, Vol. 5, p. 114.
Paulo Pelegrino writes from Parana, Brazil.