OceanSide church of Christ
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Prophet's Passionate Prayer
TITLE: Prophet's Passionate Prayer
OBJECTIVE: That each hearer would know how to conduct a closing prayer according to this model in scripture.
INTRODUCTION: Psalm 90
A. Praying with Moses
B. What would it have been like to have prayed with him?
1. When we look at Psalms 90, The title says, “A prayer of Moses, the man of God.”
2. We cannot be certain about the origin of this prayer, but it may be the very kind of prayer Moses would have prayed with us at the front of his tent.
3. The psalm challenges us with deep thoughts about the nature of man; the writer's petitions take the reader straight to the solemn side of life.
4. Therefore, I have titled this sermon, "A Prophet's Passionate Prayer"
C. With graphic and emotional language, the psalm falls into three discernible parts.
DISCUSSION: The Prophet's Passionate Prayer begins with a . . .
I. Benediction to the Lord - (v. 1-2)
A. The word “benediction” literally means to speak well of someone.
B. Here, Moses speaks well of the LORD: verse 1-2, "Lord, thou hast been our dwelling-place In all generations. Before the mountains were brought forth, Or ever thou hadst formed the earth and the world, Even from everlasting to everlasting, thou art God."
1. The Israelites had been nomadic, wandering from place to place throughout the wilderness during a forty-year span.
2. In God they lived, breathed, and had their physical and spiritual being - Acts 17:28
C. But what does it mean to dwell in God?
1. It means that we have a continual relationship with Him.
a. During persecution - 1 Peter 4:19
b. During hard decisions - Proverbs 3:5-6
2. It is thus, when we abide in God we live in eternal hope.
a. Only by making God our dwelling place can we make our home eternal.
b. He who has been our dwelling place in time will also be our habitation in eternity.
3. God's people have only one permanent home, and we must make it dominate in our hearts.
D. Life does not really begin until God becomes one's dwelling-place!
E. What a great benediction concerning our Lord!
II. Brevity of Life - (vv. 3-11)
A. The writer alludes to the penalties that came down upon the human race when sin entered the world - verse 3, "Thou turnest man to destruction, And sayest, Return, ye children of men."
1. Sin - in keeping with the sentence of death that it brought - marked life with brevity.
2. God may give us "seventy years"; or, with special "strength," He may give us "eighty" or more - verse 10.
B. But God does not focus on time; He focuses on our quality of life - verses 4-6
1. Methuselah lived 969 years, but Enoch lived only 365 years before God took him – Genesis 5:23-27
2. Jesus, God's Son, lived only to the age of 33... When a man is cut down so early in his life, it is regarded by this age as a great tragedy.
3. However, life's value is not seen in its size, but rather in its service.
4. God does not see so much the years of a life as He sees the life put into those years – Psalm 116:15
C. And yet, the psalmist admits that the longer we live, the harder living becomes - verse 9-10, "For all our days are passed away in thy wrath: We bring our years to an end as a sigh. The days of our years are threescore years and ten, Or even by reason of strength fourscore years; Yet is their pride but labor and sorrow; For it is soon gone, and we fly away."
1. A couple months ago, a birthday celebration was held for a woman who turned 103, and someone congratulated her with the comment, "I hope I live as long as you do."
2. She quickly retorted, "I wouldn't wish living to be 103 on anybody!"
3. Apparently, she had suffered a lot during the last few years of her life.
4. Suffering has come because of the deterioration of the body.
5. Tears have been shed and agony experienced by those who have seen the approaching sickle of death - Romans 8:17-18.
6. It is when we have reached those milestones, we admit, "We have finished our years like a sigh" - verse 9.
D. Life is indeed limited, and Moses' prayer reflects this hard-earned understanding about the brevity of life.
III. Bequest to the Living - (vv. 12-14)
A. The request part of this prayer appears in toward the end of the psalm in vv.12-14
B. A Lesson to Learn - The ultimate prayer of the psalmist becomes a prayer for "wisdom" – verse 12, "So teach us to number our days, That we may get us a heart of wisdom."
1. The temporary existence on earth constrains us to value each day and to seize its opportunities, realizing that any day might be our last day.
2. Counting our days is necessary so that we can see the very little days we have and be motivated to use each day wisely.
a. Proverbs 1:7
b. Proverbs 23:23
c. Ephesians 5:15-17
3. Every day we draw closer to our graves... so what legacy do we want to leave behind?
C. There's an old story that tells us of man who died and went to heaven.
1. As an angel was showing him around heaven, the man requested, "I would like to see my home congregation one more time."
2. The man was shown his home congregation during the Sunday morning worship service; however, he saw only 25 people present.
3. The man gasped and said, "what has happened? We had a congregation of three hundred members! Where did they all go?"
4. The angel said, "When we look down from here, we see only those who are really worshiping."
5. The heart is what God observes because the heart is the mainspring of life... thus, we cry-out "teach us to number our days, so that we get us a heart of wisdom."
a. James 3:13
b. James 1:21b-22
D. Having learned our lesson, we want God to relent His judgment and bring us once again into His fellowship - v.13-14
1. When God disciplines us, we appropriately cry for Him to return to us in His grace; He has offered to change His way of dealing with the one who repents from his sin.
2. The night had been very dark for the psalmist, so he longs for the bright morning to shine the light of mercy and forgiveness upon him.
3. The same applies for us as well... knowing at times we sin and fall short, it is our response to repentance that the Morning Light of mercy and forgiveness will shine away our darkness - 1 John 1:5-7.
A. Brothers and sisters, this writer is praying the kind of prayer that we need to pray
B. In about 48hrs, we will bring this year to a close...
C. No one has appropriately considered his life unless he has seen it as frail, sinful, and under God's judgment - Romans 3:23
D. For the person who has not truly considered his life... there is still hope - 1 Corinthians 15.