Psalm 10:17 God will always hear our prayers.

“Lord, thou hast heard the desire of the humble: thou wilt prepare their heart, thou wilt cause thine ear to hear:” Psalm 10:17

Encouragement from Matthew Henry’s Commentary:

1) The Lord never said to a distressed suppliant, “Seek in vain.”

2) May we not hope that he who has been will still be, will ever be, a God hearing prayers?

He had heard and answered their prayers: “Lord, thou hast many a time heard the desire of the humble, and never saidst to a distressed suppliant, Seek in vain. Why may not we hope for the continuance and repetition of the wonders, the favours, which our father told us of?”

He pleads their expectations from God pursuant to their experience of him: “Thou hast heard, therefore thou will cause thy ear to hear, as, Psalms 6:9. Thou art the same, and thy power, and promise, and relation to thy people are the same, and the work and workings of grace are the same in them; why therefore may we not hope that he who has been will still be, will ever be, a God hearing prayers?”

But observe, (1.) In what method God hears prayer. He first prepares the heart of his people and then gives them an answer of peace; nor may we expect his gracious answer, but in this way; so that God’s working upon us is the best earnest of his working for us. He prepares the heart for prayer by kindling holy desires, and strengthening our most holy faith, fixing the thoughts and prayers, raising the affections, and then he graciously accepts the prayer; he prepares the heart for the mercy itself that is wanting and prayed for, makes us fit to receive it and use it well, and then gives it in to us. The preparation of the heart is from the Lord, and we must seek unto him for it (Proverbs 16:1) and take that as a leading favour.

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Be A Self-Encourager: Encouraging Yourself Through Scripture

David gave us the example of encouraging himself in the Lord through solitude in prayer to God.  Because of his distresses, many of the Psalms were written.  When going through a difficult day or a trying time, this may be the only book I want to read.

 “This book (Psalms) brings us into the sanctuary and directs us into communion with God, by solacing and reposing our souls in him, lifting up and letting out our hearts towards him.”  Matthew Henry

I am sharing some of my favorite Psalms of petition, promise, and praise.  You need not be afraid of opening your heart to God.  He hears you.

Psalms of Petition

Psalm 39:7 “And now, Lord, what wait I for?  My hope is in thee.”

Psalm 56:3 “What time I am afraid, I will trust in thee.”

Psalm 61:1-2 “Hear my cry, O God; attend unto my prayer.  From the end of the earth will I cry unto thee, when my heart is overwhelmed: lead me to the rock that is higher than I.”

Psalm 102:2 “Hide not thy face from me in the day when I am in trouble; incline thine ear unto me: in the day when I call answer me speedily.”

Psalm 119:49 “Remember the word unto thy servant, upon which thou hast caused me to hope.”

Psalm 138:3 “In the day when I cried thou answeredst me, and strengthened me with strength in my soul.”

Psalm 141:1-2 “Lord, I cry unto thee: make haste unto me; give ear unto my voice, when I cry unto thee.  Let my prayer be set forth before thee as incense; and the lifting up of my hands as the evening sacrifice.”

Psalm 143:7-8 “Hear me speedily, O Lord; my spirit faileth: hide not thy face from me, lest I be like unto them that go down in to the pit.  Cause me to hear thy loving kindness in the morning; for in thee do I trust: cause me to know the way wherein I should walk; for I lift up my soul unto thee.”

Psalms of Promise

Psalm 27:14 “Wait on the Lord: be of good courage, and he shall strengthen thine heart: wait, I say, on the Lord.”

Psalm 30:5b “Weeping may endure for a night, but joy cometh in the morning.”

Psalm 37:4-5 “Delight thyself also in the Lord; and he shall give thee the desires of thine heart.  Commit thy way unto the Lord; trust also in him, and he shall bring it to pass.”

Psalm 42:11, “Why art thou cast down, O my soul?  And why art thou disquieted within me?  Hope thou in God: for I shall yet praise him, who is the health of my countenance, and my God.”

Psalm 46:1 “God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.”

Psalm 84:11-12 “For the Lord God is a sun and shield: the Lord will give grace and glory: no good thing will he withhold from them that walk uprightly.  O Lord of hosts, blessed is the man that trusteth in thee.”

Psalm 112:7 “He shall not be afraid of evil tidings: his heart is fixed, trusting in the Lord.”

Psalm 145:19 “He will fulfill the desire of them that fear him: he also will hear their cry, and will save them.”

Psalms of Praise

 

Psalm 21:2 “Thou hast given him his heart’s desire, and hast not withholden the request of his lips.”

Psalm 30:12 “To the end that my glory may sing praise to thee, and not be silent.  O Lord my God, I will give thanks unto thee for ever.”

Psalm 86:10 “For thou art great, and doest wondrous things: thou art God alone.”

Psalm 106:1-2 “Praise ye the Lord.  O give thanks unto the Lord; for he is good: for his mercy endureth forever.  Who can utter the mighty acts of the Lord:  Who can shew forth all his praise?

Psalm 118:23 “This is the Lord’s doing; it is marvelous in our eyes.”

Psalm 126:3 “The Lord hath done great things for us; whereof we are glad.”

Psalm 136:3-4,23 “O give thanks unto the Lord of lords: for his mercy endureth forever.  To him alone doeth great wonders: for his mercy endureth forever.  Who remembered us in our low estate: for his mercy endureth forever.”

Psalm 145:3-4 “Great is the Lord, and greatly to be praised; and his greatness is unsearchable.  One generation shall praise thy works to another, and shall declare thy mighty acts.”

My favorite Psalm of Promise and Praise!

Psalm 113:1-9 “Praise ye the Lord.  Praise, O ye servants of the Lord, praise the name of the Lord.  Blessed be the name of the Lord from this time forth and for evermore.  From the rising of the sun unto the going down of the same the Lord’s name is to be praised.  The Lord is high above all nations, and his glory above the heavens.  Who is like unto the Lord our God, who dwelleth on high.  Who humbleth himself to behold the things that are in heaven and in the earth!  He raiseth up the poor out of the dust, and lifteth the needy out of the dunghill; That he may set him with princes, even with the princes of his people.  He maketh the barren woman to keep house, and to be a joyful mother of children.  Praise ye the Lord.”

I Prayed For You Today

One July morning, the Lord gave me a verse, a hope to cling to, a quiet confidence.  That day was July 23, 2000.  The 23rd day of every month will always be one of my favorite days.  You can call me sentimental.  I am.  Before God gave us our son, every day that I realized was the 23rd day of the month brought me hope and faith.  Now it brings me joy, and I praise Him.

I wrote about this in one of my earlier posts:  Psalm 113:9 God’s Promise.  If you read 5 Psalms a day each month, you will come to Psalms 111-115 on the 23rd day.   That particular day on July 23rd in 2000, I read Psalm 113:9 – “He maketh the barren woman to keep house, and to be a joyful mother of children.  Praise ye the Lord.”

Most months, the 23rd day passed without incident, but sometimes – a couple of times a year – that day proved to be very difficult regarding our infertility.  I would look to God for hope or encouragement or reassurance and realize it was the 23rd.  If I had missed reading Psalms that day, I would soon realize what verses I would be covering.  It would make me smile – or smile and cry at the same time.  I knew God was still in control, and my heart would be comforted.

I want you to know you can count on me to be praying for you on the 23rd day of every month until you have a baby.  I pray for the barren women I know by name and their particular situation or specific prayer request.  Even if I don’t know you by name, I pray for everyone who has subscribed to my blog or who might read this post and beg God to do the same for you and turn your hope and faith into joy and praise.

One Day Closer

We enjoy counting down the days to a special occasion or exciting event that is going to happen in our lives, don’t we?  I counted down the days until my wedding day and always count down the days until vacation or Christmas.  It brings a lot of excitement and anticipation.

We can also look for the coming of something special even though we don’t know when it’s coming – as in the second coming of Jesus Christ.  The Bible says we don’t know the day or the hour, but we should be ready (Matthew 24:36-44).

In my Streams in the Desert journal, the entry for January 19th says prayers remaining unanswered mean the moment of the answer is so much nearer.  I believed God had not said “no” to my prayers for a baby; He was saying “not yet” or “wait.”  Since our prayers had remained unanswered for so long, it must really be so much nearer!

In my journal, I had written in 2004 that I was trying to clean up my office at work.  I started clearing out files and junk in anticipation of when I would quit work to stay home with my baby.  Although I didn’t know the date, I knew it was one day closer than yesterday!  I adopted that as my new motto – “One Day Closer”.  When rereading that entry a year later in 2005, I just had to smile and say, “I’m not just one day closer, I’m one year closer!”  Still hopeful, too.  In 2006, it was exciting to write a p.s. by that entry – I was pregnant and only had about 28 days left until the anticipated day of my baby’s birth.  I didn’t realize it when I wrote that entry I was actually 2 days closer instead of 28 because he arrived four weeks early!

“Prayer which takes the fact that past prayers have not been answered as a reason for languor, has already ceased to be the prayer of faith.  To the prayer of faith the fact that prayers remain unanswered is only evidence that the moment of the answer is so much nearer.  From first to last, the lessons and examples of our Lord all tell us that prayer which cannot persevere and urge its plea importunately, and renew, and renew itself again, and gather strength from every past petition, is not the prayer that will prevail.”  William Arthur, Streams in the Desert, January 19th.

My Opportunity for Importunity

In January 2005, we were accepted into a shared-risk program for IVF.  Our 1st IVF attempt in January of that year did not result in a pregnancy.  Although it was difficult to hear that my pregnancy test was negative, we knew we had two more chances.  My husband’s words of comfort were that he was still confident I would get pregnant.  In my previous post, I said the evangelist’s message on importunity was preached on March 30th.  That gave me renewed hope to persevere in my petitions, to keep praying for a baby.  The dictionary defines importunity as the quality or state of being overly persistent in request or demand; to beg for urgently.

Our 2nd IVF attempt in April was cancelled because of a cyst.  Our 3rd IVF attempt in July resulted in a pregnancy – for about a week.  One of two embryos implanted, but it did not continue.  After the July IVF attempt, we thought we would have one last chance with the shared-risk program, since it allowed three attempts.  What we did not realize at the time was that they considered the cancelled cycle one of the attempts.  So one day they left a message on our answering machine saying they were refunding 70% of our money!  After praying about it and consulting with our specialist, we decided to try one more time.  That IVF – 3rd attempt to us – occurred in October 2005.

I mentioned hearing that message on importunity twice in the space of seven months.  It was as if the Lord knew I needed one more shot of encouragement to keep praying and asking.  On October 30th, the same evangelist preached at our church from the same exact text!  I smiled to myself when I realized it was the same message.  I thought, “God wants me to hear this message again!”  It was for me!  This was my opportunity to keep praying.  I just said, “OK, Lord.  I’m going to keep asking you for a baby.”

Again, this was the evangelist’s message.  Praying is asking.  Importunity means relentless asking.  Keep at it until our prayer is answered.  Keep praying until we get what we wanted and asked for, not a no, or a maybe, but a yes!

My retrieval day was 4 days later on November 3rd.  This final IVF attempt was not without another exercise in faith that I’ll share in another entry, but on November 16th, my first pregnancy test was positive and this time, it continued!  I was finally pregnant!

The November 17th entry of Streams in the Desert shares these thoughts on importunity.  “God will hear prayer, but He may not answer it at the time which we in our minds have appointed; He will reveal Himself to our seeking hearts, but not just when and where we have settled in our own expectations.  Hence the need of perseverance and importunity in supplication.  Never let us despair.  God’s time for mercy will come; yea, it has come, if our time for believing has arrived.  Ask in faith, nothing wavering; but never cease from petitioning because the King delays to reply.”  C. H. Spurgeon

Praying Is Asking

I yearned and prayed for a baby.  Month after month, year after year, my prayers were still unanswered.  At times I would grow weary of praying and waiting.  Perhaps those well-meaning people who said they were praying I would get pregnant if it’s God’s will were trying to tell me, maybe it’s not God’s will for me to get pregnant.  Was His answer “No?”  Many times I remember praying, “I believe you can open my womb, Lord.  Help thou mine unbelief.”  One time a friend from church asked my husband if we could accept it if God didn’t want us to have children (naturally).  He answered, yes, but that we didn’t believe the Lord had completely closed that door.  What did we learn in times like this?  Keep praying!

As Christians, prayer is a vital part of our life or should be.  Even little children learn how to pray and God hears their prayers.  Jesus gave us a model prayer in Matthew 6.  I have heard lessons on how we should pray using the acronym ACTS – adoration, confession, thanksgiving, and supplication.  These examples of prayer have their place, but I heard a message once, actually twice in the span of seven months, on prayer.  It was like a breath of fresh air to hear a sermon like that, as if I had permission to keep praying for a baby!  I didn’t need permission but it was still reassuring that God was ok with me praying for a baby, even if I’d been praying for one for 8 years.

On March 30, 2005, an evangelist at our church preached from Luke 11:5-10 on prayer.  The specific verse that mentions the word “importunity” is Luke 11:8b, “because of his importunity, he will rise and give him as many as he needeth.”  Importunity is persistent praying or asking.

  1. God wants us to ask.
  2. God wants to answer.
  3. God wants to give us His Spirit to do His work in us.

This is his message in a nutshell.  Praying is asking.  Importunity is relentless asking.  God is not offended when we ask for things, and if our prayer – what we ask for – is not answered, keep asking.  Keep praying!