Psalm 66: Lessons Regarding the Praise That Jesus is Owed

Introduction: In Psalm 66, the psalmist proclaimed that only God has the ability to control the seas. Jesus later fulfilled Psalm 66 by controlling the seas and demonstrating His divine power. Here, the psalmist gives several reasons to praise God, all of which apply equally to Jesus. Jesus is owed praise and will one day receive it for: (1) the glory of His Name, (2) His omnipotence, (3) omniscience, (4) protection, (5) sanctification, (6) fellowship, and (7) answered prayers.

First, the psalmist praised the glory of God’s name and stated that all creation would one day do so. You should also praise Jesus for the Glory of His Name. He is holy and righteous. All creation will one day bow down before Him and praise Him. Second, the psalmist also praised God for His omnipotent power. He uses His power to deliver His people. You should also praise Jesus for using His awesome power out of love for you. He created the perfect world for you to live in, and He will deliver you from evil. Third, the psalmist further praised God for watching over His people to protect them and give them life. You should also praise Jesus for using His all-knowing power to watch over you. Fourth, the psalmist also praised God for using His power to protect His people. You should also praise Jesus because He loves you and protects you. Fifth, the psalmist further praised God for refining and molding His people. You should also praise Jesus for refining and molding you through your trials to be holy for His use. Sixth, the psalmist stated that He would respond to God’s love by offering burnt offerings to be in fellowship with God. You can praise Jesus for providing the means for your atonement, and because He desires most Your fellowship. Finally, the psalmist praised God because He hears and answers prayers. You should also praise Jesus because He also hears and answers prayers.

1. The Glory of His Name: Praise Jesus for the Glory of His Name. Ps. 66:1-4.

  • The psalmist praised the glory of God’s name across the Earth. The psalmist proclaimed that all creation on Earth would one day rise up and praise the glory of God’s holy name: “For the music director. A Song. A Psalm. 1 Shout joyfully to God, all the earth; sing the glory of His name; make His praise glorious. Say to God, ‘How awesome are Your works! Because of the greatness of Your power Your enemies will pretend to obey You. All the earth will worship You, and will sing praises to You; they will sing praises to Your name.’ Selah” (Ps. 66:1-4). Commentator Walter Kaiser once stated: “What then is involved in the ‘name’ of God?  His name includes: (1) his nature, being and very person (Psalm 20:1; Luke 24:47; John 1:12; cf. Rev. 3:4), (2) his teachings and doctrines (Ps. 22:22; John 17:6, 26), and (3) his ethical directions and morals (Mic. 4:5.)” We praise the Holy Name of Jesus because everything about His character and works are perfect.

  • Glorify Jesus’ Holy name.  Jesus instructs believers to give glory to God’s name:  “Pray, then, in this way: ‘Our Father who is in heaven, hallowed be Your name . . .”  (Matt. 6:9).  God is worthy of your complete devotion and loving admiration.  One day all creation will bow down and also praise Jesus’ holy name: “so that at the name of Jesus every knee will bow, of those who are in heaven and on earth and under the earth,” (Phil. 2:10). “And I heard every created thing which is in heaven, or on the earth, or under the earth, or on the sea, and all the things in them, saying, ‘To Him who sits on the throne and to the Lamb be the blessing, the honor, the glory, and the dominion forever and ever.’” (Rev. 5:13). Give glory to Jesus because He is holy, loving, merciful, and just.

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All creation will one day praise and give glory to Jesus’ Holy Name1

  • The psalmists regularly praised the “name of the Lord.” Throughout the Psalms, the psalmist also specifically and repeatedly referred to the “glory” God’s holy name as an example for us in both prayer and song: “Ascribe to the Lord the glory due His name; bring an offering, and come before Him; worship the Lord in holy array.”  (1 Ch. 16:29). “O magnify the Lord with me, and let us exalt His name together.”  (Ps. 34:3). “Ascribe to the Lord the glory due to His name; worship the Lord in holy array.”  (Ps. 29:2).  “All nations whom You have made shall come and worship before You, O Lord, and they shall glorify Your name.”  (Ps. 86:9).  “God is known in Judah; His name is great in Israel.” (Ps. 76:1).  “A Psalm, a song for the Sabbath day.  It is good to give thanks to the Lord and to sing praises to Your name, O Most High;”  (Ps. 92:1). “I will be glad and exult in You; I will sing praise to Your name, O Most High.”  (Ps. 9:2). “I will give thanks to the Lord according to His righteousness and will sing praise to the name of the Lord most high.”  (Ps. 7:17).  “Sing the glory of His name; make His praise glorious.”  (Ps. 66:2).  “Sing to God, sing praises to His name; lift up a song for Him who rides through the deserts, whose name is the Lord, and exult before Him.”  (Ps. 68:4).  “Praise the Lord, for the Lord is good; sing praises to His name, for it is lovely.”  (Ps. 135:3).  Are you specifically calling Jesus’ name “holy” in your prayers?

2. Omnipotence: Praise Jesus for Using His Power Out of Love. Ps. 66:5-6.

  • God demonstrates His omnipotent power through His control over nature. The psalmist also praised God for using His control over the seas to deliver and redeem His people: “Come and see the works of God, who is awesome in His deeds toward the sons of mankind. He turned the sea into dry land; they passed through the river on foot; let’s rejoice there, in Him!” (Ps. 66:5-6). On several other occasions, the Psalms proclaim that only God can control the power of the seas: “You rule the surging of the sea; when its waves rise, You calm them.” (Ps. 89:9). “He caused the storm to be still, so that the waves of the sea were hushed.” (Ps. 107:29). Jesus later demonstrated that He is God through His control over the seas. He also uses His power to deliver His people.

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Praise God that He uses His omnipotent power out of love for mankind2

  • God showed His omnipotent power by drying the Red Sea. To demonstrate His power to redeem His people, God parted the waters at the Red Sea to allow His people to walk across the Sea on dry land: “Then Moses reached out with his hand over the sea; and the LORD swept the sea back by a strong east wind all night, and turned the sea into dry land, and the waters were divided. So the sons of Israel went through the midst of the sea on the dry land, and the waters were like a wall to them on their right and on their left.” (Ex. 14:21-22). God then again showed His power by causing the Sea to collapse onto the Egyptian army when they attempted to follow after His people: “So Moses reached out with his hand over the sea, and the sea returned to its normal state at daybreak, while the Egyptians were fleeing right into it; then the LORD overthrew the Egyptians in the midst of the sea.” (Heb. 14:27). “By faith they passed through the Red Sea as through dry land; and the Egyptians, when they attempted it, were drowned.” (Heb. 11:29). God again demonstrated His omnipotent power when He parted the River Jordan (Josh. 3:17).

  • Jesus’ righteous works are “awesome” and worthy to be feared. The psalmist twice proclaimed: “How awesome are Your works!” …who is awesome in His deeds…” (Ps. 66:3, 5). The word “awesome” is frequently used to describe God’s magnificent and righteous works: “By awesome deeds You answer us in righteousness, God of our salvation, You who are the trust of all the ends of the earth and the farthest sea;” (Ps. 66:5). “And in Your majesty ride on victoriously, for the cause of truth, humility, and righteousness; let Your right hand teach You awesome things.” (Ps. 45:4). Although the adjective “awesome” is commonly used in English, in Hebrew it was reserved for the holy things of God, worthy to be feared. Jesus is worthy of your awe and reverence.

  • Jesus demonstrated His divinity by fulfilling Psalm 66. To demonstrate He is God, Jesus fulfilled the description of God in Psalm 66:6 through His control over the seas to save His disciples: “He said to them, ‘Why are you afraid, you men of little faith?’ Then He got up and rebuked the winds and the sea, and it became perfectly calm. The men were amazed, and said, ‘What kind of a man is this, that even the winds and the sea obey Him?”’ (Matt. 8:26-27; Mk. 4:39, Lk. 8:24). You should praise Jesus because He is not a remote, all-powerful God. Instead, out of love, He uses His power to deliver you.

  • Jesus sits on the throne in heaven and is sovereign over all.  Jesus is the fulfillment of God’s promises to David and the prophets.  He was born into the line of David (Matt. 1:1).  He came to fulfill God’s covenant with David as the eternal King of Kings:  “He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High; and the Lord God will give Him the throne of His father David; and He will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and His kingdom will have no end.”  (Lk. 1:32-33).  “And on His robe and on His thigh He has a name written, ‘King of Kings, and Lord of Lords.’”  (Rev. 19:16).  You can also give thanks that you will forever live under His righteous reign where you will be protected from any evil. This is one of the many reasons for you to praise Him.

  • Praise Jesus because He uses His sovereign power for good.  You can give thanks that Jesus uses His power over everything to cause all things to work together for His greater good:  “And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose.”   (Ro. 8:28).  We may never know the reasons for our suffering.  But we can rest assured that Jesus has a greater plan. 

3. Omniscience: Jesus Uses His All-Knowing Power Out of Love. Ps. 66:7.

  • The psalmist proclaimed that God was watching out for them.  The psalmist also praised God because He uses His all-knowing abilities to guard His believers from evil people: “He rules by His might forever; His eyes keep watch on the nations; the rebellious shall not exalt themselves! Selah” (Ps. 66:7). While it is true that an all-knowing God knows our sins, it is the devil and his demons who need to fear God’s omniscient power.  If you accept Jesus as your Lord and Savior, all your sins will be forgiven.  You can then take comfort that the enemy’s plans are all known to God.  He can protect you from an attack before it ever happens.  He can also guide your every step for good and His will for you.

  • No sin can be concealed before the omniscient Creator.  God is omniscient (all-knowing). This includes the Father (Ps. 147:5), the Son (Jo. 16:30), and the Holy Spirit (1 Cor. 2:10). David previously reassured his friends that nothing escaped God’s eyes: “His eyes see, His eyelids test the sons of mankind.”  (Ps. 11:4b).  Like David, Job also declared that God is infinitely wise and knows each person’s actions:  “For He looks to the ends of the earth; He sees everything under the heavens.” (Job 28:24). “For His eyes are upon the ways of a person, and He sees all his steps.” (Job 34:21).  Solomon also proclaimed that nothing could be hidden from God:  “then hear in heaven, Your dwelling place, and forgive and act, and give to each in accordance with all his ways, whose heart You know—for You alone know the hearts of all mankind—”  (1 Kgs. 8:39).  “The eyes of the LORD are in every place, watching the evil and the good.”  (Prov. 15:3).  “For the eyes of the Lord move to and fro throughout the earth that He may strongly support those whose heart is completely His.”’  (2 Chr. 16:9(a)).  “For My eyes are on all their ways; they are not hidden from My face, nor is their wrongdoing concealed from My eyes.”  (Jer. 16:17; Ps. 130:3).  “And there is no creature hidden from His sight, but all things are open and laid bare to the eyes of Him to whom we must answer.”  (Heb. 4:13). Are you living life knowing that nothing is hidden from God?

  • Praise Jesus for using His omniscience to guide and help you.  In His perfect knowledge, Jesus has given you His Word to guide your steps:  “Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path.”  (Ps. 119:105).  If you study the Word, the Holy Spirit can then cause you to remember it to light the right path for you:  “But the Helper, the Holy Spirit whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and remind you of all that I said to you.”  (Jo. 14:26).  You can trust that Jesus uses His perfect knowledge out of love to protect and guide you:  “Trust in the LORD with all your heart and do not lean on your own understanding.”  (Prov. 3:5).  “Commit your way to the LORD, trust also in Him, and He will do it.”  (Ps. 37:5).  “Trust in Him at all times, you people; pour out your hearts before Him; God is a refuge for us.  Selah”  (Ps. 62:8).  “Behold, God is my salvation, I will trust and not be afraid; for the LORD GOD is my strength and song, and He has become my salvation.”  (Is. 12:2).   Are you trusting in Jesus and praising Him for watching over you, guiding you, and answering your prayers?

4. Protection: Praise Jesus that He Also Protects You out of Love. Ps. 66:8-9.

  • The psalmist praised God for protecting His people and giving them life. The psalmist proclaimed that God is also worthy of praise because of His power to protect His people: “bless our God, you peoples, and sound His praise abroad, who keeps us in life, and does not allow our feet to slip.” (Ps. 66:8-9). God’s protection is again a sign of His love for you. He is not a remote and uncaring God. He is again worthy of your praise.

  • God directs the steps of those who fear Him and take refuge in Him. As part of God’s protection, the psalmist stated that God: “does not allow our feet to slip.” (Ps. 66:9). David offered similar words of encouragement for believers to take refuge in God: “You enlarge my steps under me, and my feet have not slipped.” (Ps. 18:36). “Who is the person who fears the LORD? He will instruct him in the way he should choose.” (Ps. 25:12). “The steps of a man are established by the LORD, and He delights in his way.” (Ps. 37:23). “He watches over the feet of His godly ones, but the wicked ones are silenced in darkness; for not by might shall a person prevail.” (1 Sam. 2:9). If you take refuge in God and follow His direction, He will also protect your steps.

  • God will bless those who take refuge in Him.  David frequently sought to encourage God’s people to take refuge in Him:  “How blessed are all who take refuge in Him!”  (Ps. 2:12b).  “Taste and see that the LORD is good; how blessed is the man who takes refuge in Him!”  (Ps. 34:8).  He also encouraged others to follow his example:  “When I am afraid, I will put my trust in You.”  (Ps. 56:3).  “The righteous person will be glad in the LORD and take refuge in Him; and all the upright in heart will boast.”  (Ps. 64:10).  “For my eyes are toward You, GOD, the Lord; in You I take refuge; do not leave me defenseless.” (Ps. 141:8).  During your trials, do you place your trust in God or others?

  • God is also a shield for those who take refuge in Him.  Among the blessings that come from taking refuge in God is His promise to be your shield when you are attacked:  “As for God, His way is blameless; the word of the LORD is refined; He is a shield to all who take refuge in Him.”  (2 Sam. 22:31).  “For You bless the righteous person, LORD, You surround him with favor as with a shield.”  (Ps. 5:12).  Believers are told to put on the armor of God:  “Put on the full armor of God, so that you will be able to stand firm against the schemes of the devil.”  (Eph. 6:11).  This is only possible when you take refuge in God.  Are you going into battle against the enemy with the full armor of God?

  • When God is your shield, you never need to fear your enemy.  A good shepherd is called upon to encourage God’s people when they become fearful.  At a time when the Egyptians were seemingly ready to crush the Jews at the Red Sea, Moses encouraged the Jews to have faith while God fought their battle for them:  “13 But Moses said to the people, ‘Do not fear!  Stand by and see the salvation of the Lord which He will accomplish for you today; for the Egyptians whom you have seen today, you will never see them again forever.  14 The Lord will fight for you while you keep silent.”  (Ex. 14:13-14).  God repeatedly told His people not to fear when they faced trouble  (e.g., Gen. 15:1; 46:3; 20:20; 1 Sam. 11:13; 12:16; 2 Kin. 6:16; Is. 7:4, 41:10-13).  The battle against the enemy always belongs to Him:  “The LORD your God who goes before you will Himself fight on your behalf, just as He did for you in Egypt before your eyes,”  (Dt. 1:30; 3:22).  “When you go out to battle against your enemies and see horses and chariots and people more numerous than you, do not be afraid of them; for the LORD your God, who brought you up from the land of Egypt, is with you.”  (Dt. 20:1).  ‘“Listen, all Judah and the inhabitants of Jerusalem and King Jehoshaphat: thus says the LORD to you, ‘Do not fear or be dismayed because of this great multitude, for the battle is not yours but God’s.’”  (2 Chron. 20:15; 32:7-8).  He always wants you to rely on Him, regardless of what lies behind you or in your past.  He will be your rear guard:  “But you will not go out in haste, nor will you go as fugitives; for the LORD will go before you, and the God of Israel will be your rear guard.”  (Is. 52:12).  There is an analogy to this in the armor of God.  His armor has no protection for your back because He will protect you (Eph. 6:10-18).  Do you trust God to protect you? If so, are you encouraging others?

5. Sanctification:  Praise Jesus for Refining and Molding You. Ps. 66:10-12.

  • The psalmist praised God for refining and purifying His people. The psalmist further proclaimed that God is worthy of praise for sanctifying His people to be holy for Him: “10 For You have put us to the test, God; You have refined us as silver is refined. 11 You brought us into the net; You laid an oppressive burden upon us. 12 You made men ride over our heads; we went through fire and through water. Yet You brought us out into a place of abundance.” (Ps. 66:10-12). God also molds you through trials to sanctify you for His greater plans for you: “The psalmist praised God for life and secure position, but also recognized the hardships of life. He expressed the hardships and testing with many word pictures. · You have refined us as silver is refined: We feel the heat rising until we have no strength and stability but are melted. The impure dross rises to the top and God, the Refiner expertly scrapes it away, knowing that the silver was pure enough when He can see His own reflection in our melted metal. · You have brought us into the net: We felt the freedom of being able to swim wherever we pleased, and life was full of options and choices. Suddenly, that freedom seemed gone and our choices became few. · You laid affliction on our backs: We used to walk easy and carefree, as if we did not have a single burden. Now our backs are loaded with affliction, and we find the weight difficult to bear. · You have caused men to ride over our heads: We used to stand in battle and fight on equal footing with our enemies, if not better footing. Then we were cast down and felt them riding in triumph over us. Where once we seemed to only know victory, now we feel the sting of defeat. · We went through fire and through water: We feel that we have been through it all, and it seems that no adversity has been kept from us.” (David Guzik on Psalm 66) (emphasis original).3

  • God refines you to mold you and sanctify you. The psalmist proclaimed: “You have refined us as silver is refined.” (Ps. 66:10). God promises to refine believers through the furnace of affliction: “Behold, I have refined you, but not as silver; I have tested you in the furnace of affliction.” (Is. 48:10). “Therefore this is what the LORD of armies says: “Behold, I will refine them and put them to the test; for what else can I do, because of the daughter of My people?” (Jer. 9:7). “And He will sit as a smelter and purifier of silver, and He will purify the sons of Levi and refine them like gold and silver, so that they may present to the LORD offerings in righteousness.” (Mal. 3:3). “But He knows the way I take; when He has put me to the test, I will come out as gold.” (Job 23:10). Thus, you should trust God and let Him sanctify and mold you during your trials.

  • David encouraged believers that their trials were part of God’s greater plan for them.  To encourage believers, David stated that God used their trials to test their faith: “Please let the evil of the wicked come to an end, but establish the righteous; for the righteous God puts hearts and minds to the test.”  (Ps. 7:9).  “The Lord tests the righteous and the wicked, and His soul hates one who loves violence.”  (Ps. 11:5).  “You have put my heart to the test; You have visited me by night; You have sifted me and You find nothing; my intent is that my mouth will not offend.” (Ps. 17:3). God tests your faith to perfect it.  A faith that is never tested cannot be trusted. Thus, trust God when He tests and molds you.

  • God tests you to show you where your faith is lacking or where your heart is evil.  God cannot tempt you (Ja. 1:13-14).  He does, however, test you:  “I, the LORD, search the heart, I test the mind, even to give to each man according to his ways, according to the results of his deeds.”  (Jer. 17:10; 20:12).  Just as He did with David, God allows Satan to test you.  He tests you to show you where your heart is evil (Jer. 17:9).  He also tests you to show you where your faith is lacking.  Or, He may use testing to show that you are depending upon yourself and not God.  Or, He may allow you to be tested and suffer so that you can comfort others.  When He does test you, rejoice in knowing that His testing is designed to build up your faith:  “Consider it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter various trials,”  (Jam. 1:2).  David was a sinner.  But he invited God to search his heart to expose his sins: “Search me, God, and know my heart; put me to the test and know my anxious thoughts;”  (Ps. 139:23).  His openness to learning from his sins is what made him a man after God’s heart (Acts 13:22).  Are you inviting God to test your heart?

  • God tests your faith to perfect it.  God also molds you through His testing into the righteous person of faith that you were meant to be:  “But He knows the way I take; when He has put me to the test, I will come out as gold.”  (Job 23:10).  “For You have put us to the test, God; You have refined us as silver is refined.”  (Ps. 66:10).  “so that the proof of your faith, being more precious than gold which perishes though tested by fire, may be found to result in praise, glory, and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ;”  (1 Pet. 1:7).  “Blessed is a man who perseveres under trial; for once he has been approved, he will receive the crown of life which the Lord has promised to those who love Him.”  (Jam. 1:12).  Are you allowing God to mold you through your trials?

6. Fellowship: Praise Jesus for Providing the Means for Your Atonement, and Because He Desires Your Fellowship. Ps. 66:13-15.

  • The psalmist proclaimed that He would show gratitude through fellowship offerings. Out of gratitude, the psalmist promised to seek out God’s fellowship with burnt offerings: “13 I shall come into Your house with burnt offerings; I shall pay You my vows, 14 which my lips uttered and my mouth spoke when I was in distress. 15 I shall offer to You burnt offerings of fat animals, with the smoke of rams; I shall make an offering of bulls with male goats. Selah” (Ps. 66:13-15). The psalmist made vows in his time of distress. He would fulfill his vows as a voluntary thank offering to show His love and gratitude. A love offering was different from an atonement offering. It sought out God’s fellowship.

  • Show your gratitude by keeping your vows. Like the psalmist, believers sometimes make vows in moments of distress. But many forget their vows as soon as God delivers them. You can show your gratitude by keeping your promises to God: “From You comes my praise in the great assembly; I shall pay my vows before those who fear Him.” (Ps. 22:5). “Ascribe to the LORD the glory of His name; bring an offering and come into His courtyards.” (Ps. 96:8). Only when a sacrifice was made with the right motive would it bring joy to God: “Then You will delight in righteous sacrifices, in burnt offering and whole burnt offering; then bulls will be offered on Your altar.” (Ps. 51:19). If you make an offering to God out of obligation or ritual, it will likely bring little joy to God.

  • Jesus fulfilled the law for burnt offerings.  Fellowship with God is impossible without a burnt offering of sinless blood to atone for a person’s sins.  During Old Testament times, this was done through animals  (Lev. 1; Heb. 9:22; Lev. 17:11). Jesus later fulfilled the sacrificial laws with His death at the cross: “For by one offering He has perfected for all time those who are sanctified.” (Heb. 10:14l Rev. 7:9).  Through faith in His atoning death -- and not your own works – you are made right or “justified” before God  (2 Cor. 5:21; Rom. 3:25; Gal. 3:13; Mk. 14:24; 1 Pet. 1:18-19).  “[T]he free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.”  (Rom. 6:23).  “[W]e have now been justified by His blood.”  (Rom. 5:8-10; Gal. 2:16, 21; 3:23-24).  If you confess and repent of “unrighteousness,” Jesus is faithful to forgive you  (1 Jo. 1:9; Jo. 15:3; 1 Cor. 6:11). Thus, you cannot find fellowship with Jesus unless you accept that He died for your sins.

  • The fellowship offering. Being saved is just the first step in your walk with Jesus. Like the psalmist, Jesus wants you to seek out fellowship with Him. As a symbol of the fellowship that Jesus offers believers, He invites believers to respond to His knock on their hearts and “dine” with Him  (Rev. 3:20; Lev. 3:11, 16).  Out of gratitude, this should include: (1) a “daily” remembrance of Jesus’ sacrifice (Rom. 5:1; Eph. 2:13-15); (2) offering “spiritual sacrifices” for Him (1 Pet. 2:5); (3) using “talents” in proportion to which God has given them (Matt. 25:14-30); (4) giving the best of a person’s life and denying certain pleasures for God (Lev. 3:3, 9, 14, 16-17); (5) being pure by handing over to God control over the things which control your purity (Lev.  3:4, 10, 15); (6) being obedient to God’s instructions for your life and His Word (Lev. 26:3, 6); and (7) opening the door of your heart to Jesus by diligently searching Him out  (Rev. 3:20; Ps. 119:2; Jer. 29:13).  Finally, you should celebrate this fellowship by “dining” with Jesus in Communion: “While they were eating, Jesus took some bread, and after a blessing, He broke it and gave it to the disciples, and said, “Take, eat; this is My body.”  (Matt. 26:26; 1 Cor. 11:24).  Are you seeking out Jesus’ full peace and His fellowship?

7. Answered Prayers: Praise Jesus Because He Answers Prayers. Ps. 66:16-20.

  • The psalmist praised God because He hears and answers prayers. The psalmist proclaimed that he served a loving God who hears and answers the cries of His people: “16 Come and hear, all who fear God, and I will tell of what He has done for my soul. 17 I cried to Him with my mouth, and He was exalted with my tongue. 18 If I regard wickedness in my heart, the Lord will not hear; 19 but God has heard; He has given attention to the sound of my prayer. 20 Blessed be God, who has not turned away my prayer nor His favor from me.” (Ps. 66:16-20). The Bible promises: “Therefore, confess your sins to one another, and pray for one another so that you may be healed. A prayer of a righteous person, when it is brought about, can accomplish much.” (Jam. 5:16).

  • Share your testimony when Jesus answers your prayers. The psalmist promised to “tell of what He has done for my soul.” (Ps. 66:16). You are also called upon to share your testimony to encourage others to turn to Jesus (e.g., Mk. 5:20). “My mouth shall tell of Your righteousness and of Your salvation all day long; for I do not know the art of writing.” (Ps. 71:15). Let others find hope by praising Jesus for how He has been faithful to you (Matt. 28:16-20). Are you sharing your testimony with others?

  • David believed that God would answer his prayers.  As our example, David’s psalms are filled with examples where he thanked God in advance for answering his prayers:  “I was crying out to the LORD with my voice, and He answered me from His holy mountain. Selah.”  (Ps. 3:4).  “I have called upon You, for You will answer me, God; incline Your ear to me, hear my speech.”  (Ps. 17:6).  “In my distress I called upon the LORD, and cried to my God for help; He heard my voice from His temple, and my cry for help before Him came into His ears.”  (Ps. 18:6).  “For I wait for You, LORD; You will answer, Lord my God.”  (Ps. 38:15).  Thus, David always praised God:  “Give thanks to the LORD, for He is good; for His faithfulness is everlasting.”  (1 Chr. 16:34).  If you fail to make a habit of thanking Him, you may take Him for granted.  Even in times when he was jailed and persecuted, Paul worshiped God and gave thanks: “always giving thanks for all things in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ to our God and Father;”  (Eph. 5:20).  Are you thanking God for both the prayers that He has already answered and the future ones?

  • Sin can “hinder” your prayers.  The psalmist warned that wickedness could hinder a believer’s prayers (Ps. 66:18). Jesus repeated these warnings in the New Testament  (Jo. 9:31).  His blood can forgive any sin  (1 Jo. 1:9).  But Peter warns that unrepentant sin can still “hinder” a believer’s prayers  (1 Pet. 3:7).  Doubt is one of the many types of sin that can hinder your prayers: “But he must ask in faith without any doubting, for the one who doubts is like the surf of the sea, driven and tossed by the wind.  For that man ought not to expect that he will receive anything from the Lord, being a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways.”  (Jam. 1:6-8).  Praying with the wrong motives is another type of sin that can hinder your prayers: “You ask and do not receive, because you ask with the wrong motives, so that you may spend what you request on your pleasures.” (Jam. 4:3). Thus, repent of your sins so that your prayers will not be hindered before Jesus.

  • Jesus gives believers the right to pray in His name.  Believers are commanded to gather in Jesus’ name  (Matt. 18:20).  We are to “make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit.”  (Matt. 28:19).  In the book of Acts, the early disciples also frequently referred to their service, worship, and suffering as being done in Jesus Christ’s “name.”  (e.g, Acts 4:18; 5:28, 41; 10:43; 19:17). The name of Jesus will, however, be a stumbling block to non-believers.  Jesus warns that those who bear His name will be hated  (Matt. 10:22).  Yet, for those believers who pray in faith, Jesus has given us the legal equivalent of a power of attorney to pray in the name of Jesus Christ. “Whatever you ask in My name, that will I do, so that the Father may be glorified in the Son.  If you ask Me anything in My name, I will do it.”  (Jo. 14:13-14).  “You did not choose Me but I chose you, and appointed you that you would go and bear fruit, and that your fruit would remain, so that whatever you ask of the Father in My name He may give to you.”  (Jo. 15:16).  “In that day you will not question Me about anything. Truly, truly, I say to you, if you ask the Father for anything in My name, He will give it to you.”  (Jo. 16:23).  The name is so powerful that the archangel Michael was able to drive Satan away merely by rebuking him in Jesus’ name (Jude 1:9). But mindlessly invoking His name in prayer will be meaningless to God  (Matt. 6:7). Are you praying in Jesus’ name with the right motives for His will to be done?

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