Reading Time: 9 Minutes
Today, we are going sightseeing through Psalm 9. Like a walk through a garden path or a drive along the ocean, we will gaze at the power of this Psalm and then stop for a few moments to soak in a particular aspect of the message. Finally, I will suggest ways you can turn Psalm 9 into your own personal prayer.
I will give thanks to the Lord with my whole heart;
I will tell of all your wonderful deeds.
I will be glad and exult in you;
I will sing praise to your name, O Most High. (Psalm 9.1-2)
We have just begun our journey through this Psalm and need to pause. Don’t miss the fact that we thank God with our whole heart, not half-a-heart or less. There should be no “half-stepping,” when we express our gratitude to the One who rescued our lives.
Our wholehearted worship is centered in the magnificent character and nature of God. All of God’s attributes and abilities are contained in his NAME. In three Psalms in a row we are given an opportunity to praise his NAME.
I will give to the Lord the thanks due to his righteousness,
and sing praise to the name of the Lord, the Most High. (Psalm 7.17)
O Lord, our Sovereign,
how majestic is your name in all the earth! (Psalm 8.1, 9)
I will be glad and exult in you;
I will sing praise to your name, O Most High. (Psalm 9.2)
Victory Over Enemies
When my enemies turned back,
they stumbled and perished before you.
For you have maintained my just cause;
you have sat on the throne giving righteous judgment. (Psalm 9.3-4)
No matter what the world may look like right now, God is more powerful than our enemies. He executes judgment that is fair, honest, and impartial.
You have rebuked the nations, you have destroyed the wicked;
you have blotted out their name forever and ever.
The enemies have vanished in everlasting ruins;
their cities you have rooted out;
the very memory of them has perished. (Psalm 9.5-6)
God rebukes before he destroys. He gives people warning before his judgment comes.
If we seek to maintain the cause and honor of the Lord who sits on the throne of our heart, we can expect him to not leave us without his care.
A Just Judge
But the Lord sits enthroned forever,
he has established his throne for judgment.
He judges the world with righteousness;
he judges the peoples with equity. (Psalm 9.7-8)
God is not partial and he judges with complete fairness. This should comfort us when we are oppressed, and challenge us when we are in a place to use our power against another person.
Knowledge and Trust
The Lord is a stronghold for the oppressed,
a stronghold in times of trouble.
And those who know your name put their trust in you,
for you, O Lord, have not forsaken those who seek you. (Psalm 9.9-10)
Let’s pause in our journey through the Psalm and gaze a little while at what we see in these two verses.
Charles Spurgeon has written, “The most excellent knowledge leads to the most excellence of faith. Faith is an intelligent grace. Though there can be knowledge without faith, there can be no faith without knowledge.”
Knowledge is far more than accumulating information. The story of Adam and Eve makes this clear. We read, “Now the man knew his wife Eve, and she conceived and bore Cain, saying, ‘I have produced a man with the help of the Lord'” (Genesis 4.1).
Knowledge implies experience and intimacy with the object of what we know. To know the NAME of the Lord is to experience the character and nature of God first hand. The more we know God by experience, the more we will be able to trust him.
Paul knew God through the many experiences of his life. Therefore, he could write, “But I am not ashamed, for I know the one in whom I have put my trust, and I am sure that he is able to guard until that day what I have entrusted to him” (2 Timothy 1.12).
Sing praises to the Lord, who dwells in Zion.
Declare his deeds among the peoples.
For he who avenges blood is mindful of them;
he does not forget the cry of the afflicted. (Psalm 9.11-12)
It helps us to remember God’s faithfulness in the past. We praise him for what he has done, even in the midst of our affliction. We know he is just and that he hears our prayers.
Be Gracious to Me
Be gracious to me, O Lord.
See what I suffer from those who hate me;
you are the one who lifts me up from the gates of death,
so that I may recount all your praises,
and, in the gates of daughter Zion,
rejoice in your deliverance. (Psalm 9.13-14)
“Be gracious to me, O Lord” is a perfect prayer for all occasions.
To ask for God’s gracious or merciful action was a frequent prayer during Jesus’ ministry.
Two blind men cried out, “Have mercy on us, Son of David!” (Matthew 9.27).
The Canaanite woman shouted to Jesus, “Have mercy on me, Lord, Son of David; my daughter is tormented by a demon” (Matthew 15.22).
Jesus told a parable about a tax collector who prayed, “God, be merciful to me, a sinner!” (Luke 18.13).
The Fate of the Wicked
The nations have sunk in the pit that they made;
in the net that they hid has their own foot been caught.
The Lord has made himself known, he has executed judgment;
the wicked are snared in the work of their own hands.
The wicked shall depart to Sheol,
all the nations that forget God. (Psalm 9.15-17)
A ruler who took no thought of evil, would be revealed to his subjects as evil.
Persecutors and oppressors are often ruined by their own projects.
Prayer for Times of Trouble
For the needy shall not always be forgotten,
nor the hope of the poor perish forever.
Rise up, O Lord! Do not let mortals prevail;
let the nations be judged before you.
Put them in fear, O Lord;
let the nations know that they are only human. (Psalm 9.18-20)
Prayers are the weapons of the Lord’s people.
May we remember verse 20 lest we be fearful of people.
Praying Psalm 9
This is a long Psalm and you will need to be willing to extend the time you pray to adequately put it into your own words. Here are a few suggestions about what to do.
(1) The Holy Spirit is God’s Spirit of prayer. Zechariah writes, “[God] will pour out on the house of David and on the inhabitants of Jerusalem, the Spirit of grace and of supplication” (Zechariah 12.10). Ask the Spirit of prayer, the Holy Spirit, to guide and give your prayer power.
(2) Verses 1-2 – Begin your prayer by praising God for his character and his nature. Think of all of ways God is great and tell him what you think of him.
(3) Read through the next verses of the Psalm. When a phrase gets your attention, it may be that the Spirit of prayer is using it to draw you closer to the Father. Stay with that thought until the Spirit leads you to pray the next portion of the Psalm. Remember, knowing God is the foundation of our faith.
(4) We are living in very difficult times. As the Holy Spirit directs your prayer, talk to God about the difficulties you face. Tell him that you are confident he is hearing your prayer and working for you.
(5) The last three verses declare that God is in control. As you face the fears and worries of the day, pray these verses in confidence. God is infinitely greater than any issue or problem you may face.
May We Pray for You
Please send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org or private message me on Facebook if you have a prayer request. Maywood Baptist Church has a prayer team will pray for you. Please let us know when God answers the prayer.