November 16, 2022

November 16, 2022

Author: Pastor Gordon Cook
November 16, 2022

“Blessed is the man who walks not in the counsel of the wicked, nor stands in the way of sinners, nor sits in the seat of scoffers; but his delight is in the law of the LORD, and on his law he meditates day and night. He is like a tree planted by streams of water that yields its fruit in its season, and its leaf does not wither. In all that he does, he prospers. The wicked are not so, but are like chaff that the wind drives away. Therefore the wicked will not stand in the judgment, nor sinners in the congregation of the righteous; for the LORD knows the way of the righteous, but the way of the wicked will perish.”

Psalm 1:1-6

Everybody has a world view. They might not be able to articulate it, but they look at life through a certain lens, or with certain presuppositions, or what you could call fundamental beliefs. That affects their everyday choices and values, and the Christian worldview is shaped by the bible. John Calvin called the bible the spectacles in which every believer sees the all of life, and should take full advantage of their bible to answer every question. That's why we need to hear the bible preached. We need to read the bible. We need to study the bible, and as someone said, that section that was read earlier, meditate upon the bible. Day and night he made good use of his bible. The Apostle Paul picks up that word meditation in Philippians. He says, meditate upon the things that are true, and on Wednesday nights we often have a short meditation to prepare our hearts and minds for praying. One of the puritans by the name of George Swinnock said meditation prepares the heart for prayer and there are many things we could meditate upon.

But the let me give you 4 major topics or subjects of meditation that should regularly shape our prayers: Number one, meditate on your sins, meditate on your sins. That should be the easiest thing in the world to do, because we are sinners, and we, and every day the bible has a lot to say about sin. The bible defines sin as a transgression of God's law, and it also talks about original actual sin, reigning and remaining sin, and the need to confess our sins. And Jesus makes it very clear in that prayer of prayers, the Lord's Prayer that we have to get honest about our sins. Forgive us our debts as we forgive our debtors, and we have that wonderful promise by John, if we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins. So one of the reasons why we pray is to confess our sins, and the bible says, there's two ways to deal with your sins. You can cover it, or you can confess it. Proverbs 28 says “Whoever conceals his transgressions will not prosper, but he who confesses and forsakes them will obtain mercy.” So that's the first matter of meditation when we think of praying is to meditate upon our sins.

A second matter that we need to keep in mind or keep regularly meditating upon is to prepare our hearts for prayer by meditating upon the mercies of God. The God we worship is abundant in mercy and most every day we are showered with his mercies such as mercies of protection, mercies of deliverance, and mercies of help. Every breath we take you could say is the mercy of God. We don't deserve anything from God except wrath and judgment. Lamentations 3:22-23 is a wonderful text that says “The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases; his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.” The very last verse of Psalm 23 ends on a wonderful note of mercy. “Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life…” So when we come to prayer, we should meditate to prepare a heart for prayer. What should we meditate upon? We should meditate upon our sins. We should meditate upon mercy, divine mercy.

Thirdly, we should meditate upon Christ Jesus. He should be the chief part of our meditation--his life, his death, his resurrection, and his ascension. The only reason we have access to God by prayer is because of what Christ accomplished on that cross. This is a blood bought privilege. I don't know who said that. But I've often thought of those words. Prayer is a blood bought privilege in the bible and teaches us that we are purchased by his blood. We have been reconciled by His blood, justified by his blood, cleansed by his blood, and we have been freed by his blood, in everything because of His precious, so precious blood.

The fourth thing we should meditate upon is the church. Jesus taught us to pray “Our Father, which art in heaven…” That's a corporate prayer, plural from top to bottom. It's a family prayer. It's a church prayer. We are to pray for one another. We always have sick people who need our prayers. We always have weak people who need our prayers. We always have people who are in danger of wandering from God. Sometimes the bible uses the word disorderly for people falling prey to open sins such as giving into temptation and backsliding. We always have people who are struggling emotionally with depression, guilt, doubt and fear. They need our prayers. We all are poor and needy, and we need one and another's prayers. Meditate upon sin. Meditate upon God's mercy. Meditate upon Christ. Meditate upon the Church. I would say again that this is not and exhaustive list. Now the fifth thing to meditate upon is the lost. Meditate upon those who don't know Christ. Meditate upon those who are without hope. Meditate upon those who are lost in darkness of false religion, whether it's the false religion of Romanism or Islam or Hinduism. They won't pray for themselves. It was Spurgeon who said this about the church. The church is the world's priest this way. We are the intercessors on the on behalf of sinners, and some of you can trace your conversion back in terms of one of the instruments that God used to save you. It was through someone’s prayers for you whether it was a mother, a father, a grandmother, a brother or sister. And so we need to pray for lost sinners. Thy kingdom come is a prayer petition for lost sinners.