Meditating on Psalm 141.
Lord, I cry out to You;
Make haste to me!
Give ear to my voice when I cry out to You.
2 Let my prayer be set before You as incense,
The lifting up of my hands as the evening sacrifice. (vv. 1-2)
David is imploring the Lord to receive his prayers as the sweet-smelling fragrance of a pleasing sacrifice wafting to the King’s throne. Then he goes on to ask the Lord to preserve him from all wicked works. For David knows that the prayers of the righteous are heard and received by God. In another psalm, he says, “The eyes of the Lord are on the righteous, And His ears are open to their cry” (Ps. 34:15).
We pray for a myriad of reasons and in many different ways and situations. Sometimes, we pray in heaviness of heart, not only because of our troubles bearing down on us, but because God seems far. He seems to us as if He’s indifferent to our difficulties and sufferings. We wrestle with Him for His attention, favor, and blessings. And in the midst of the struggle, we may feel defeated and retreat with a heavy heart, feeling disappointed and sad. Often, we may not know it, but the Holy Spirit will come and shed light on what is really happening in our hearts. Last night, I had one of those “visitations”.
As I lay in bed, a still small voice whispered to my ear that I must know and believe, and receive the goodness of the Lord Jesus Christ. Period. That His love for me will never change no matter the circumstances. That He loves me completely and eternally no matter how I think and feel otherwise. Wow, that’s a breath of fresh inspiration! I thought to myself as I closed my eyes and prayed (I didn’t want to close the door that the Holy Spirit opened).
You are good to me, my Lord Jesus! Your love for me will never die; You love me completely now ’til eternity. You just love me and want to do me good! No more doubts about that! So, I will always run to You, Whatever time of day or night. You are always waiting for me with wide-open arms; You are always delighted to receive me with your ready embrace. I will run to You, no matter what lies the enemy whispers to me.
Sometimes, the best prayer we can offer as a sweet-smelling sacrifice that God can savor is our full acceptance of His love and goodness in our lives, not regarding the troubles we are in. The apostle Paul beseeches us, “I desire therefore that the men [and women] pray everywhere, lifting up holy hands, without wrath and doubting” (1 Tim. 2:8, annotation mine). Lift up holy hands without wrath and doubting and let the pure love of Jesus flow to us and bathe us in its fullness. That is the best favor we can give ourselves today!
But my eyes are upon You, O GOD the Lord;
In You I take refuge;
Do not leave my soul destitute. (v. 8)
(Photo courtesy of my friend Des Rivero-Lamb).
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Journey with Jesus,