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The God of our prayers is responsible for the effectiveness of our prayers.
If prayer changes anything it is because the God you prayed to, heard, and then answered your prayer.
Prayer changes things, but we must be clear about how those things change.
We do the praying.
God does the changing.
Because of his benevolent love and his everlasting mercy, God hears the prayers of his people and acts on the behalf of his people.
Prayer changes things.
However, we must not forget how those things get changed.
After we have submitted our prayer, we are at the mercy of the one who has the power to answer our prayer.
Thank God for answered prayer, because God is in no way obligated to answer our prayers.
God does not have to answer prayers just because we pray them, but thank God for answered prayer.
God does not have to answer prayer because we’ve earned an answer, but thank God for answered prayer.
An answered prayer is a gift from God that is fulfilled on our behalf, not because of us, but because of him.
God answers prayer because God is a prayer answering God.
David’s Psalm is a song of thanksgiving for answered prayer.
is David’s response to God’s response to his prayer.
David prayed, God answered, and David thanked God for answering his prayer.
is sandwiched between , where David talked about the goodness of the Lord, and where David entrusted himself to the goodness of the Lord.
In David talked about God’s character.
In David trusted in God because of his character.
But in David tested the character of God by praying, and God responded by answering his prayer.
David had been deathly ill.
So sick that he had concluded that he was on his death bed.
David didn’t have the strength to do anything else but pray.
Beloved, when all you have is prayer, all you need is prayer.
David cried out to God for deliverance from his affliction, and God reached down and pulled David out of the mouth of the grave.
David learned that it’s never too late to pray.
No matter how things may look God is able to reach into the mouth of the grave, into the mouth of trouble, into the mouth of heartache, disappointment, and danger and pull you out.
David talked about God, and David eventually trusted God.
In between talking about him, and trusting him, David had to try God for himself.
It is one thing to talk about what the Lord can do, but it is another thing to experience his favor.
If you want to know for yourself what God can do, then you must stop trying to do it yourself and let God do it.
We pray because we can trust God, but prayer also builds our trust in God.
David teaches us in this Psalm that after we’ve prayed, and God has delivered, we ought to give God praise for hearing our prayer.
David’s Psalm exhorts us to praise God not only for answering prayer, but for being a God who answers prayer.
I must give you a Biblical perspective on how God responds to prayer.
God does not answer all of our prayers according to our prayers.
Jesus made a request to God to allow the cup of suffering and crucifixion pass him by, but because God had divinely designed our salvation to come through the cross God did not deliver a positive response to his prayer.
The answer to that prayer was no, I cannot let this cup pass from you.
We do not
Even if God does not answer our prayer in the manner we think he should answer our prayer we should praise him simply because his name is Holy.
His name is also a reason we can depend on God to answer prayer.
David himself says we should praise God and give thanks simply at the remembrance of His name.
David, in this particular stanza isn’t telling us to offer up our praise for what God has done.
Rather, David is exhorting us to praise God for who God is.
The object of praise is the God who answers prayer.
David says, “And give thanks at the remembrance of His Holy name”.
This would suggest to us that we should not only be thankful when we think about how the Lord has answered our prayer, but we should also be thankful whenever his name comes to our minds.
David’s song implies that even if we didn’t have an answered prayer to praise God for we should still praise God because of his name.
God’s name is the sum total of who God is.
When you think of certain names, certain images and adjectives come to mind.
When you think of the name Lebron.
You think Lebron Raymone James Sr. not Jr.
You think basketball.
You think Cavs not Lakers.
His name will illicit a response.
If you’re a fan, you may sing his praises and say, “he’s the greatest of all time”.
If you’re not a fan you may cite your criticisms and say, “he’s overrated, he should have stayed in Cleveland, he’ll never beat Golden state”.
Anyone who is familiar with the name will have a response whether you ask them for it or not.
David says when you think about the name Jesus, his name alone should bring a praise to your lips.
David’s praise was not confined to answered prayer.
It was motivated by the mention of a God who answers prayer.
God answers prayer for our sake, but more importantly for his name sake.
David was thankful to be delivered from the pit of affliction, but David found the name of God all the more sweeter because of his deliverance.
Answered prayer should point us back back to God.
Any time a prayer is answered we can accredit it to one name, God.
Have you ever had anyone tell you a story about something that happened and before they could finish the story you had already figured out who was at the center of it?
We do this quite often in the church.
Something happens in the church and before all the facts are sorted out you already have a name in your head as the main culprit or the ring leader.
David suggest that there is only one name at the root of answered prayer and at the mention of that name it should bring praise to our lips.
In this particular portion of the Psalm David has moved from an individual praise to a collective commandment of praise.
He says, “Sing praises to the Lord, O you saints”.
At the mention of his name, every person who knows God and has been delivered by God should give praise to his name.
Your prayer doesn’t have to be my prayer and your answer doesn’t have to be my answer.
For each of us the pit has taken on a different name, but if you know that it was nobody but the Lord that reached way down and lifted you out of the pit we ought to have one collective praise aimed at the same target.
After all, this is the reason we’ve gathered in this sanctuary isn’t it?
We should thank God for answered prayer because all of our answered prayers can be accredited to his name.
a. Holy Is His Name
I want you to notice a very important adjective that David uses to describe God’s name.
Great songs or Psalms are never absent colorful descriptions.
The beauty of a song is its ability to help you see the beauty of its subject.
God doesn’t just have a name.
It isn’t any old name.
His name is holy.
His name is above every name.
God’s name is Holy because God is Holy.
You can’t take any ordinary adjective and describe an extraordinary God.
There is something about tragedy, affliction, and despair that allows us to see God more clearly.
It is also in those moments that we not only see him more clearly, but we are able to view him more highly.
The truth is that God has separated himself from everything that God created.
Sometimes, we cannot see how high God sits until we are flat on our backs.
Sometimes it isn’t until we have run out money, friends, attention, or good health that we look up to God.
A low view of God quenches our desire to pray to God.
Once you’ve hit rock bottom and landed flat on your back, then you’ll look up and see God.
I thank God that even when I’ve hit the bottom it’s not too late to pray.
David’s health had reached rock bottom.
He had one foot in the grave.
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