Saturday, September 5, 2009

Answered Prayers

Psalm 22: 16-21
For dogs have surrounded Me;
The congregation of the wicked has enclosed Me.
They pierced My hands and My feet;
I can count all My bones
They look and stare at Me.
They divide My garments among them,
And for My clothing they cast lots

But You, O Lord, do not be far from Me;
O My Strength, hasten to help Me!
Deliver Me from the sword,
My precious life from the power of the dog.
Save Me from the lion's mouth
And from the horns of the wild oxen!

"Lord, thank you for this verse, and its many meanings. May we read this with understanding, and may our words and actions be pleasing in Your eyes and ears. In Jesus' Name we pray, Amen."

Verse 21 goes on a bit more, but we'll get to that later. I found this verse off of a cross-reference in the gospel of John, while the soldiers were each taking one of Jesus' garments and then cast lots for His tunic.
These verses seem to me to be a prophecy about Jesus. But as everything with Jesus, we can learn something from this passage.
Jesus was being crucified, (they pieced His hands and feet) and all the evil ones were around Him. They were shouting to crucify Him, when He had done nothing wrong. But Jesus didn't have a pity party, He asked God to be with Him.

Psalm 22:21-24
You have answered Me

I will declare Your name to My brethren;
In the midst of the assembly I will praise You.
You who fear the Lord, praise Him!
All you descendants of Jacob, glorify Him,
And fear Him, all you offspring of Israel!
For He has not despised nor abhorred the affliction of the afflicted
Nor has He hidden His face from Him;
But when He cried to Him, He heard.

(PS-like Kiara said, fearing the Lord is not like fearing Dracula)
I really like how (at least in my version) the second part of verse 21 is a new paragraph. He's praying for God to be with Him and keep Him away from the dog and the lion's mouth (metaphors) and then all of a sudden, He goes "You answered Me".

It's almost like this wow factor. Wow! Look how God is taking care of me! Look how He answered my prayers! Notice how I didn't capitalize the 'm' in 'me' back there.
So what was Jesus' response to this? It wasn't 'okay, thanks, God' and go on with His life. It was 'I will praise You to my friends, so that they might know how awesome You are! Guys! Guys! Praise God!' kind of response.
If that was my response every time God saved me from something, even something I totally deserved, I would be feeling pretty good about myself. Most of us tend to fall in the middle (I would hope we're not the first response), with a kind of 'Thanks, God. Christian friends, this is what God did for me!'. I did that when God answered the prayers of me and a few of my friends, when He healed my grandmother.

She's a diabetic, so she has really bad circulation. They went to the hospital last year, because her foot was turning black. As soon as I heard, I sent out an email to Kiara and one of our other friends and her mom to pray for my grandmother. The day we started to pray, the blackness shrunk, and after a few days, the doctors couldn't see it.
When I saw my friend next, I told that story, and my friend's mom's response was a smile and 'Praise God'. No greater words have ever been spoken.
THESE STORIES JUST DON'T HAPPEN TO PEOPLE ON THE 700 CLUB! God answers the prayers of everybody! When He does, we should praise Him with everything that we have, and use the stories of how great He is to draw our non-Christian friends closer to Him! They are the fighter jets in the Great Commission.

Psalm 22:27
All the ends of the world
Shall remember and turn to the Lord,
And all the families of the nations
Shall worship before You.

In His Service,

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