Thursday, August 5, 2010

Last night I had the wonderful joy of preaching Psalm 71 — "As you grow older, learn from an elderly saint how to pray." I felt as though the last week I was intimately mentored by an old man who has lived life, experienced God's faithfulness, lived through the hostility from vicious enemies, yet affirmed his trust in God. I have been greatly blessed this week by my old friend (who is anonymous, just see the Psalm's title, or lack thereof, for evidence!).

I outlined the psalm by way of looking at how an old man prays. That is to say, we observed six prayers of this old man in Psalm 71:

1. You are my protection (1-4)
2. You have sustained me (5-8)
3. Don't forget me when I'm old (9-13)
4. Help me teach your truth to others (14-18)
5. You are unsurpassed in greatness (19-21)
6. You will hear my praise (22-24)

Then, at the conclusion of the psalm, I noted 10 ways to pray that I learned meditating on Psalm 71:

1. The simplicity of the prayers (childlike faith)
2. The biblical nature of the prayers (all rooted in biblical truth)
3. The determination of the prayers (he commits himself to do it)
4. The duration of the prayers (he never attains perfection, his desires are lifelong goals for the believer)
5. The length of the prayer (he prays a lengthy prayer—not a short, quick prayer).
6. The enemies revealed in the prayers (he even has enemies at his old age!)
7. The confidence of the prayers (he really believes God will hear and answer)
8. The commitment to teach the next generation in the prayer (he reveals the need to train up others)
9. The worship in the prayers (he praises God)
10. The God-centeredness of the prayer (he names God in a variety of names/titles and remembers God’s deeds and he remembers God’s character/attributes).

All in all, God taught me much this last week meditating on this masterful psalm. If you choose to listen, you may do so here.


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