16Come and listen, all you who fear God, and I will tell you what he did for me.17For I cried out to him for help, praising him as I spoke. 18If I had not confessed the sin in my heart, the Lord would not have listened. 19But God did listen! He paid attention to my prayer. 20Praise God, who did not ignore my prayer or withdraw his unfailing love from me.
David had a big problem, and like David, sometimes we will find ourselves in serious situations which we can let dictate our response to life. David reminds us that we don’t have to respond to the problems of life by focusing on them because we have something bigger than problems, we have the person of Jesus Christ. What are you going to respond to, the problem or the person of Jesus, are you going to panic or pray? David chose to respond to God with everything he had “he cried out to God”. Many times we hold back in our response to God but one of the greatest things we can do is to cry out to Him. Are you facing a difficult situation, do you need God to deliver you? Who are you turning to, who will you cry out to?
David understood that it was God alone who could deliver. He teaches us several things about deliverance as we look backwards through these verses and depend on God through prayer.
- David’s preparation for deliverance v. 18
Many times we just want God to fix or change our situation, what is going on around me, but is that the real problem? Often the perceived problem that shows up on the outside is really tied to the personal problem that is raging inside. David was willing to prepare to be delivered by peering into what was happening on the inside. David’s inspection of his own heart revealed the real problem – sin. David knew the power of God and he understood that only God could deliver. He also knew about the power of sin and he understood the barrier of sin. Our prayers will be ineffective if our lifestyle is in contradiction with our lips. Are your lips saying one thing and your life saying another? Our character and our conduct should match and when our lips praise while our life profanes we have a problem. When we become polluted and poisoned our prayer life becomes paralyzed and powerless. Sin has the power to dominate and dictate our lives to take control and become the captain, holding us captive as we become caught by its crippling condition. David sought God’s deliverance first from sin and then the situation. Are we more concerned with results or repentance, with the fixing or forgiveness? David reveals a heart that is right with God, a heart that is prepared for His deliverance. Is there anything that prevents you from praying effectively? Do you need to look inward and take inventory of your heart?
- David’s Position for deliverance. Vs 17
So many times we try everything we can do to fix the situation first, and then we say “I guess all I can do now is pray.” It’s almost as if we feel like we have to “give in” to prayer instead of we get to pray. The position of prayer is humility and David’s cry to God was not just a cry about the situation it was also a cry of surrender. He was surrendering his way, his life, and his power. We dislike surrender because it’s a loss of control and it makes us feel powerless and vulnerable. David wasn’t crying out because he was in control and we need to understand that we are already powerless and vulnerable. Crying out to God, surrendering our lives to Him, opens the flood gates of His power so we can experience the surge of His peace. Do you need to surrender today?
- David’s proclamation of deliverance Vs 16
David wanted to share what God had done for him, his testimony, not only of God’s power but God’s personal care “what he did for me”. Many times we focus more on the problem than the person of Jesus, but God cares about us. We get to that place where we cry out to God with the problem but do we cry out to others with the praise? God had done great things for David and he wanted everyone to know about it. Praise should be the result of a clean heart crying out to God. God deserves our praise and the world deserves to know about His power. David is essentially telling us the score, God – 1, the difficult circumstances of his life – 0. When we cry out with praise it will encourage others to cry out to the Lord in their despair and in their need of deliverance. Do you need to cry out in praise?