DECEMBER 18, 2023
The king shall have joy in Your strength, O Lord; and in Your salvation how greatly shall he rejoice! You have given him his heart’s desire, and have not withheld the request of his lips. Selah.
In the previous devotion, we shared the idea that David's words recorded in this psalm are prophetic, ultimately speaking of the Messiah — and if you can receive it — “quoting” the Messiah to a degree. In that light, take note of the statement, “You have given him his heart’s desire” — it is phrased in such a way that we may conclude the prayer has already been answered. To be clear: if David is expressing the words of Messiah in the form of prophecy, then the desire of Messiah's heart had already been granted, long before He ministered on the earth. If that is true then might it be that, when we pray according to the Will of God, it is the same? In others words, if we are His, will He not grant the request of our lips? John seemed to think so:
“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.” (1 John 5:14-15).
Messiah, also, speaks to this issue; He said, “If his son asks for bread, will give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will he give him a serpent? If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask Him!” (Matthew 7:9-11). The point, obviously, is that our Heavenly Father desires to answer our prayers, sometimes even before we ask; as it is written, “It shall come to pass that before they call, I will answer; and while they are still speaking, I will hear” (Isaiah 65:24).
It is important to point out, however, that even though He already knows what's going on in our life, He wants us to pray. He knows what's swirling around in our heart, but still wants us to use our mouth and lips to utter our prayers and petitions. I would suggest that prayer, among other things, is the most intimate of ways we can interact with the Creator, meaning, that it is how we can grow in intimacy with Him. Like any parent, He doesn't want His children to take His unlimited goodness for granted; He wants to have a relationship with us whereby, even though He knows our heart's desire, He wants us to come to Him and lay it before Him. In short, He doesn't interfere with an answer when we are motivated to humble ourselves before Him. It may be as good as done, but it is even better to know that when we call, He recognizes our voice and moves quickly on our behalf.