Prayer Defined

Prayer is a sincere, sensible, affectionate pouring out of the heart or soul to God, through Christ, in the strength and assistance of the Holy Spirit, for such things as God has promised, or according to the Word of God, for the good of the church, with submission in faith to the will of God.

~ John Bunyan (1628-1688)

I Lift Up My Soul

Be merciful to me, O Lord, For I cry to You all day long. Rejoice the soul of Your servant, For to You, O Lord, I lift up my soul.

~ Psalm 86:3-4 (NKJV)

John Bunyan once wrote, “In times of affliction we commonly meet with the sweet experiences of the love of God.” As we continue our study through Psalm 86, verses 3 and 4, we find the Psalmist in fervent supplication to his Lord for tender mercies in a time of trouble. Like Bunyan would later write, David is longing for that sweet experience of God’s love in times of affliction.

In these verses, we see the heart of the Lord’s servant laid bare. David was man who suffered afflictions both inwardly and outwardly. He knew first hand the need for God’s mercy. So here we find him crying out for just that. Notice his plea for mercy is “all day long”. David’s prayer was on-going. He understood the remedy for his trouble was found no place else save the mercy of Almighty God. Therefore we see the importunity, the persistence, of his prayer.

David is seeking restoration, the refreshing, of his soul. This portion of his prayer is a cry for the interposing of divine grace during a trial of adversity. The soul of this servant is being offered up unto the Lord so that He might tend it, nurture it and comfort it. David’s spirit yearns for deliverance from these present afflictions so it might be restored to the joy of the Lord.

Do we seek God persistently in our prayers? Can we allow ourselves to cry out to the Lord in the midst of our own adversity? David would not stop seeking God’s face, His merciful hand, until the rejoicing of his soul had been restored. Affliction can deepen your faith and draw you closer to the Lord and the sweet experience of His love if you will only lift your soul up to Him.