Connecting with God
By Zena Sultana Babao
WE NEED GOD. We need to connect with God and be with Him especially during difficult time of struggle and distress. The best way to do that is through songs of praise, prayers, and worship. The Book of Psalms shows us how.
Found in the center of the Bible (between Job and Proverbs), the Book of Psalms is a great collection of songs and prayers that expresses the heart and soul of humanity. In them, the whole range of human emotions and experiences is expressed.
There are no clichés in this book. Instead, King David and the other psalmists honestly pour out their true feelings, reflecting a dynamic, powerful, and life-changing friendship with God. The psalmists confessed their sins, expressed their doubts and fears, and asked God for help in times of trouble as they praised and worshipped Him.
As we read the Book of Psalms, we hear believers crying out to God from the depths of despair, and we hear them singing to Him in the heights of celebration. But whether despairing or rejoicing, they share their honest feelings with God. Because of the honesty expressed by the psalmists, men and women throughout the ages have come – again and again – to the Book of Psalms for comfort during times of struggle and distress.
I love the Book of Psalms, and when my heart is searching for the right words to pray, I often read the songs of praise and worship found there. Just as the Book of Genesis tells us how mankind was created, fell into sin, and was then promised redemption, many of the psalms discuss the blessings available by asking in the form of prayers.
The Lord our God is our rescuer, an ever-present help in times of trouble. Right now, our country is in trouble and we are in trouble. Neither the government, nor us, can solve these problems. We have to go to the Giver of Life Himself, for nothing is impossible with God!
Jesus had said: “Ask and it will be given to you; Seek and you will find; Knock and the door will be opened.” If we pray and believe, God will release upon us His miraculous power and an outpouring of blessings that will bring about a spectacular change in our lives.
Here are a few of the greatest songs of praise, prayer, and worship from the Book of Psalms:
Psalm 8:1 – “O Lord, our Lord, how majestic is your name in all the Earth!”
Psalm 8:3-5 – “When I consider the heavens, the work of your fingers, the moon and the stars, which you have set in place, what is man that you are mindful of him, the son of man that you care for him? You made him a little lower than the heavenly beings and crowned him with glory and honor.”
Psalm 9:9-10 – “The Lord is a refuge for the oppressed, a stronghold in times of trouble. Those who know your name will trust in you, for you, Lord, have never forsaken those who seek you.”
Psalm 16:8-11 – “I have set the Lord always before me. Because he is at my right hand, I will not be shaken. Therefore my heart is glad and my tongue rejoices; my body will also rest secure, because you will not abandon me to the grave, nor will you let your Holy One see decay. You have made known to me the path of life; and you fill me with joy in your presence, with eternal pleasures at your right hand.”
Psalm 18:2-3 – “The Lord is my rock, my fortress and my deliverer; my God is my rock, in whom I take refuge. He is my shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold. I call to the Lord who is worthy of praise.”
Psalm 23:1-6: – “The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want. He makes me lie down in green pastures, he leads me beside quiet waters, he restores my soul. He guides me in the paths of righteousness for his name’s sake. Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me. You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies. You anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows. Surely goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.”
Psalm 27:1 – “The Lord is my light and my salvation – whom shall I fear? The Lord is the stronghold of my life – of whom shall I be afraid?”
Psalm 36:7&9 – ““How priceless is your unfailing love! Both high and low among men find refuge in the shadow of your wings… For with you is the fountain of life; in your light we see light.”
Psalm 51:1 – “Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me. Do not cast me from your presence or take your Holy Spirit from me. Restore to me the joy of your salvation and grant me a willing spirit, to sustain me.”
Psalm 57:5 – “Be exalted, O God, above the heavens; let your glory be over all the earth.”
Psalm 67:1-2 – “May God be gracious to us and bless us and make his face shine upon us, that your ways may be known on earth, your salvation among all nations.”
Psalm 103:1 –“Praise the Lord, O my soul; all my inmost being, praise his holy name.”
If sometimes we do struggle in prayer, it’s probably because of lack of faith, or because we believe that prayers are not answered. We need to broaden our understanding of prayer and learn to pray the right way. Isn’t it interesting that the disciples asked Jesus about prayer and not about other methods of connecting with God? Jesus taught us a system of praying in this order: praise, confession, petition, direction, and praise again. Praise let us enter into God’s presence – and when we are there, we then can confess our sins, ask for our needs, ask for His direction, and end the prayer by giving thanks and praise again.