Written by: Tim Wood
Over and over again, David cries for help to God in the Psalms. But as David petitions God for help, he remembers the attributes of God as well. In Psalm 86, David is in desperate need and his prayer to God reveals his desperation. But alongside his cry for help David also remembers God’s greatness. “For you are great and do marvelous deeds; you alone are God. Teach me your way, O Lord and I will walk in your truth. I will praise you, O Lord my God, with all my heart; I will glorify your name forever. For great is your love toward me; you have delivered me from the depths of the grave” (Psalm 86:10-12). David’s prayers are a blend of requests and worship recalling God’s greatness, love, power, and protection. Praying with recognition of God’s amazing attributes reminds us He has the wisdom, strength, and compassion to meet all our needs. Here are some more examples of this type of prayer:
• “Where can I go from Your Spirit? Or where can I flee from Your presence?” (Psalm 139:7). God is everywhere. He’s not limited by time or space—we are never away from His awareness for a single moment. So, even when we feel isolated or friendless, we’re not alone.
• “Great is our Lord and abundant in strength; His understanding is infinite” (Ps. 147:5). God knows everything. When we bend our knees to pray to Him, He’s already aware of the feelings and needs we’re about to mention. We can be certain that when we ask for direction, He’ll provide clear guidance if we’re submitted to His will.
• “As for me, I shall call upon God ... the one who sits enthroned from of old ... with whom there is no change” (Ps. 55:16, 19). God’s character is constant. Since we can always trust He’ll be faithful, reliable, and merciful, we can place our confidence in Him no matter the situation.
When you remember an attribute of God that meets your needs, the focus of your prayer is on the Lord rather than on your request. By mixing praises into your prayers, you will end up asking for less, worshipping better, and receiving more because your emphasis is in the right place. May we always remember and verbalize the greatness of God when we call on His name.