PRAYER IN PSALMS AND PROVERBS

A.C.T.S. - A helpful acronym to remember how to pray!

ADORATION (of God)

Humble Yourself - The reward for humility and fear of the LORD is riches and honor and life. (Proverbs 22:4)

  • One's pride will bring him low, but he who is lowly in spirit will obtain honor. (Proverbs 29:23)

Respect the Lord - The fear of the LORD is instruction in wisdom, and humility comes before honor. (Proverbs 15:33)

  • Blessed is the one who fears the LORD always, but whoever hardens his heart will fall into calamity. (Proverbs 28:14)

CONFESSION (of sin)

Turn Your Lips - Whoever conceals his transgressions will not prosper, but he who confesses and forsakes them will obtain mercy.  - Proverbs 28:13

Turn Your Lives - Be not wise in your own eyes; fear the LORD, and turn away from evil. [8] It will be healing to your flesh and refreshment to your bones. (Proverbs 3:7-8)

  • One who is wise is cautious and turns away from evil, but a fool is reckless and careless.  (Proverbs 14:16)
  • The highway of the upright turns aside from evil; whoever guards his way preserves his life. (Proverbs 16:17)

THANKSGIVING (to God)

Recognize the Source - For the LORD gives wisdom; from his mouth come knowledge and understanding; (Proverbs 2:6)

Rest in the Source - Trust in the LORD with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding, [6] In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths. (Proverbs 3:5-6)

  • My son, do not despise the LORD's discipline or be weary of his reproof, [12] for the LORD reproves him whom he loves, as a father the son in whom he delights. (Proverbs 3:11-12)

Respond to the Source - Honor the LORD with your wealth and with the firstfruits of all your produce (Proverbs 3:9)

SUPPLICATION (asking)

Seek Him - Evil men do not understand justice, but those who seek the LORD understand it completely. (Proverbs 28:5)

  • Many seek the face of a ruler, but it is from the LORD that a man gets justice. (Proverbs 29:26)

Speak to Him -  The LORD is far from the wicked, but he hears the prayer of the righteous. (Proverbs 15:29)

Make Godly Requests Two things I ask of you; deny them not to me before I die [8] Remove far from me falsehood and lying; give me neither poverty nor riches; feed me with the food that is needful for me. (Proverbs30:7-8)

Seek His Favor - A good man obtains favor from the LORD (Proverbs 12:2)

Seek His Answers - The plans of the heart belong to man, but the answer of the tongue is from the LORD. (Proverbs 16:1) 

 

What should guide our prayers?

Pray According to His Voice “If one turns away his ear from hearing the law, even his prayer is an abomination.” (Proverbs 28:9 ESV)

  • “I write these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God that you may know that you have eternal life. And this is the confidence that we have toward him, that if we ask anything according to his will he hears us. And if we know that he hears us in whatever we ask, we know that we have the requests that we have asked of him.” (1 John 5:13-15)

Pray According to His Character “The sacrifice of the wicked is an abomination to the LORD, but the prayer of the upright is acceptable to him.” (Proverbs 15:8) 

  • “Truly, truly, I say to you, whatever you ask of the Father in my name, he will give it to you.” (John 16:23)

Pray According to His Relationship “The LORD is far from the wicked, but he hears the prayer of the righteous.” (Proverbs 15:29)

  • “And whatever you ask in prayer, you will receive, if you have faith.” (Matthew 21:22)
  • “and whatever we ask we receive from him, because we keep his commandments and do what pleases him.” (1 John 3:22)

 

Check out these other helpful Trustworthy Word handouts on prayer:

Prayers of Endurance

(Psalm 69 ESV)

No Situation Is Hopeless: Run to God!  [1] Save me, O God! For the waters have come up to my neck. [2] I sink in deep mire, where there is no foothold; I have come into deep waters, and the flood sweeps over me. [3] I am weary with my crying out; my throat is parched. My eyes grow dim with waiting for my God. [4] More in number than the hairs of my head are those who hate me without cause; mighty are those who would destroy me, those who attack me with lies. What I did not steal must I now restore? 

Confess Your Sin  [5] O God, you know my folly; the wrongs I have done are not hidden from you. [6] Let not those who hope in you be put to shame through me, O Lord GOD of hosts; let not those who seek you be brought to dishonor through me, O God of Israel. [7] For it is for your sake that I have borne reproach, that dishonor has covered my face. [8] I have become a stranger to my brothers, an alien to my mother's sons. 

Messengers Are Often Attacked for their Message: Stay Humble But Zealous  [9] For zeal for your house has consumed me, and the reproaches of those who reproach you have fallen on me. [10] When I wept and humbled my soul with fasting, it became my reproach. [11] When I made sackcloth my clothing, I became a byword to them. [12] I am the talk of those who sit in the gate, and the drunkards make songs about me. 

God Is Aware, Able, and Good: Never Doubt  [13] But as for me, my prayer is to you, O LORD. At an acceptable time, O God, in the abundance of your steadfast love answer me in your saving faithfulness. [14] Deliver me from sinking in the mire; let me be delivered from my enemies and from the deep waters. [15] Let not the flood sweep over me, or the deep swallow me up, or the pit close its mouth over me.

Seek His Presence in Your Loneliness  [16] Answer me, O LORD, for your steadfast love is good; according to your abundant mercy, turn to me. [17] Hide not your face from your servant; for I am in distress; make haste to answer me. [18] Draw near to my soul, redeem me; ransom me because of my enemies! [19] You know my reproach, and my shame and my dishonor; my foes are all known to you. [20] Reproaches have broken my heart, so that I am in despair. I looked for pity, but there was none, and for comforters, but I found none. [21] They gave me poison for food, and for my thirst they gave me sour wine to drink.

Seek and Trust God’s Just Vengeance and Punishment  [22] Let their own table before them become a snare; and when they are at peace, let it become a trap. [23] Let their eyes be darkened, so that they cannot see, and make their loins tremble continually. [24] Pour out your indignation upon them, and let your burning anger overtake them. [25] May their camp be a desolation; let no one dwell in their tents. [26] For they persecute him whom you have struck down, and they recount the pain of those you have wounded. [27] Add to them punishment upon punishment; may they have no acquittal from you. [28] Let them be blotted out of the book of the living; let them not be enrolled among the righteous. 

Trust His Salvation Plan: Now & Future  [29] But I am afflicted and in pain; let your salvation, O God, set me on high! [30] I will praise the name of God with a song; I will magnify him with thanksgiving. [31] This will please the LORD more than an ox or a bull with horns and hoofs.[32] When the humble see it they will be glad; you who seek God, let your hearts revive. [33] For the LORD hears the needy and does not despise his own people who are prisoners. [34] Let heaven and earth praise him, the seas and everything that moves in them. [35] For God will save Zion and build up the cities of Judah, and people shall dwell there and possess it; [36] the offspring of his servants shall inherit it, and those who love his name shall dwell in it.

 

Prayers of Protection

(Psalm 31)

Admit You Need Outside Help! [1] In you, O LORD, do I take refuge; let me never be put to shame; in your righteousness deliver me! [2] Incline your ear to me; rescue me speedily! Be a rock of refuge for me, a strong fortress to save me!

Praise Your Protector  [3] For you are my rock and my fortress; and for your name's sake you lead me and guide me; [4] you take me out of the net they have hidden for me, for you are my refuge. [5] Into your hand I commit my spirit; you have redeemed me, O LORD, faithful God.

Recognize Your Enemies & Increase In Your Love of God  [6] I hate those who pay regard to worthless idols, but I trust in the LORD. [7] I will rejoice and be glad in your steadfast love, because you have seen my affliction; you have known the distress of my soul, [8] and you have not delivered me into the hand of the enemy; you have set my feet in a broad place.

Be Transparent with the Depth of Your Need! [9] Be gracious to me, O LORD, for I am in distress; my eye is wasted from grief; my soul and my body also. [10] For my life is spent with sorrow, and my years with sighing; my strength fails because of my iniquity, and my bones waste away. [11] Because of all my adversaries I have become a reproach, especially to my neighbors, and an object of dread to my acquaintances; those who see me in the street flee from me. [12] I have been forgotten like one who is dead; I have become like a broken vessel.

Regardless of Your Circumstances, Trust in the Lord!  [13] For I hear the whispering of many—terror on every side!—as they scheme together against me, as they plot to take my life. [14] But I trust in you, O LORD; I say, “You are my God.” [15] My times are in your hand; rescue me from the hand of my enemies and from my persecutors! [16] Make your face shine on your servant; save me in your steadfast love!

Ask Specifically for Help [17] O LORD, let me not be put to shame, for I call upon you; let the wicked be put to shame; let them go silently to Sheol. [18] Let the lying lips be mute, which speak insolently against the righteous in pride and contempt.

Thank God Profusely and Specifically  [19] Oh, how abundant is your goodness, which you have stored up for those who fear you and worked for those who take refuge in you, in the sight of the children of mankind! [20] In the cover of your presence you hide them from the plots of men; you store them in your shelter from the strife of tongues. [21] Blessed be the LORD, for he has wondrously shown his steadfast love to me when I was in a besieged city. [22] I had said in my alarm, “I am cut off from your sight.” But you heard the voice of my pleas for mercy when I cried to you for help.

Never Forget that God is in Control [23] Love the LORD, all you his saints! The LORD preserves the faithful but abundantly repays the one who acts in pride. [24] Be strong, and let your heart take courage, all you who wait for the LORD!

 

Praying the Psalms

    Donald Whitney (Praying the Bible by Donald S. Whitney) has shared an outstanding method of using the Psalms as a guide and format for our prayers.  There are 150 Psalms, with around 30 days per month, which provides about 5 Psalms/Day to Choose To discover which daily Psalms you might consider praying through, take the day of the week and add in increments of 30.  For instance, on January 7th you would have Psalm 7, 37, 67, 97, and 127 to choose from (Day of the Week + 30).  Skim over those five Psalms until you discover one in which your heart resonates for that particular day.  Then read a verse at a time, pausing to reflect and pray over and according to that particular truth to God.

Take a few minutes and try praying personally through Psalm 7.

Psalm 7

REFUGE  [1] O LORD my God, in you do I take refuge; save me from all my pursuers and deliver me, [2] lest like a lion they tear my soul apart, rending it in pieces, with none to deliver.

DISCIPLINE [3] O LORD my God, if I have done this, if there is wrong in my hands, [4] if I have repaid my friend with evil or plundered my enemy without cause, [5] let the enemy pursue my soul and overtake it, and let him trample my life to the ground and lay my glory in the dust. Selah

PROTECTION [6] Arise, O LORD, in your anger; lift yourself up against the fury of my enemies; awake for me; you have appointed a judgment. [7] Let the assembly of the peoples be gathered about you; over it return on high.

RIGHTEOUSNESS [8] The LORD judges the peoples; judge me, O LORD, according to my righteousness and according to the integrity that is in me.

JUSTICE [9] Oh, let the evil of the wicked come to an end, and may you establish the righteous—you who test the minds and hearts, O righteous God! 

PLEASING OR DISPLEASING GOD [10] My shield is with God, who saves the upright in heart. [11] God is a righteous judge, and a God who feels indignation every day.

WRATH [12] If a man does not repent, God will whet his sword; he has bent and readied his bow; [13] he has prepared for him his deadly weapons, making his arrows fiery shafts.

THE WICKED [14] Behold, the wicked man conceives evil and is pregnant with mischief and gives birth to lies. [15] He makes a pit, digging it out, and falls into the hole that he has made. [16] His mischief returns upon his own head, and on his own skull his violence descends.

PRAISE [17] I will give to the LORD the thanks due to his righteousness, and I will sing praise to the name of the LORD, the Most High.

 


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