Psa 143 Image






Praying to the Lord

Here is a good example of how to pray

Psalm 143

Don Ruhl • Savage Street, Grants Pass, Oregon • January 20, In the year of our Lord Christ, 2019


  1. The Jewish Council arrested Peter and John, and
    1. warned them not to speak at all nor teach in the name of Jesus.
    2. The apostles went back to the church and
      1. reported what had happened.
      2. Then the church prayed,
        1. using Psalm 2 in its prayer.
        2. It was right and scriptural for them to do so.
  2. Ephesians 5 says that we should use the Psalms:

    18 And do not be drunk with wine, in which is dissipation; but be filled with the Spirit, 19 speaking to one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord… (Ephesians 5.18–19).

    1. Therefore, I am preaching through the Book of Psalms.
    2. After this one, I will only have seven more to go.


  1. Psalm 143.0 | Use the Psalms

    0 A Psalm of David.

    1. What David wrote
      1. he wrote from his own heart
      2. as the Holy Spirit guided him.
    2. What David wrote has application for us today.
      1. There is nothing about this Psalm
      2. that restricts it to him or Israel.
  2. Psalm 143.1 | Petition God to Hear

    1 Hear my prayer, O LORD,
    Give ear to my supplications!
    In Your faithfulness answer me,
    And in Your righteousness.

    1. As you read Psalms such as this one,
      1. you might question why David pled so much,
        1. in just one prayer,
      2. for God to hear.
        1. Prayer is a privilege and a right, but
        2. sometimes we forget that it is a privilege.
          1. We have the right because
            1. we can go boldly to the throne of God
            2. as His children.
          2. Yet, it is a privilege because
            1. we are mere creatures speaking to the Creator, and
            2. at one time we had been sinners.
      3. Likewise, sometimes we forget who is the servant.
        1. We use prayer as though God is our servant.
        2. However, as David states twice in this Psalm,
          1. we are God’s servants.
          2. Yes, He is our Father and we are His children, but
            1. that is still the same thing,
            2. He is above us.
      4. And I think David understood these things and
        1. that is why you read of his pleadings for God to hear.
        2. Perhaps back in the days of David,
          1. they had a similar saying to what we have today:
            1. Pray as though everything depends upon God and
            2. work as though everything depends upon you.
          2. That is how David lived.
    2. David wanted God to hear, but
      1. David also wanted God to answer
      2. in His faithfulness and in His righteousness, or as we would say
        1. David wanted God to answer according to His will.
        2. David did not want God to do something contrary to His nature.
          1. While David had his own wishes on the matter,
          2. he knew that it did not all depend upon him.
  3. Psalm 143.2 | Why We Do Not Want God to Judge Us

    2 Do not enter into judgment with Your servant,
    For in Your sight no one living is righteous.

    1. We will see that David wanted help against the enemy.
    2. He certainly did not want God to enter into judgment against him.
      1. David explained why in a simple but profound declaration:
      2. “In Your sight no one living is righteous.”

        3 “If one wished to contend with Him,
        He could not answer Him one time out of a thousand.”
        (Job 9.3)

        14 “How then can I answer Him,
        And choose my words to reason with Him?
        15 For though I were righteous, I could not answer Him;
        I would beg mercy of my Judge.”
        (Job 9.14–15)

    3. I think we all know what David and Job meant.
      1. That is why some people are terrified of dying.
      2. The Judgment frightens them.
  4. Psalm 143.3–4 | Explain Your Problem

    3 For the enemy has persecuted my soul;
    He has crushed my life to the ground;
    He has made me dwell in darkness,
    Like those who have long been dead.
    4 Therefore my spirit is overwhelmed within me;
    My heart within me is distressed.

    1. Those are the words of a man overwhelmed by an enemy or a problem.
      1. He was
        1. persecuted,
        2. crushed,
        3. in darkness, and
        4. nearly dead.
      2. What someone was doing to him
        1. overwhelmed him and
        2. distressed his heart.
    2. My point is that David told God what he was experiencing.
      1. Speak to God of exactly what is happening to you.
      2. Do not fear sounding weak, because
        1. He knows exactly what kind of person you are.
          1. He knows your every strength and
          2. He knows your every weakness.
        2. So come out and tell him
          1. that you are afraid,
          2. that you are weak,
          3. that you need help,
          4. that you do not know what to do.
    3. David did not hesitate to open his heart completely to God.
      1. What do you have to hide.
      2. He knows everything that is in there anyway.
  5. Psalm 143.5–6 | Think on God’s Works

    5 I remember the days of old;
    I meditate on all Your works;
    I muse on the work of Your hands.
    6 I spread out my hands to You;
    My soul longs for You like a thirsty land.

    1. This is where David got his strength, and
      1. this is where you can get your strength.
      2. This is why we have the record of ancient Israel and the first century church in the Bible.
        1. We can see the things they experienced,
        2. how they dealt with them, and then
          1. go on to victory just as they did.
    2. The sons of Korah in Psalm 42 spoke similar words:

      5 Why are you cast down, O my soul?
      And why are you disquieted within me?
      Hope in God, for I shall yet praise Him
      For the help of His countenance.
      6 O my God, my soul is cast down within me;
      Therefore I will remember You from the land of the Jordan,
      And from the heights of Hermon,
      From the Hill Mizar.
      (Psalm 42.5–6)
    3. If you do what David did in verse 5, you will be as him in verse 6.
      1. Verse 5:
        1. He remembered the days of old,
          1. such as in Israel’s history or
          2. in David’s own life.
        2. He meditated on all God’s works.
          1. That would be everything mentioned in Scripture and
          2. everything in the world.
        3. He mused on the works of God’s hands,
          1. knowing that God was behind his life and Israel’s national life.
          2. He knew that God personally worked in his life.
      2. Verse 6:
        1. Thinking on those things
        2. moved David to spread out His hands to God, and
          1. to tell God that his soul longed for God
          2. like a thirsty land longs for water.
    4. I am hear to tell you:
      1. Think on everything that God has done in the past,
      2. even if you do not think that it has anything to do with your issue.
        1. Think on Israel in Egypt and
          1. the institution of the sacrificial system.
        2. Think on Jesus walking the land of Israel and
          1. meeting all kinds of people along the way.
        3. Think on the wonders of natural creation and
          1. how God has made it perfectly for you to live here.
      3. Watch how those thoughts affect
        1. your faith in God and
        2. your prayers to Him.
  6. Psalm 143.7–9 | Plead for God to Answer

    7 Answer me speedily, O LORD;
    My spirit fails!
    Do not hide Your face from me,
    Lest I be like those who go down into the pit.
    8 Cause me to hear Your lovingkindness in the morning,
    For in You do I trust;
    Cause me to know the way in which I should walk,
    For I lift up my soul to You.
    9 Deliver me, O LORD, from my enemies;
    In You I take shelter.

    1. These are the words of a desperate man.
      1. He was not demanding that God answer him RIGHT NOW, but
      2. he saw defeat happening right around the corner.
        1. Therefore, he placed his life before the Lord,
        2. needing help right away.
    2. He did not want God to hide His face because
      1. when you are in dire straits
      2. you think that God has hidden His face from you.
        1. Yet, one of the countless things that Scripture shows
        2. is that God works behind the scenes.
          1. David knew that just because he could not see God’s face,
          2. did not mean that God could not see David’s face.
            1. He was not asking God to show His face, but
            2. for God to look His way and help.
              1. Otherwise, David believed
              2. that he would go down into the pit, he would die.
    3. By the next morning he was hoping to hear
      1. of the Lord’s lovingkindness,
      2. that the Lord had rendered the help that David needed, for
        1. in God David trusted.
        2. David knew that God had the capability.
          1. It was not a test of God’s ability, but
          2. it was a matter of whether God would help.

            2 And behold, a leper came and worshiped Him, saying, “Lord, if You are willing, You can make me clean.” 3 Then Jesus put out His hand and touched him, saying, “I am willing; be cleansed.” Immediately his leprosy was cleansed (Matthew 8.2–3)
    4. It is important to see in verse 8,
      1. that David also wanted the Lord to know
      2. that he wanted the Lord to instruct him in the way that he should go.
        1. This prayer was not a momentary thing with David,
        2. he wanted instruction for life.
          1. He did not just want the Lord for this moment, but
          2. to be with him as he went in the way that he should go.
    5. David was not making a promise of something that he would do
      1. to persuade God to rescue him, but
      2. David lifted up his soul to God.
        1. This was a whole self, a whole life thing.
  7. Teach me to do Your will,
    For You are my God;
    Your Spirit is good.
    Lead me in the land of uprightness.
    11 Revive me, O LORD, for Your name’s sake!
    For Your righteousness’ sake bring my soul out of trouble.
    12 In Your mercy cut off my enemies,
    And destroy all those who afflict my soul;
    For I am Your servant.

    1. David continued to ask for instruction in the will of God.
      1. That made sense to David because
        1. Jehovah was his God.
        2. David knew the Spirit of God as being good.
      2. Since He was David’s God and
        1. since God’s Spirit is good,
        2. David asked for God’s leadership.
    2. Then David went back to the subject of this prayer.
      1. He needed his soul rescued from his current trouble.
      2. Enemies were afflicting His soul.
        1. However, David was God’s servant.
        2. He knew that He could make such a request of God because
          1. David repeated from earlier
          2. that he was God’s servant.