Text: “Hear the voice of my supplications, when I cry unto Thee, when I lift up my hands towards Thy Holy oracle.”
“But without faith it is impossible to please Him; for he/she that cometh to God must believe that He is (that He exists!), and that He is a rewarder of them that diligently seek Him.”
Good morning, believing prayer-warrior! It would be a vain exercise indeed for us to spend our time crying out to a Heaven that did not hear us; or to a Being that we did not fully believe exists! No. We are not like the atheist, or the agnostic. We have been blessed with God’s gift of true Christian faith, and we shall, by His grace, continue to use that gift of trust to call out to Him in worship, praise, and sincere petitions. Praise God, He is ALWAYS more than ready to receive our prayers. Hallelujah!
“For the eyes of the Lord are over the righteous (those whom He has made righteous, in Christ Jesus!), and His ears are open unto their prayers; but the face of the Lord is against them that do evil.” (1 Peter 3:12)
But what if the Heavens were as brass, and the Lord refusing to hear us? What a woeful situation that would be! This was David’s worst nightmare - and it should be ours too - that for some reason the Lord was not listening to his prayers.
“Behold (look and understand seriously!), the Lord’s hand is not shortened, that it cannot save; neither is His ear heavy, that it cannot hear; BUT your iniquities have separated between you and your God, and your sins have hid His face from you, that He will not hear. For your hands are defiled with blood, and your fingers with iniquity; your lips have spoken lies, your tongue hath muttered perverseness. None calleth for justice, nor any pleadeth for truth; they trust in vanity, and speak lies; they conceive mischief, and bring forth iniquity.” (Isaiah 59:1-4)
These are the people whose prayers are NOT heard by the Lord God. Take heed!
“His (God’s) silence is equally full of awe to an eager supplicant. What a dreadful case should we be in if the Lord should become forever silent to our prayers!” (C.H. Spurgeon, Treasury of David, page 139)
King Herod, by beheading God’s faithful messenger, John the Baptist, incurred such a Divine silence - and was forever doomed. “Then he (Herod) questioned with Him (Jesus) in many words; but He answered him NOTHING.” What a Divine silence!
“What do we desire God to say? We want Him to let us know that He hears us; we want to hear Him speak as distinctly to us as we feel that we have spoken to Him. ’It is said‘, said Rutherford, speaking of the Saviour’s delay in responding to the request of the Syrophoenician woman, ’He answered not a word’, but it is not said, ‘He heard not a word.’ Christ often heareth when He doth not answer - His NOT answering is an answer, and speaks thus - ’Pray on, go on and cry, for the Lord holdeth His door fast bolted,’ not to keep you out, but that you may know, and knock, and it shall be opened.” (Philip Bennett Power, 1862)
Verse 1. “…Be not silent to me. His silence is equally full of awe to an eager suppliant. What a dreadful case should we be in if the Lord should become forever silent to our prayers!” (Charles Haddon Spurgeon, Treasury of David, page 139)
Verse 2. “…When I cry unto Thee. Serious-minded Christians must take note: it is not a mumbled list of ‘religiously ingrained words’ that the Psalmist is referring to in this verse; perhaps sent up to the Lord God while we are half awake and half asleep. No. It is the alert cry of the regenerate soul that God’s ear is ever open to hear. When you and I get more serious about our prayer-life, we can rest assured that the Lord God will get more serious about hearing and answering our daily petitions. (Dr C.K. McClinton 1947 - ?)
Verse 2. “…When I lift up my hands toward Thy Holy oracle. Our hands, in Scripture denote our actions, ‘the working of our hands’. Thus, we must at all times make certain that what we are engaged in throughout the day is commensurate with the petitions we seek to lift up to the Lord God at night. If God’s ‘oracle’ is Holy, then it is only open and attentive to those who lift up Holy hands; actions (including words and thoughts!) that are sanctified and acceptable to the Presence of a thrice Holy Lord God of total wrath against all sin. (Dr C.K. McClinton 1947 - ?)
Dictionary Definition: Oracle - (noun) medium or agency of Divine revelation; a response by or on behalf of God; the place where such responses are given; the Jewish sanctuary; the Word of God… (The Chambers Dictionary, page 1139)
When seeking to come before God’s Holy Presence in prayer, we must come to God the Father, through God the Son, Jesus Christ; in the power of God the Holy Spirit - and all and only by the way of the Cross of Christ’s full Atonement Sacrifice at Calvary. We can come no other way. Therefore, it is a Spiritually healthy practice, to commence our time in prayer to God Almighty with a sincere plea for renewed sanctification, cleansing from all the sins we have committed that day - in word, thought, or deed. Then the way is clear for us to worship, praise, thank and petition our High and Holy Lord God. Let us ’…lift up HOLY hands…’ as we lift up our prayers to Him.
Thought: We cannot sup with Satan and sin - then pray at God’s table of grace!