Friday, May 16, 2008

Psalm 4: God's Grace in Prayer

"Answer me when I call, O God of my righteousness! You have relieved me in my distress; Be gracious to me and hear my prayer. " - Psalm 4:1

What a great expression of trust in the Lord God we find in Psalm 4. Reading it this morning, I was drawn to verse 1, especially the last phrase. David asks God to show His grace and hear his prayer. Such a simple statement, a simple plea, but so full of meaning. It is an act of God's grace that He hears our prayers and responds to them. It's an expression of His gracious character that He inclines His ear to our feeble supplications, and then responds to them.

What an amazing thought, that He would even hear or listen or answer the requests and whining and arrogant demands of sinful people such as us. It had never occurred to me before that the access we have to God in prayer is based on His extravagant grace. God hears our prayers because he is gracious. Yet how often do we presume on this grace. How often do we take for granted this privilege of beseeching and addressing the Sovereign of the universe in prayer. And because we presume on His grace and take for granted our access to His throne in prayer, we fail to engage in it. I know this is the case for me. Maybe that's why this verse made me stop and think so hard. Because I have treated His gracious provision of prayer as a thing to be taken lightly and exercised when I feel like it, which is far too rarely.

Let's strive, as God's people through His grace in Jesus Christ, to be responders to His grace in prayer. Let's let our cry be the same as David's: "be gracious to me and hear my prayer."

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