May 12, 2017. Psalm 65-67, 69-70
In Order. My Sin and My Prayer
I find it difficult to pray to God when I know that I have sinned. As if God would find out something about me that He would only know by my telling him. According to our reading this morning in the Psalms nothing could be further from the truth.
Psalm 69:5 O God, you know how foolish I am ; my sins cannot be hidden from you.
In fact God knows far to well that I just don’t occasionally sin by I am overwhelmed by my sin.
Psalm 65:3 Though we are overwhelmed by our sins, you forgive them all.
The word “overwhelmed” mean not just in quantity but in power. Sin overpowers us and makes us think things of our sin and God that is simply not true. One falsehood that sin wants us to believe is that God cannot or will not forgive our sin. This verse clearly teaches us that God will forgive all our sin no matter how many or how bad they seem to us. Sin can develop a false sense of pride in us that says “I am the only exception” to the truth that God forgives all and everybody’s sin who ask Him for forgiveness. You are special but not that special!
Does God hear the prayer of a sinner?
Psalm 66: 17-20 For I cried out to him for help, praising him as I spoke. 18 If I had not confessed the sin in my heart, the Lord would not have listened. 19 But God did listen! He paid attention to my prayer. 20 Praise God, who did not ignore my prayer or withdraw his unfailing love from me.
Am I accepted by God because I am good or I am a sinner. Listen to how Jesus answered that question.
Luke 18:9-14 Then Jesus told this story to some who had great confidence in their own righteousness and scorned everyone else: 10 “two men went to the Temple to pray. One was a Pharisee, and the other was a despised tax collector. 11 The Pharisee stood by himself and prayed this prayer: ‘I thank you, God, that I am not like other people – cheaters, sinners, adulterers. I’m certainly not like that tax collector! 12 I fast twice a week, and I give you a tenth of my income.’
13 “but the tax collector stood at a distance and dared not even lift his eyes to heaven as he prayed. Instead, he beat his chest in sorrow, saying ‘O God, be merciful to me, for I am a sinner.’ 14 I tell you, this sinner, not the Pharisee, returned home justified before God. For those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted.”
Does God hear the prayer of me a sinner? The truth of the matter is that God does hear the prayer of sinners, or else you and I would all still be sinners. God hears you when you said, “Oh God, be merciful to me a sinner.” Rejoice in the fact that the Lord hears your prayer!
God be merciful to me a sinner. This day I know I will sin and when I do please remind me to come to you as soon as possible to receive your forgiveness and reassurance that you still love me and want to bless me. As quick as you are to forgive me may I also this day forgive those who sin against me.