EBible Fellowship Sunday Bible Study – 03-Jan-2010


by Guy Berry


God has been revealing so much to His people in recent years about His judgment plan and teaching so much more about how salvation works.  In His mercy, He has also shown us with more proofs than we could ever imagine that the world is going to end on May 21st in 2011.  That great earthquake is going to come.  God’s people are going to be taken up and then the world is going to begin to deteriorate and finally end by being burned with fire on October 21st in 2011. 

As I have talked to people recently, I have encountered more than one person who sees this and agrees with this.  They have a fear of judgment.  They have an interest in the Word of God, and yet they are not sure of their salvation.  So I would just like to look at prayer this morning.  We are going to look at many verses that most of you who have been in the Word for awhile are already familiar with, but I thought that this would be a good study to do at this time just to try to help our brothers and sisters in the Lord who might be a little less familiar with these verses and maybe have less of an assurance. 

Let us start off by reading Psalm 88, which is what we just sang.  This is a beautiful, beautiful Messianic prayer.  We read in Psalm 88:1-2: 

A Song or Psalm for the sons of Korah, to the chief Musician upon Mahalath Leannoth, Maschil of Heman the Ezrahite. O JEHOVAH God of my salvation, I have cried day and night before thee: Let my prayer come before thee: incline thine ear unto my cry; 

Notice how He is linking prayer and crying, and we will look at this a little more. 

We read next in Psalm 88:3-5: 

For my soul is full of troubles: and my life draweth nigh unto the grave. I am counted with them that go down into the pit: I am as a man that hath no strength: Free among the dead, like the slain that lie in the grave, whom thou rememberest no more: and they are cut off from thy hand. 

We can also see annihilation in this, can we not? 

Then we read in Psalm 88:6-18: 

Thou hast laid me in the lowest pit, in darkness, in the deeps. Thy wrath lieth hard upon me, and thou hast afflicted me with all thy waves. Selah. Thou hast put away mine acquaintance far from me; thou hast made me an abomination unto them: I am shut up, and I cannot come forth. Mine eye mourneth by reason of affliction: JEHOVAH, I have called daily upon thee, I have stretched out my hands unto thee. Wilt thou show wonders to the dead? shall the dead arise and praise thee? Selah. Shall thy lovingkindness be declared in the grave? or thy faithfulness in destruction? Shall thy wonders be known in the dark? and thy righteousness in the land of forgetfulness? But unto thee have I cried, O JEHOVAH; and in the morning shall my prayer prevent thee. JEHOVAH, why castest thou off my soul? why hidest thou thy face from me? I am afflicted and ready to die from my youth up: while I suffer thy terrors I am distracted. Thy fierce wrath goeth over me; thy terrors have cut me off. They came round about me daily like water; they compassed me about together. Lover and friend hast thou put far from me, and mine acquaintance into darkness. 

Many of the Psalms are prayers.  Again, in many of the same verses when we read about praying, we also read about crying and about supplicating to God. 

The people of God pray.  As we mature in the Word and as we spend longer amounts of time in the Word, we should find ourselves praying more and more.  I believe that anyone who has been a believer for a number of years is most likely praying pretty much constantly, as we are commanded to.  In 1 Thessalonians, God commands, “Pray without ceasing.” 

Again, people want assurance of salvation.  As we read these Messianic Psalms, for some people it is not quite what they are looking for.  We read a Messianic Psalm like this one in which we are to hear the Lord Jesus speaking in this; but even though He is crying out to God His Father for salvation, we find other verses where we see that He has assurance and that He knows that God is His Saviour.  So we will keep looking at this and we will see how all of this comes together. 

For now, let us turn to Psalm 61.  Psalm 61:1 starts out: 

Hear my cry, O God; attend unto my prayer. 

We can see again how He links praying and crying to God. 

Now let us look at Psalm 17.  Psalm 17:1 starts out: 

Hear the right, O JEHOVAH, attend unto my cry, give ear unto my prayer, that goeth not out of feigned lips. 

David was inspired of God to write this Psalm.  Again, Psalm 17:1 says: 

Hear the right, O JEHOVAH, attend unto my cry, give ear unto my prayer, that goeth not out of feigned lips. 

It would be the desire of all of us to know that our prayer is not going up to God out of feigned lips and that it is not a vain show, that we are not trying to fake salvation.  We are crying out to Him in contrition and supplication. 

Turn to Psalm 119:169-170.  It says: 

Let my cry come near before thee, O JEHOVAH: give me understanding according to thy word. Let my supplication come before thee: deliver me according to thy word. 

We can see the reference to crying and supplication again. 

Now turn to Psalm 55:1.  It says: 

Give ear to my prayer, O God; and hide not thyself from my supplication. 

We see this same word “supplication” again and it is linked in the same verse with prayer.  We supplicate to God.  We beseech Him. 

Now look at verse 16 in this same Psalm.  Psalm 55:16-17 says: 

As for me, I will call upon God; and JEHOVAH shall save me. Evening, and morning, and at noon, will I pray, and cry aloud: and he shall hear my voice. 

Look at Psalm 39.  All through the Psalms, we will see this, but let us continue to just look at these because maybe some will be edified by this.  In Psalm 39:12-13, we read: 

Hear my prayer, O JEHOVAH, and give ear unto my cry; hold not thy peace at my tears: for I am a stranger with thee, and a sojourner, as all my fathers were. O spare me, that I may recover strength, before I go hence, and be no more. 

Turn to Psalm 32.  This is a Psalm that many of us are familiar with.  The Psalmist here speaks about how God’s hand was heavy upon him as he kept his sin to himself, but then he acknowledged his sin.  Psalm 32:1-2 says: 

Blessed is he whose transgression is forgiven, whose sin is covered. Blessed is the man unto whom JEHOVAH imputeth not iniquity, and in whose spirit there is no guile. 

Then verse 3, Psalm 32:3-4: 

When I kept silence, my bones waxed old through my roaring all the day long. For day and night thy hand was heavy upon me: my moisture is turned into the drought of summer. Selah. 

Then verse 5, Psalm 32:5: 

I acknowledged my sin unto thee, and mine iniquity have I not hid. I said, I will confess my transgressions unto JEHOVAH; and thou forgavest the iniquity of my sin. Selah. 

This is a picture of a sinner coming to God.  We confess our sins and we have an intention and a desire to depart from our sins; however, we must cry to God for His forgiveness. 

Then verse 6, Psalm 32:6: 

For this shall every one that is godly pray unto thee in a time when thou mayest be found… 

And the Bible says, “Behold, now is the day of salvation.” 

…surely in the floods of great waters they shall not come nigh unto him. 

This is referring to the judgment, which is spoken of in some places in the Bible as a flood.  Once that earthquake comes and God’s people are raptured, there will be no more salvation.  No one will be able to come nigh unto God from that point on.  We can now, however, come nigh unto God with this tool that He has given us, with prayer. 

Again, just look at how we see no pride in this.  There is just humility and contrition.  There is brokenness, and so many of these verses link prayer with crying unto God and supplicating unto Him. 

Look at Psalm 34.  Psalm 34:4-6 says: 

I sought JEHOVAH, and he heard me, and delivered me from all my fears. They looked unto him, and were lightened: and their faces were not ashamed. This poor man cried, and JEHOVAH heard him, and saved him out of all his troubles. 

Then look at verse 15, Psalm 34:15: 

The eyes of JEHOVAH are upon the righteous, and his ears are open unto their cry. 

Turn now to 2 Chronicles 6.  This is Solomon’s prayer that he prayed when the temple was completed.  He interceded for his people a good bit in this prayer, and he is certainly a picture of Christ in that, but he also spoke about God’s people praying to Him.  In 2 Chronicles 6:24-25, we read: 

And if thy people Israel be put to the worse before the enemy, because they have sinned against thee; and shall return and confess thy name, and pray and make supplication before thee in this house; Then hear thou from the heavens, and forgive the sin of thy people Israel, and bring them again unto the land which thou gavest to them and to their fathers. 

We know that this land is actually referring to the Kingdom of Heaven, which is typified by the literal land of Israel in the Middle East. 

Then we read in 2 Chronicles 6:26-30: 

When the heaven is shut up, and there is no rain, because they have sinned against thee; yet if they pray toward this place, and confess thy name, and turn from their sin, when thou dost afflict them; Then hear thou from heaven, and forgive the sin of thy servants, and of thy people Israel, when thou hast taught them the good way, wherein they should walk; and send rain upon thy land, which thou hast given unto thy people for an inheritance. If there be dearth in the land, if there be pestilence, if there be blasting, or mildew, locusts, or caterpillars; if their enemies besiege them in the cities of their land; whatsoever sore or whatsoever sickness there be: Then what prayer or what supplication soever shall be made of any man, or of all thy people Israel, when every one shall know his own sore and his own grief, and shall spread forth his hands in this house: Then hear thou from heaven thy dwelling place, and forgive, and render unto every man according unto all his ways, whose heart thou knowest; (for thou only knowest the hearts of the children of men:) 

It continues on like this, and then we are all familiar with what we read in chapter 7.  2 Chronicles 7:14 says: 

If my people, which are called by my name… 

This is speaking of the Israel of God, the elect: 

If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land. 

Again, we all want assurance and sometimes we are satisfied with these prayers that we read in the Psalms because we know that a lot of them are Messianic.  We see Christ in the atonement praying to God, but yet we have to understand that Christ is our example and that He is speaking as One who is under the wrath of God.  So these are examples for us. 

In the New Testament, it is a little easier for us.  For example, turn to Luke 18.  Luke 18:1-5 says: 

And he spake a parable unto them to this end, that men ought always to pray, and not to faint; Saying, There was in a city a judge, which feared not God, neither regarded man: And there was a widow in that city; and she came unto him, saying, Avenge me of mine adversary. And he would not for a while: but afterward he said within himself, Though I fear not God, nor regard man; Yet because this widow troubleth me, I will avenge her, lest by her continual coming she weary me. 

He is simply giving us this little parable here to tell us not to give up and to simply continue to call on His name. 

Then Luke 18:6-8 says: 

And the Lord said, Hear what the unjust judge saith. And shall not God avenge his own elect, which cry day and night unto him, though he bear long with them? I tell you that he will avenge them speedily…

Now go on to this next parable in Luke that we are also familiar with.  Luke 18:10-12: 

Two men went up into the temple to pray; the one a Pharisee, and the other a publican. The Pharisee stood and prayed thus with himself, God, I thank thee, that I am not as other men are, extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even as this publican. I fast twice in the week, I give tithes of all that I possess. 

We can see the pride in this statement.  This reminds us of what we read in Psalm 17, that our cry is not to go out of feigned lips.  This man’s prayer is coming from feigned lips.  As we see, he may think that he is saved because of his works.  He is glorying in his own works. 

But then we read in Luke 18:13-14: 

And the publican, standing afar off, would not lift up so much as his eyes unto heaven, but smote upon his breast, saying, God be merciful to me a sinner. I tell you, this man went down to his house justified rather than the other: for every one that exalteth himself shall be abased; and he that humbleth himself shall be exalted. 

We know that this is the way that salvation works.  If God is working in you, you see your sin and you understand that there is nothing that you can do to save yourself.  You know that there is only one place that you can go.  You know that your crying and your begging will not save you, but it is all that you can do. 

Again, we are commanded all through the Bible to do this.  In Isaiah 55, we read, “Seek ye the LORD while he may be found,” and in Isaiah 45:22, we read: 

Look unto me, and be ye saved, all the ends of the earth: for I am God, and there is none else. 

Turn to Mark 9.  In Mark 9, we read of a man who comes to Him asking Him to heal his son.  We read in Mark 9:17-23: 

And one of the multitude answered and said, Master, I have brought unto thee my son, which hath a dumb spirit; And wheresoever he taketh him, he teareth him: and he foameth, and gnasheth with his teeth, and pineth away: and I spake to thy disciples that they should cast him out; and they could not. He answereth him, and saith, O faithless generation, how long shall I be with you? how long shall I suffer you? bring him unto me. And they brought him unto him: and when he saw him, straightway the spirit tare him; and he fell on the ground, and wallowed foaming. And he asked his father, How long is it ago since this came unto him? And he said, Of a child. And ofttimes it hath cast him into the fire, and into the waters, to destroy him: but if thou canst do any thing, have compassion on us, and help us. Jesus said unto him, If thou canst believe, all things are possible to him that believeth.

The Bible tells us, “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved,” and yet we know that there is more to this.  We cannot believe unless God puts that belief in us, but yet we must seek Him and supplicate to Him for this belief. 

Then Mark 9:24 says: 

And straightway the father of the child cried out, and said with tears, Lord, I believe; help thou mine unbelief. 

This word “believe” is Strong’s #4100 and it is the verb form of the word for “faith,” which is Strong’s #4102.  For example, we see this in Galatians 2 where we read about the faith of Jesus Christ. 

So we read here in Mark 9:24: 

…Lord, I believe; help thou mine unbelief.   

This word “unbelief” is simply the word for faith with the prefix a in front of it.  This man is saved.  God has changed his heart and he believes.  He has the faith of Christ, and yet in his flesh he has unbelief and is begging God to help him with that. 

This is what we pray for.  Time is about up here, but we could just keep going on.  We could spend a couple of studies on praying. 

We know that God also links praying with watching, especially in chapters like Matthew 24, Mark 13, and Luke 21 where Christ is telling His disciples about the end of the world.  For example, He tells them in Mark 13:32-33: 

But of that day and that hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels which are in heaven, neither the Son, but the Father. Take ye heed, watch and pray: for ye know not when the time is. 

We see here: 

Take ye heed, watch and pray… 

In a good many verses, He links watching with praying.  Praying is part of watching. 

In Colossians 4, He just kind of flat-out says this.  We read in Colossians 4:1-2: 

Masters, give unto your servants that which is just and equal; knowing that ye also have a Master in heaven. Continue in prayer, and watch in the same with thanksgiving; 

We are to watch.  Prayer is part of watching and staying in touch with God.  We stay in touch with God by reading the Word.  We read in Romans 8:16 that God’s Spirit witnesses with our spirit that we are His children.  But there is only one way that God’s Spirit witnesses with our spirit, and that is through His Word.  In John 6:63, Christ says: 

…the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life. 

And 1 Peter 4:7 says: 

But the end of all things is at hand: be ye therefore sober, and watch unto prayer. 

Here, again, He just flat-out says this.  Praying is part of watching. 

Again, we could continue on in a couple of studies and speak of praying and how God commands us to pray and to seek Him, but I just wanted to speak about this a little bit just to encourage those who are a little weaker in the faith, those who fear, those who are not sure of their salvation, to simply continue to supplicate to God. 

This is all that we can do.  There is no teacher who can save anyone.  There is no teacher who can give anyone assurance of salvation.  God forbid that any teacher give someone assurance of salvation and tell someone that they are saved, which is something that is going on today.  This is a frightful thing.  What could be worse than to tell someone, “Yes, I know that you are a child of God,” when they are not? 

But again, we watch unto prayer.  We simply seek the Lord and pray and cry out to Him. 

Shall we pray.  Again Father, we just come before You and say, “Could it be that our words have glorified You?  Could it be that as we have simply spoken these words, it is simply You using these words, directing Your people to Your Word?”  We thank You that You have given us this Book.  We acknowledge that when we read out of this Book, we are sitting at Your feet and listening to You speak to us.  This Book is like no book on earth; it is not like any other book that man has.  In Your mercy if You have opened our eyes to this Book, we see that there is no way that it could have been contrived; there is no way that it could have been written by man; it is all the same story wherever we read in the Bible.  Again, we just thank You in Your mercy if You have opened our eyes to this.  We also pray for those around us, our family and our friends and others.  Could it be that we could simply be used of You as You continue in this Day of Salvation to save sinners.  Could we Your people simply come to You saying, “Here am I; send me,” wherever You would have us to go.  Again, we thank You for all things.  In Jesus’ Name.  Amen.