Psalms 138 – 145: The eight prayer Psalms of David


This week Graham continued the series on the 8 prayer Psalms of David. You can listen again to the sermon here:

In order to read these prayers in such a way that they speak to both you and I in our time we must first note some features of their context.

These prayers are the prayers of one person. They present us with his thoughts, his hopes and beliefs and sometimes his human limitations. These are the prayers of a king. They are from the pre New Covenant age.

An introduction to the Psalms

The book of Psalms can be seen as a collection of poems prayers and songs. So it is a collection of these that have been used and are intended for use.

The Psalms represent the faith that had matured over centuries and had reached the stage of development at the time the collection was put together during, or shortly after, the exile into Babylon, probably by temple priests. It became the prayer book during the exile, in the life of the rebuilt temple after the exile and in the synagogues up to the time of Jesus and beyond. It is still used in synagogues and in the church of Jesus the Messiah.

One way to use the Psalms is to pray aloud portions of them as words of our own prayers to God.

Conclusion from last time. Psalm 142

Prayer as crying

A cry for help may not be focused and clear, but it is heartfelt. It comes from the depth of our being.

Prayer as pouring

David is pouring out his complaint and the trouble he is in.

This sort of prayer is regardless of precision or correct grammar, it doesn’t need all the words to be right or even a clear focus. It just needs the dumping before an all knowing God all our fears, anxieties, worries, longings, ambitions, etc.

Question: Make a list of everything you can think of that could be included in the sort of prayer that is “pouring out”.


I have come to the conclusion that prayer always changes things. It either changes what is around us, or it changes us! What are we when we are alone? Reflections on the recent sermons by Daniel, Neil and Adam on Joseph and Jonah.

Who is alongside us when we are alone?

1 Remember what he has done

Verse 5 I remember the days of long ago; I meditate on all your works and consider what your hands have done.

2 Listen for his words

The psalmist wants to be heard.

1 Lord, hear my prayer, listen to my cry for mercy;
in your faithfulness and righteousness come to my relief.

But the psalmist also wants to hear. He listens for God’s words. He wants to hear assurance of God’s love.

8 Let the morning bring me word of your unfailing love, for I have put my trust in you.

3 Learn from him

8 …Show me the way I should go, for to you I entrust my life. 9 Rescue me from my enemies, Lord, for I hide myself in you. 10 Teach me to do your will, for you are my God; may your good Spirit lead me on level ground.
“Show me the way I should go”
“Teach me to do your will”

4 Who is alongside us when we are alone?

See 2 Corinthians 1:8-11

8 We do not want you to be uninformed, brothers and sisters, about the troubles we experienced in the province of Asia. We were under great pressure, far beyond our ability to endure, so that we despaired of life itself. 9 Indeed, we felt we had received the sentence of death. But this happened that we might not rely on ourselves but on God, who raises the dead. 10 He has delivered us from such a deadly peril, and he will deliver us again. On him we have set our hope that he will continue to deliver us, 11 as you help us by your prayers. Then many will give thanks on our behalf for the gracious favour granted us in answer to the prayers of many.

Romans 15:30-33

30 I urge you, brothers and sisters, by our Lord Jesus Christ and by the love of the Spirit, to join me in my struggle by praying to God for me. 31 Pray that I may be kept safe from the unbelievers in Judea and that the contribution I take to Jerusalem may be favourably received by the Lord’s people there, 32 so that I may come to you with joy, by God’s will, and in your company be refreshed. 33 The God of peace be with you all. Amen.

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