“And behold, I am coming quickly, and My reward is with Me, to give to everyone according to his work.” - Revelation 22:12
Kempton New Church
 

Week 1
Day 6

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Introduction

The Psalms are Prayers.

Psalm 119

105נ

Thy Word is a lamp to my feet,

And a light to my path.

106נ

I have promised, and I will perform,

To keep the judgments of Thy justice.

107נ

I am afflicted, even exceedingly;

Give me life, O Jehovah, according to Thy Word.

108נ

Be well pleased, I pray, in the freewill offerings of my mouth, O Jehovah,

And teach me Thy judgments.

109נ

My soul is continually in the palm of my hand;

But I do not forget Thy law.

110נ

The wicked put down a trap for me;

But I do not stray from Thy precepts.

111נ

Thy testimonies I have inherited to eternity;

For they are the joy of my heart.

112נ

I have inclined my heart to do Thy statutes,

To eternity, to the last.

The psalms are prayers.

AC 2535. Prayer, regarded in itself, is speech with God, and some internal view at the time of the matters of the prayer, to which there answers something like an influx into the perception or thought of the mind, so that there is a certain opening of the man’s interiors toward God; but this with a difference according to the man’s state, and according to the essence of the subject of the prayer. If the man prays from love and faith, and for only heavenly and spiritual things, there then comes forth in the prayer something like a revelation (which is manifested in the affection of him who prays) as to hope, consolation, or a certain inward joy. It is from this that to “pray” signifies in the internal sense to be revealed.

AR 376. It is common in all Divine worship that, man should first will, desire, and pray, and the Lord then answer, inform, and do; otherwise man does not receive anything Divine.

AC 8179:3. Those who are in temptations, and not in some other active life than that of prayers, do not know that if the temptations were interrupted before they had been fully carried through, they would not be prepared for heaven, and thus could not be saved. For this reason, moreover, the prayers of those who are in temptations are but little heard. For the Lord wills the end, which is the salvation of the man, and He knows this end, but not the man. And the Lord does not heed prayers that are contrary to the end, which is salvation. He who conquers in temptations is also confirmed in the truth stated above 15 , while he who does not conquer entertains a doubt with respect to the Divine aid and power, because he is not heard; and then sometimes, because he slackens his hand, he partly yields.

From all this it can be seen what is meant... that prayer is not to be relied upon. For in prayer from the Divine it is always thought and believed that the Lord alone knows whether it is beneficial or not. And therefore the one praying submits the hearing to the Lord, and immediately afterward prays that the will of the Lord, and not his own, may be done, according to the Lord’s words in His own most grievous temptation at Gethsemane (Matt. 26:39, 42, 44).


15 “In the combats of temptations, the man ought to fight as of himself, but yet acknowledge and believe that it is of the Lord.” (AC 8179:2)

Questions and Comments
  1. What good-and-truth pairs can you notice in this part of Psalm 119?
  2. Psalm 119 has a set of verses for each of the 22 letters of the Hebrew alphabet. Each verse in an 8-verse set begins with the same Hebrew letter, in this case nun (which has the sound of N). The Hebrew words beginning with nun in these verses are lamp, I-have- promised, I-am-afflicted, freewill, soul, put, inherited, I-have-inclined.
  3. What are some parts of the Word that have served as a lamp to your feet and a light to your path?
  4. We can certainly pray in our own words. But have you ever felt a special power when you or someone else has prayed in the words of the psalms or other parts of the Word? The psalms provide prayers for many different states and needs.
  5. Have you noticed a prayer being answered in hope, consolation, or a certain inward joy?
  6. The Lord often does not answer our prayers as we wish He would, and especially not in the timeframe we think would be best. Why not? How should this affect our prayers?
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