How to Pray When You’ve Fallen Flat On Your Face

Praying Through the Bible #49 | with Daniel Whyte III

TEXT: Psalm 32:1-7

We are in a series of messages titled “Praying Through the Bible: A Series on Every Passage and Verse Regarding Prayer in the Bible”. The purpose of this series is to encourage and motivate you to pray to the God of the Bible. We highlighted each of these over 500 verses and passages in the new Prayer Motivator Devotional Bible. So far, we have done 48 messages in this series.

This is message #49 titled “How to Pray When You’ve Fallen Flat On Your Face.”

Examples in the Bible show us that good people are not exempt from falling into sin. Examples in history and in modern times also have shown us that people whom many hold in high esteem are just as capable of falling into sin as everyone else. Even the best of Christians have struggled with temptation and many have given into it. Today, I want to share with you from our passage, what to do when Godly people sin — what to do when you, as a follower of Christ, do something that is contrary to our lifestyle as children of God.

Psalm 32 is the first of the “Mas-chil” psalms. The Hebrew word “Mas-chil” means “instruction or teaching.” David — the man after God’s own heart — wrote this psalm after he committed adultery with Bathsheba, killed her husband, and refused to own up to it until the prophet Nathan came to him and said, “thou art the man.” We are going to look at this “instructional psalm” to understand what we ought to do when we sin, when we fall down, when we mess up.

Our passage reads, “Blessed is he whose transgression is forgiven, whose sin is covered. Blessed is the man unto whom the Lord imputeth not iniquity, and in whose spirit there is no guile.” The man who is forgiven by God is blessed of the Lord. We all ought to want to be forgiven by God if we have sinned. Yet sometimes, our own actions prevent us from receiving that forgiveness. For a while, David did not receive the forgiveness of God in his situation, and the first point we will look at today will show us the mistake he made that we need to avoid.

1. Be realistic. Notice verses 3 and 4 of this passage: David writes, “When I kept silence, my bones waxed old through my roaring all the day long. For day and night thy hand was heavy upon me: my moisture is turned into the drought of summer. Selah.” David says that for a period of time after his sin, he “kept silence.” He didn’t say anything about it to God or to anyone else.

2. Be reasonable. One of the mistakes that David could have made in dealing with his sin is that he could have allowed himself to believe that his sin was so great, so awful, that God would never forgive him and that God would never return his favor to him again. But, David does not do that. When he is finally confronted about his sin, he writes, “I said, I will confess my transgressions unto the Lord; and thou forgavest the iniquity of my sin.”

3. Be ready. David writes, “For this shall every one that is godly pray unto thee in a time when thou mayest be found…” Notice those words, “in a time when thou mayest be found…” This does not imply that there are special times in which we should seek God for forgiveness. Rather, David is stressing to his people how they should pray when they come to seek God. John Gill said, “the throne of grace is always open, and God is to be found, and grace and mercy with him at all times.”

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