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Psalm 25 is one of the best models for how to pray in the entire Bible. As we attend God’s school of prayer in this Psalm, we will learn the following.
— Trust is a key element in prayer. We trust God because we have a personal relationship with him. See verses 1, 3, 5, 21.
— God accepts and encourages bold praying. See verses 6, 11, 19-20.
— We can be confident in prayer, because of God’s character and nature. He is kind, loving and good (verse 6-7). He is righteous, good and faithful (Verses 8 and 10).
— Prayer is connected to behavior. God is more than willing to teach us how to live. See verses 4-5, 8-10, and 12.
— In prayer we open the door of our lives to the power of God. We can bring our fears, hopes, dreams, and problems to God and rely on his help. He will save us from defeat (verses 2-3, 19-20). He will forgive our sins (verses 7 and 11). He will help us in distress and troubles (verses 15-18, 22).
The Bold Prayer of a Friend
The speaker in this Psalm knows his character flaws, but also knows friendship with God. His relationship with God allows him to boldly ask for forgiveness and more.
Keep your promise, Lord, and forgive my sins,
for they are many.
Those who have reverence for the Lord
will learn from him the path they should follow.
They will always be prosperous,
and their children will possess the land.
The Lord is the friend of those who obey him
and he affirms his covenant with them. (Psalm 25.11-14)
There is a dramatic contrast between verse 11 and 12. The speaker asks for the promise of forgiveness for sins in a bold fashion. Then, the speaker claims to have reverence for the Lord.
To me this is a profound picture of a genuine relationship with God. Even though we may revere and be in awe of God, our character can still be flawed. We always need his forgiveness and the knowledge of how to walk on the right path.
If we feel distant from God because of our sin, we can come to him boldly. We can ask for forgiveness and for instruction in how to live our lives.
Here is a promise we can claim, as we come to our Savior: “But if we confess our sins to God, he will keep his promise and do what is right: he will forgive us our sins and purify us from all our wrongdoing” (1 John 1.9).
The phrase, “the Lord is the friend,” in verse 14 has been translated different ways over the ages. Here are some different translations: “counsel, secret, mystery or friendship.”
In prayer we can use all of the different nuances of the word. For example, we can pray: “God you are the best counselor. I need to know your counsel in how I should approach the issues of my life.”
We also can pray, “God some of your ways are like a secret or a mystery to me. As I come to you for your leadership, please show me the kind of truth that resides in you.”
Finally, we can rejoice and pray: “God I praise you that I am your friend. I have plenty of character issues that need your help. As I live with you, I trust that you will transform me into the person you know I can be.”
A Prayer for Our Day
The next verses highlight an excellent way to live our lives.
I look to the Lord for help at all times,
and he rescues me from danger.
Turn to me, Lord, and be merciful to me,
because I am lonely and weak.
Relieve me of my worries
and save me from all my troubles.
Consider my distress and suffering
and forgive all my sins. (Psalm 25.15-18)
What is a superb way to live life? Each moment of every day we can “look to the Lord for help at all times” (verse 15).
The prayer “Turn to me, Lord, and be merciful to me” (verse 16) is a frequent appeal to Jesus in the New Testament.
— Blind men shouted, “Have mercy on us, Son of David!” (Matthew 9.27).
— A Canaanite woman cried out on behalf of her daughter, “Have mercy on me, sir!” (Matthew 15.22).
— A father with a diseased son asked Jesus, “Sir, have mercy on my son!” (Matthew 17.15).
— Two additional blind men cried out, “Son of David! Have mercy on us, sir!” (Matthew 20.31).
Know this, Jesus never rejected anyone who cried to him for mercy. Let’s approach him with all of the issues of the world in which we are living and ask for his mercy. Let the words of this Psalm give us boldness to always ask for his help.
A Prayer of Trust
In a relationship of trust we can pray for victory over the enemies that buffet our lives.
See how many enemies I have;
see how much they hate me.
Protect me and save me;
keep me from defeat.
I come to you for safety.
May my goodness and honesty preserve me,
because I trust in you.
From all their troubles, O God,
save your people Israel! (Psalm 25.19-22)
Historically, the church has identified three primary enemies. We have our own self-centered lives that oppose God and cause major problems for us.
We live in a world’s system that is the enemy of God and people. This system creates oppressors and the oppressed.
There is a devil and his demons, who are created beings who hate God. They can’t attack God, but they can attack his creation. They activate the world’s system and human self-centeredness to bring pain and distress to humankind.
In a relationship of trust, we can talk to our very best friend, God, and ask him to protect us. We can ask him to protect nations, people groups, family members and friends. Not only can we ask him, we should ask his help.
May We Pray for You
Maywood Baptist Church has a prayer team that will be honored to pray for your concerns. Please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or private message me on Facebook. I will pray for you and will communicate your prayer request to the team.