READ : Psalm 119:169-176
Lord, teach us to pray. (Luke 11:1 NIV)
This final section, like the previous one, is a collection of eight prayers that we can use to compare our own practice of praying with the psalmist’s. Those verses were telling God things; these are asking him for things to happen. Try working through these also, as one last checklist.
There is a notion abroad in Christian circles that prayer, and praise, and even preaching, are more likely to be Spirit-filled when they are spontaneous and unprepared; better the words that come off the top of my head than the words I get out of a book (even if that book is the Bible). It reminds me of one of my favorite fictional characters, P. G. Wodehouse’s Bertie Wooster. Wealthy but dim, he has plenty of ideas of his own about how to live the life of a young man-about-town. Time and again his manservant Jeeves is on hand with better ideas, to avert disaster, and rectify his employer’s blunders. A suit of clothes that Jeeves proposes is much more likely to commend Bertie to his fearsome Aunt Agatha than the one he would have chosen himself.
We are honoring the Spirit, not despising him, when we take up in our prayers and praises words that he has given us in his Book. All but four of these 176 verses are Spirit-inspired models of prayer; let’s use them.
Lord, teach me to pray your Word, as well as live it.