Progressing Through Prayer
Psalm 73:21–28 21Thus my heart was grieved, And I was pricked in my reins. 22So foolish was I, and ignorant: I was as a beast before thee. 23Nevertheless I am continually with thee: Thou hast holden me by my right hand. 24Thou shalt guide me with thy counsel, And afterward receive me to glory. 25Whom have I in heaven but thee? And there is none upon earth that I desire beside thee. 26My flesh and my heart faileth: But God is the strength of my heart, and my portion for ever. 27For, lo, they that are far from thee shall perish: Thou hast destroyed all them that go a whoring from thee. 28But it is good for me to draw near to God: I have put my trust in the Lord God, That I may declare all thy works.
Oh, what a beautiful nugget is this passage from the mine of God’s word!
Asaph began this chapter so much different than he started it.
He began Psalm 73 in a miserable state of envy.
Psalm 73:2–3 2But as for me, my feet were almost gone; My steps had well nigh slipped. 3For I was envious at the foolish, When I saw the prosperity of the wicked.
The Psalmist ends his prayer with the discovery of great contentment and a wonderful realization that God is all that he needs.
Psalm 73:25–26 25Whom have I in heaven but thee? And there is none upon earth that I desire beside thee. 26My flesh and my heart faileth: But God is the strength of my heart, and my portion for ever.
Follow the progression in pronouns that mark his changing perspective: the first 12 verses seem to focus on “them”, from 13 through verse 17 the emphasis turned within as he used “I” and then to verse 22 the focus is on “thee” as the psalmist turns his attention to the Lord.
In the last 6 verses Asaph combines “I” and “my” with “thy” and “thou” as his perspective has been corrected and his walk with his Lord restored.
At first, he was envious as he observed at others, then discontent as he looked pridefully at himself then finally at peace when he worshipped the Lord.
Do we not see here in this wonderful Psalm the principle that Corrie Ten Boom taught in perhaps her most famous quote?
“If you look at the world, you'll be distressed. If you look within, you'll be depressed. If you look at God, you'll be at rest.” ― Corrie Ten Boom
The perspective of the Psalmist improved only as he changed his focus, aiming it at the almighty.
Here is my favorite part, even when he was envious and angry with God, feeling like he didn’t get the blessings he deserved, the good Lord kept him safely in his hands.
Psalm 73:23 Nevertheless I am continually with thee: Thou hast holden me by my right hand.
Dear reader, I must testify to this experience. I so often find myself acting like a child toward my Lord. I go to my Heavenly Father with complaints and make my demands. I pitch my fits, or pout, yet all the while he holds me in his big hands secure. I look back with amazement that he didn’t drop me. Many times, I have prayed like Asaph only to find myself transformed in the presence of my God. I can repeat with the Psalmist…
Psalm 73:28 But it is good for me to draw near to God: I have put my trust in the Lord God, That I may declare all thy works.
Can you repeat it too?