Faithlife Sermons

Praying the Psalms: Psalm 66 - Joy in the Lord

Praying the Psalms  •  Sermon  •  Submitted
0 ratings
· 2 views
Notes
Transcript

Praying the Psalms: Psalm 66 - Joy in the Lord

Praying through the scriptures is a great way for us to address prayer and focus on things that we sometimes neglect. We have the assurance of praying according to the will of God and it can act as a kind of road map for our prayers. Praying through scriptures has the added benefit in that it causes us to slow down our reading of the bible and focus on each verse individually, looking at how we can apply it into our lives right now.
Psalm 66:1–4 NKJV
Make a joyful shout to God, all the earth! Sing out the honor of His name; Make His praise glorious. Say to God, “How awesome are Your works! Through the greatness of Your power Your enemies shall submit themselves to You. All the earth shall worship You And sing praises to You; They shall sing praises to Your name.” Selah
Questions
Looking at these first four verses we see several instructions that are given to us. Can you spot them? and how would this shape your praying?
The Psalmist gives us a picture here and throughout the whole psalm of joy, and in fact instructs us to be free in expressing our joy in the Lord as draw near to Him. Do we experience this personnally when we spend time with the Lord ?
2 Samuel 6:14–16 NKJV
Then David danced before the Lord with all his might; and David was wearing a linen ephod. So David and all the house of Israel brought up the ark of the Lord with shouting and with the sound of the trumpet. Now as the ark of the Lord came into the City of David, Michal, Saul’s daughter, looked through a window and saw King David leaping and whirling before the Lord; and she despised him in her heart.
David was committed to expressing his love and joy in the Lord regardless of what anyone else thought of him, even his own wife. God honoured David for this and David in spite of his flaws is held up as an example to us of how we should honour God.
For David, it was possible that the concern of how people saw him could have so easily robbed him of his joy in the Lord and his expression of adoration to God. But in 2 Sam 6:21-22 David says to Michal “It was before the Lord… therefore I will play music before the Lord. And I will be even more undignified than this, and will be humble in my own sight”
Question:
Many things can keep us from the joy of freely praising God, even in our private prayer times. Discuss as a group what some of these might be and how do we break through them?
Psalm 66:5–6 NKJV
Come and see the works of God; He is awesome in His doing toward the sons of men. He turned the sea into dry land; They went through the river on foot. There we will rejoice in Him.
Having instructed praises and thanksgiving in verses 1-4, the Psalmist now gives us an instruction to “Come and see the works of God” (verse 5). He recalls how God led Israel out of Egypt through the Red Sea, and also across the Jordan River.
Questions:
Why is the psalmist remembering these past events in his psalm?
If you were praying through this psalm, what miracles might you give thanks to God for?
How does remembering past events bring us joy in the present?
Psalm 66:7 NKJV
He rules by His power forever; His eyes observe the nations; Do not let the rebellious exalt themselves. Selah
The Psalmist here in verse 7 is acknowledging the Lords power over all the earth and all people. By asking God not to let the rebellious exalt themselves he is essentially asking God to let righteousness and justice prevail on the earth.
Questions:
What examples of injustice could we be praying for at the moment?
What do you think those situations would look like if the righteousness of God broke into them and changed them?
Why is a verse like verse 7 relevant in a psalm about joy?
Psalm 66:8–12 NKJV
Oh, bless our God, you peoples! And make the voice of His praise to be heard, Who keeps our soul among the living, And does not allow our feet to be moved. For You, O God, have tested us; You have refined us as silver is refined. You brought us into the net; You laid affliction on our backs. You have caused men to ride over our heads; We went through fire and through water; But You brought us out to rich fulfillment.
In verses 8-12 the Psalmist expresses joy and thanksgiving to God for the work of salvation. He praises God for having ‘refined’ them and also for bringing the people through times of tribulation.
Question:
If we as the children of God know that we are saved, why do we need to keep reflecting on our salvation in our prayers?
Psalm 66:13–15 NKJV
I will go into Your house with burnt offerings; I will pay You my vows, Which my lips have uttered And my mouth has spoken when I was in trouble. I will offer You burnt sacrifices of fat animals, With the sweet aroma of rams; I will offer bulls with goats. Selah
Verses 13-15 talk about animal sacrifices as an expression of joy and gratitude. Back in ancient times (and even today in certain places around the world), a person’s livestock was the equivalent to our personal bank accounts.
Question:
How can giving materially be an expression of gratitude and joy?
2 Corinthians 9:6–8 NKJV
But this I say: He who sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and he who sows bountifully will also reap bountifully. So let each one give as he purposes in his heart, not grudgingly or of necessity; for God loves a cheerful giver. And God is able to make all grace abound toward you, that you, always having all sufficiency in all things, may have an abundance for every good work.
Psalm 66:16–20 NKJV
Come and hear, all you who fear God, And I will declare what He has done for my soul. I cried to Him with my mouth, And He was extolled with my tongue. If I regard iniquity in my heart, The Lord will not hear. But certainly God has heard me; He has attended to the voice of my prayer. Blessed be God, Who has not turned away my prayer, Nor His mercy from me!
Verses 16-17 speak of declaring the goodness of God among the saints, highlightling to us the importance of giving testimony of what the Lord has done in our lives.
Verse 18 says “If I regard iniquity in my heart, the Lord will not hear”. Obviously we know that God sees and hears all things, but what the psalmist is trying to convey is that God will not act on behalf of sin and therefore we need to ensure that our hearts and minds align with His. For if we make petitions of Him that have the wrong motives or are not in keeping with His will then God will not answer these kinds of prayers.
1 John 5:14–15 NKJV
Now this is the confidence that we have in Him, that if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us. And if we know that He hears us, whatever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we have asked of Him.
Question:
Why do you think the psalmist included verse 18 in a psalm that is about the joy of the Lord?
This psalm teaches us about being joyful in the Lord but It is important to note that this psalm is not encouraging us to pretend to be joyfull when we are not honestly feeling that way. We are to be encouraged to be thankful andf joyful but not to the extent where we might surpress genuine grief and sorrow. The bible is very clear that we are to come with honesty to God.
Questions:
What are the dangers of pretending to feel joyful when we are not?
Why is it important to allow ourselves to express and experience joy?
Related Media
Related Sermons