Prayer– The ‘Lifeblood’ of our Relationship with God – Psalm 5:1-3

Why prayer?

·         Short 3 wk series on prayer

·         We want to earnestly seek the Lord for His plans/ministries for FBC rather than have a good idea/thought then seek the Lord’s blessing on it.

·         To see the Lord achieve His purposes/goals/vision at FBC & build the church He wants.

·         Link to Mon night prayer mtgs where we have already started that process. Come along & see what the Lord will do. Love many more to come so we can build a strong foundation in prayer for all we do.

Likewise for Sunday morning prayer for services.


Dr. Wilbur Chapman often told of his experience when, as a young man, he became pastor of a church in Philadelphia. After his first sermon, an old gentleman said to him, “You’re pretty young to be pastor of this church. But you preach the Gospel, and I’m going to help you all I can.” Dr. Chapman thought, “Here’s a crank.” But the man continued: “I’m going to pray for you that you may have the Holy Spirit’s power upon you. Two others have covenanted to join with me in prayer for you.” Dr. Chapman said, “I didn’t feel so bad when I learned he was going to pray for me. The 3 became 10, the 10 became 20, and 20 became 50, the 50 became 200 who met before every service to pray that the Holy Spirit might come upon me. I always went into my pulpit feeling that I would have the anointing in answer to the prayers of those who had faithfully prayed for me. It was a joy to preach! The result was that we received 1,100 into our church by conversion in three years, 600 of whom were men. It was the fruit of the Holy spirit in answer to prayer!”


(a) Prayer is at the Heart of our Christian walk

(b) Total trust and faith in our God

(c) Lifeblood – without it empty/dependence on self.

Prayer is not so much an act as it is an attitude- an attitude of dependency, dependency upon God.. It is a dependency on God that drives us to prayer.


Psalm 5: Verses 1-3 Read:

Listen to my words, O Lord, consider my groaning and sighing.
 Heed the sound of my cry for help, my King and my God, for to You I pray.
 In the morning, O Lord, You will hear my voice;
In the morning I will prepare [a prayer and a sacrifice] for You and watch and wait [for You to speak to my heart].


Prayer comes out of the depths of our relationship with God:

·         Our commitment to pray, to see God move, lead & guide and answer prayer is a highlight of that relationship.

·         True prayer is deeper than our words

·         Prayer is thoughtful, flowing from the heart

·         If that is so, do we truly believe in prayer? Or do we just believe in prayer in times of emergency? Many people only pray when they are confronted with something extremely difficult or unmanageable in life.

·         Coming into the presence of God can calm our spirit and soul! Shouldn’t this tell us something about prayer? That we need more time in His presence in order to calm us while living in this hectic world?

·         So, why pray? Because in prayer we bow, we humble ourselves before Him. We admit our need. We admit our helplessness. We admit we need Him, His strength, His help, His blessing, His mercy and grace. AND WE DO! We do every day.

·         Philippians 4:6-7 “Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”

·         ― E.M. Bounds, The Complete Collection of E.M Bounds on Prayer is personal. The prayers of my preacher, or of my friends or parents, won’t do. Note the words in Ps 5: `my words,’ `my meditation,’ `my cry,’ `my voice,’ `my prayer,’ `my King,’ and `my God.’

·         “The goal of prayer is the ear of God,” a goal that can only be reached by patient and continued and continuous waiting upon Him, pouring out our heart to Him and permitting Him to speak to us.”

·         Prayer is the breath of our spiritual life; and where there is no prayer that life is either threatened or deceased altogether.

·          “God is vitally concerned that men should pray. Men are bettered by prayer, and the world is bettered by praying. God does His best work for the world through prayer. God’s greatest glory and man’s highest good are secured by prayer.

David’s emphasis on morning prayer:















David’s Commitment to Morning Prayer


David asks Adoni Yahweh, our Father God to hear his prayer. He asks that God will respond to his words, and consider his thoughts, and addresses Him personally, as both his King and his God. and declares that He is the One to whom he prays and Who is able to do what he asks. He points out that his prayer is not haphazard. It is ordered and disciplined.

And he wants God to know that he will be on the watch for His response and direction and on the watch so that he does not sin. He begins each day with prayer, for he recognizes that he must go into the day with God.

Prayer Takes Preparation (v. 1)

“Give ear to my words, O Lord”. Prayer is more than a recitation – prayer cries out to God, expecting Him to hear and David didn’t want to waste his words – he was determined to have his prayer reach God

“In the morning … in the morning …”. One of the ways the Hebrews emphasize something is by repeating it. If they say it once, they mean it, of course, but if they say it twice, they really mean it (and if they say it three times it is ultimate, like “holy, holy, holy” is the Lord; which means that He is ultimate in holiness. So the fact that David repeats “in the morning” here shows the emphasis that he put upon it. It was “in the morning” that his prayer would rise up to God.


Jesus serves as the great model for us. He was busier in ministry than any of us will ever be in our lives And yet Jesus made it a priority to get up early and seek God and pray. We should do the same thing. We should tell the Lord, “In the morning, You will hear my voice.”

Mark 1:35 “Very early in the morning, while it was still dark, Jesus got up, left the house and went off to a solitary place, where he prayed.”

The Order of the Morning Prayer


The words “order my prayer” are also very revealing. In Hebrew this is the same root word which describes how the priests “laid in order” the morning sacrifice, which was the very first act of the day in Israel.

So David is saying that just as the priests “ordered” the morning sacrifice as their first duty of the day, HIS first duty of the was going to be to let God hear his voice in prayer!

“I will arrange my prayer before You;” Just as the priest lays out the morning sacrifice. I will arrange my prayer.

“I will marshall up my prayers,”

I will put them in order, call up all my powers, and bid them stand in their proper places, that I may pray with all my might, and pray acceptably.

David didn’t have a “wait and see” attitude toward morning prayer.  He didn’t think, “If I get to bed at a decent hour and if I get up in time, I may spend some time in prayer.”  No, David was planning on crying out to God in the morning, so he tells God, ‘In the morning You will hear my voice.”  


We find this same commitment to seeking God in the morning in other Scriptures as well. 

Psalm 88:13: But I, O LORD, have cried out to You for help,  And in the morning my prayer comes before You.

Psalm 59:16: But as for me, I shall sing of Your strength;  Yes, I shall joyfully sing of Your lovingkindness in the morning, 

For You have been my stronghold  And a refuge in the day of my distress.

We see that there is great precedent for seeking God in the morning through prayer.  


Notice how David describes his prayer time in Psalm 5:3.  First, “In the morning I will prepare [a prayer and a sacrifice] for You”  There’s the inference of planning and even structure.  Here David says that he will “order” or prepare his prayers to God. 


Our spirit in prayer

Psalm 5:3 ends with David saying that he will wait in expectation for an answer to his prayer. A picture of David offering his prayer and then looking all around him for the answer. David is offering a prayer in faith and not in doubt.

This is excellent example of the type of spirit we must have in prayer. Many times we have a spirit of hopelessness and not a spirit of expectation/faith which the Lord is looking for when we approach the throne.

That spirit of expectation would mean more persistence in prayer and our prayers would have more urgency.
We may need an attitude change when approaching God in prayer.


David’s priorities in prayer

























A sense of urgency:                      













In verse 1 David says, “give ear to my words.” We should notice that this is not the only way to offer prayer to God.

In verse 2 we see that David is also crying to God. Our cries are heard by God as well. This reinforces our knowledge that God knows our suffering, our anguish, and our hurts, and hears and sees us in our times of struggle.

We learn that we can approach God even with pain that cannot be put into words. God does not hear us simply because we begin with “our Father in heaven” and close with “in Jesus’ name.”

God hears when we approach with a right spirit. And Alan will be talking more about this next week.

David does not begin by trying to plead his own righteousnessThis gets us nowhere with God. It is only by God’s mercy that we can have any standing with God and are not destroyed.

In Titus 3:5 we read that it is according to God’s mercy that we are saved and not by our works of righteousness.

Because of God’s mercy we can be led in His righteousness, guidance and direction. We show true wisdom to ask God to guide our lives.


The psalm immediately begins with a sense of urgency on David’s part. Notice the words David uses: give ear, consider, and listen. To give ear has a literal meaning of “broadening the ear” as with the hand. The word “listen” literally means “to incline the ear.” So David is asking the Lord to perk up His ears to the things that David is about to pray.


David is not merely going through a prayer routine as he begins to speak to God. David has an intensity and urgency in his prayer.

How often our prayers merely come from a sense of routine and not a sense of urgency.

When was the last time that we prayed to God with such urgency that we said “Give ear to my words, O Lord?” We have that right and ability to do so, yet how rarely do we do that.

David shows us that to approach God in prayer, we ought to have intensity and not a prayer formula.

In the New Testament, James refers to Elijah who “prayed earnestly” that it would not rain, and it did not (James 5:17 -18). It is that kind of urgency that receives answered prayer.

Pray with commitment – pray through

Reuben Archer Torrey was an American evangelist, pastor, educator, and writer. Torrey wrote: “Oh, men and women, pray through; pray through! Do not just begin to pray and pray a little while and throw up your hands and quit; but pray and pray and pray until God bends the heavens and comes down.”

When David says, “In the morning, O LORD”, that word “LORD” is the Hebrew word Yahweh; the personal name of God. It is the name God gave Moses when he asked Him His name.

David’s commitment to prayer came out of his personal relationship with God. He wasn’t just praying to “any” lord or god. He was praying to Yahweh, the God whom Genesis says created the heavens and the earth; the God who told Moses His name, and brought the people of Israel out of the land of Egypt; the God whom David knew personally, whom he referred to when he said, “Yahweh is my Shepherd.”


This God promised a Messiah, and He came in the Person of Jesus Christ, who, when confronted by the Jewish religious leaders, said, “Before Abraham came into being, I AM!” JESUS is the “I AM”! He said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father except through Me.”

And when we follow Jesus as our Lord & Savior, we know that “I AM” God personally — and want to talk with Him every day. Our prayer time is not just a “religious deed”, but the expression of the personal relationship we have with God — just like David’s was.


Pray with Persistence We can see a persistency in the prayer David is bringing to God. David was not praying on one morning. David saying “in the morning” he was saying that he was praying every morning.

Jesus taught the need for persistence in prayer. In Luke 18:1 we are told that Jesus “spoke a parable to them, that men always ought to pray and not lose heart.”


In the psalms, we can see the many desperate situations David found himself in. Yet David still relied upon prayer, repeatedly asking for the Lord to answer.


and eagerly watch”


The idea is, I am going to pray — and then I am going to look up, and watch, and see what God will do in response to my prayer.

Our prayers must be prayers of faith if they are going to please God. Hebrews 11:6 says, “Without faith, it is impossible to please Him.” So if our prayers are going to please God, they must be prayers of faith. Like David, we should pray — and then watch expectantly to see what He does in response.

Unfortunately, many of our prayers are not “watchful”, expectant prayers. They are just “rote”; “routine.”

I know that there have been times when I haven’t really expected anything to happen; so am almost surprised when something does happen!

It’s like the disciples in Acts 12, who were gathered in Mary’s house, praying for Peter to be released from prison after James had been killed.

The Lord DID hear and answer their prayers miraculously, as an angel set Peter free from prison. He went through Jerusalem to Mary’s house where everyone was gathered, and when the servant girl answered the door and ran and told them that Peter was at the door, they wouldn’t believe her! In fact, they told her, “You are out of your mind!”

Peter just stood out there knocking, and they finally let him in, and it says “they were amazed.” They were NOT a good example of what David is talking about in Psalm 5:3. They were NOT “eagerly watching”!

But it does not change the fact that we SHOULD expect an answer. We should pray in faith like David did. He said “I will order my prayer to You, and I will eagerly watch”! He wasn’t just praying as a routine religious act; he expected God to do something — and we should too!


Let’s spend the first part of our praying in thankfulness/praise before lifting up our requests to God — and then watch and see what God does in response.

A good question for each of us to ask ourselves: “Is there a prayer request I have, which I am just praying on ‘auto pilot’ — but I am not really expecting God to do anything about it?”

Or, are you and I looking around expectantly every day, watching to see what God will do? That’s what David did — and that’s what we should do as well: pray — and then “eagerly watch”!


And that is what you and I must do, if we are going to spend time with God to begin our day. It is not just going to “happen”; we have to be committed to do it, and plan to carry it out. We’ve got to set our alarm for the time we need; we have to have our Bible and notebook and prayer list ready; we need to have a plan for what we are going to do. But most importantly you and I have to be committed for it to happen. It has to become our priority in 2018 and beyond.


Today is our 1st Sunday in 2018 & no doubt some will have made new year resolutions.

It’s a great time too, to be committing ourselves to deepening our relationship with God and for committing ourselves to pray as David did and see our Lord truly move in each of our lives, and here at FBC.

There is a sheet with some questions/thoughts you might like to consider as a follow up to today and next week, Alan will be talking about praying in the Spirit. Tony Mace will preach the last sermon in the series on January 21st on the Place, Practice and Power of prayer.

We are going to move into communion now and today we would like to pray for each person as you come forward. We also have someone who can bring communion to you if you feel unable to do that.

Alan, can you please pray before we serve each person.