Kingdom Petition Cycle

1I put my hope in YHWH,
He paid attention to me and heard my cry.
2He drew me out of the desolate pit,
From the miry clay.
3He put my feet on a rock,
He made my footsteps sure.
4He put a new song in my mouth,
Praise to our God.
5Many saw it and were awed,
and put their trust in YHWH.
6Happy is the man,
Who finds his security in YHWH. — Psalm 40:1-6

Sometimes the simplest things strike us. I was reading this passage again today. I’ve been reading it each day for several days now, but it didn’t strike me until this morning. When it did, I went and read it in Hebrew, and there I found my notes with the same thoughts from July of 2002.

It’s really pretty simple, but it’s also profound. Look at what happens. The psalmist puts his hope in the Lord, he cries out, and the Lord hears him. That’s all verse 1. Verses 2 & 3 relates his salvation, how he experiences God’s action in his life. He’s removed from dire danger and made to feel secure.

Then he praises and gives testimony (verse 4). Indeed, praising the Lord is testimony. When we let it be known publicly that we have prayed and have been heard, that’s both praise and testimony.

When we testify, people see it, and they are changed as well (v. 5). That way more people are led to put their trust in the Lord, and therefore to cry out to him, be heard, be taken to a place of safety, and testify again, which takes us right back to the first verse.

Now notice how petitions, seemingly something I ask for myself, also builds up God’s kingdom. This is the simplicity of God’s rule of sowing and reaping for his kingdom. You plant the seed and it multiplies. The kingdom is like yeast in a loaf, and it grows and produces fruit.

Many, many times people tell me that they don’t know how to pray, to share their faith, or to give a testimony. But if you put your trust in the Lord, then prayer is simply letting him know your needs. Sharing your faith or your testimony is simply telling someone else what happened. And if you’re having trouble getting in the mood to praise, just remember what God did for you, and you’ll have something to praise him about.

Too often we think praise and worship is about the sound system, the musical instruments, and gifted musicians who help us sing songs that others have written. All that’s good. But what is more important is the testimony and praise that comes out of experience.

Jesus said, “A sower went out to sow . . .” (Mark 4:3)

You be the sower!

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