A Disciple’s Full-Bodied Prayer

Humility and gratitude flow through prayer in Psalm 40, grounded in a full-bodied devotion to the Lord God. The psalmist recognizes his helplessness without God; he recalls how God not only rescued him previously, but also provided for him:

“I waited patiently for the LORD; he turned to me an heard my cry. He lifted me out of the slimy pit, out of the mud and mire; he set my feet on a rock and gave me a firm place to stand. He put a new song in my mouth, a hymn of praise to our God. Many will see and fear the LORD and put their trust in him” (Psalm 40:1-3).

These initial verses lay the groundwork for the prayer that will follow. God has rescued a worshipper from a predicament that is described as slimy and muddy. He has secured the worshiper’s future with a secure foundation. These verses introduce a vision of intense commitment to God. The psalmist’s whole body will follow God, will praise him and sing of him, will preach about his saving power, refusing to be silent about what God has done for him. A description of “full-bodied discipleship” emerges:

  • God has set his feet on a rock and given him a firm place to stand (v 2)
  • The LORD has put a new song in his mouth (v 3)
  • God has opened his ears (v 6)
  • God has prepared a body for him (v 6)
  • God’s law is within his heart (v 8)
  • The psalmist does not seal his lips (v 9)
  • The psalmist does not hide God’s righteousness in his heart (v10)

A prayer begins in verse 5 and, as can be seen, continues to develop a description of devoted discipleship. The prayer reveals an awareness that following God transcends practice of ritual and following of rules:

“Many, LORD my God, are the wonders you have done, the things you planned for us. None can compare with you were I to speak and tell of your deeds, they would be too many to declare. Sacrifice and offering you died not desire – but my ears you have opened – burnt offerings and sin offerings you did not require. Then I said, ‘Here I am, I have come – it is written about me in the scroll. I desire to do you will, my God; your law is within my heart. I do not hide your righteousness in my heart; I speak of your faithfulness and your saving help. I do not conceal your love and your faithfulness from the great assembly” (Psalm 40:5-9).

There is more at: https://callforfireseminar.wordpress.com/2021/05/28/a-disciples-full-bodied-prayer/

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