A Prayer That God Will Always Answer
I was filling up hay wagons the other day when I finally reached a point physically, emotionally and spiritually where I just could not go any further. I was at the point of absolute exhaustion, helplessness, brokenness and hopelessness. If the Lord did not come through and restore my soul, renew His Spirit within me, and touch my body, I just absolutely could not make it another day. He had to give me hope to face the present and the future!
For the last few months, I have written about spiritual warfare, about putting on the full armor of God and taking up the Sword of the Spirit which is the Word of God. I write about these things because I deal with people here and around the world who are heavily engaged in the battle and are getting wounded, tired and discouraged, and I want to encourage them with God’s Word and His promises. I also write about these things because most people I see and talk to do not even realize that a there is a battle raging that has eternal significance—not to mention the fact that they are not prepared for or dressed for battle, making them sure prey of the enemy. I am sounding the alarm, calling all Christians, calling the Church to wake up, get dressed for battle and join the fight for the souls and welfare of men, women and children all around the world. I am also calling the lost to repentance and to faith in Christ Jesus who is our only hope for victory and for life!
I also, write about these things because I too am heavily engaged in the battle and have many of the wounds, the scars, and feelings that only those who have been in a war zone can identify with. I study and write about God’s Word to remind and encourage myself so that I do not become complacent, so that I do not become tired and discouraged and walk away from the battlefield, and most importantly so that I do not lose the battle for myself or for others.
I thank the Lord for a spiritual mentor, Rev. Ron Ball, who encouraged me and helped me years ago to memorize Scripture. It is in these difficult times when the battles are raging, that I can draw upon the Word of God that is hidden in my heart and use it against the enemy who is out to destroy me and everything God wants to do in and through me.
That day in the hay field when I reached the point of desperation, a prayer that David prayed in Psalms 51:10-12 kept coming back to me. It took me a few hours to pull it all up in my mind again, but it was hidden in my heart and the Holy Spirit was faithful to speak it afresh and anew to my heart and make it my prayer.
Listen to the prayer that David prayed after he saw his sin in his adulterous relationship with Bathsheba: “Create in me a pure heart O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me. Do not cast me from your presence or take your Holy Spirit from me. Restore to me the joy of your salvation and grant me a willing spirit, to sustain me.”
If you notice, David is asking God to do something new and to re-do something He had already done.
- 1.“Create in me a pure heart O God” David realized that his heart was not right and that there was sin in his life. For David, it was adultery. For you and me, it may be an outward sin, a lack of faith, misplaced priorities, or just a sinful attitude that is displeasing to God—either way it is sin and separates us from God. David knew that forgiveness, restoration and healing had to begin with sincere repentance and confession of his sin. He did not call it a mistake or make up any excuses, it was impurity, it was sin that was in his heart. Paul said in 1Cor4:4: “My conscious is clear, but that does not make me innocent. It is the Lord who judges me.” Sometimes, we may not have done anything that offends our own conscience, but we just know things are not right in our heart. That is why we need to ask God to create in us a heart that is pure in His sight.
- 2.“Renew a steadfast spirit within me” David asked God to renew a spirit and a faith that was immovable, determined, loyal, not subject to change; a heart totally committed to God and His will for his life. There was a time when David has this steadfast spirit, you can read about in 1Samuel and other places, but somehow, he had taken his eyes off of the Lord and wandered away from His will. David saw his condition and asked God for help.
- 3.“Do not cast me from your presence or take your Holy Spirit from me” David knew God’s promise that “I will never leave you nor forsake you” as recorded in Joshua 1:4 was true. David had recognized and praised God for his unending faithfulness and presence many times in Scripture, especially when he faced the giant Goliath with just a slingshot, a few stones and the presence of Almighty God, yet at this point in his life, he did not sense God’s presence nor the power, anointing or strength of the Holy Spirit in His life. He felt all alone and was miserable.
- 4.“Restore to me the joy of your salvation” David knew his salvation came from God and not from his own good works. Once you have experienced the Joy of salvation that comes only though Jesus Christ, you are forever miserable and powerless without it. Nehemiah 8:10 tells us that “the Joy of the Lord is our strength.” Sin, whether it be intentional or neglectful, always robs us of our joy and without the joy of the Lord’s salvation, without knowing who we are in Him, life becomes hopeless and meaningless and we become weak and mournful.
- 5.“Grant me a willing spirit to sustain me” David said it is not within me to go on. Your Holy Spirit has to empower me and give me the strength and courage to stay in the fight. I am asking for my will to surrender to your will. Jesus prayed a very similar prayer in the Garden of Gethsemane: “Father if you are willing, take this cup from me; yet not my will, but yours be done.” We see here that the will of Jesus and the will of the Father were not the same, but Jesus was willing to surrender His will to do the Father’s will. David asked God to give him a spirit that was willing to do His will.
Have you ever been this desperate? Have you ever been to the point where you just did not see how you could face another day unless something miraculous happened? Perhaps you are there now! If you will sincerely pray this prayer from the heart, God will meet you and give you a pure heart, a steadfast spirit, the eternal presence of His Holy Spirit, the joy of His salvation, and a willing spirit that will sustain you through all of life’s battles.