I. Request God's attention
- Give ear to my words, O Lord, consider my groaning. Heed the sound of my cry for help, my King and my God, for to You I pray. In the morning, O Lord, You will hear my voice; in the morning I will order my prayer to You and eagerly watch (Psalm 5:1-3).
- In the early morning, while it was still dark, Jesus got up, left the house, and went away to a secluded place, and was praying there (Mark 1:35).
II. Rehearse God's character
- For You are not a God who takes pleasure in wickedness; no evil dwells with You. The boastful shall not stand before Your eyes; You hate all who do iniquity. You destroy those who speak falsehood; the Lord abhors the man of bloodshed and deceit. But as for me, by Your abundant lovingkindness, I will enter Your house, at Your holy temple I will bow in reverence for You (Psalm 5:4-7).
- If I regard wickedness in my heart, the Lord will not hear; but certainly, God has heard; He has given heed to the voice of my prayer. Blessed be God, who has not turned away my prayer nor His lovingkindness from me (Psalm 66:18-20).
III. Respect God's judgment
- Lord, lead me in Your righteousness because of my foes; make Your way straight before me. There is nothing reliable in what they say; their inward part is destruction itself. Their throat is an open grave; they flatter with their tongue. Hold them guilty, O God; by their own devices let them fall! In the multitude of their transgressions thrust them out, for they are rebellious against You (Psalm 5:8-10).
- But the Lord of hosts will be exalted in judgment, and the holy God will show Himself holy in righteousness (Isaiah 5:16).
IV. Rejoice in God's favor
- But let all who take refuge in You be glad, let them ever sing for joy; and may You shelter them, that those who love Your name may exult in You. For it is You who blesses the righteous man, O Lord, You surround him with favor as with a shield (Psalm 5:11, 12).
- The Lord favors those who fear Him, those who wait for His lovingkindness(Psalm 147:11).
Sermon by Pastor Rod Akins, October 9th, 2022
Life group flow and discussion questions
"How to approach God in prayer"
An important Guideline of Life Groups: Drawing close to God in prayer must be a daily personal practice as well as the joyful habit of your Life Group with one another. Keep each other accountable to be devoted to earnest prayer.
- What spiritual disciplines are helpful to you in starting each day seeking the Lord? Why does David make his earnest prayers "in the morning" (Psalm 5:3)?
- Do you believe that what you have to say matters to God? Do you realize that our gracious heavenly Father longs to hear us pray (Psalm 116:1, 2; James 4:5)?
- According to Psalm 5:4, why must we be purified by faith in Jesus to enter God's holy presence (Titus 3:4-7; Hebrews 9:24-28)?
- What are some healthy attitudes toward prayer that we need to cultivate and what are some unhealthy attitudes about prayer that we need to change?
- How do you express thanks for God's character and attributes in your prayers?
- Why is it important to realize that it's only by the Lord's "abundant lovingkindness" (Psalm 5:7) that we can enter His presence?
- How does David's imprecatory prayer of Psalm 5:9, 10 show respect and honor for God's righteous judgment? How does this type of prayer fit with Jesus's teaching in Matthew 5:43-48?
- Do you ever have a good belly laugh with God in your conversations with Him?
- David understood how to rejoice in the Lord even in the struggles of life; list David's expressions that reflect joy in Psalm 5:11, 12.
- Do you feel God's favor over your life today? How does Psalm 147:11 guide us in experiencing the Lord's favor?
Now What? Application:
- Will you commit to seeking the Lord every morning in earnest prayer (Mark 1:35)?
- Ask God to search you and lead you with humble confession (Psalm 139:23, 24).