Top Reasons for Prayer. Reflections on Psalm 108

The Psalmist prayed on behalf of her community “give us aid against the enemy, for the help of man is worthless” (Psalm 108:12). One of the reasons for this prayer is the psalmist’s confidence in God. The psalmist was sure that “with God we will gain victory, and he will trample down our enemies” (Psalm 108:13). Moreover, the psalmist realized that she cannot trust in human power to win any battles.

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This leads us to the most important reason for prayer. That is the sovereignty of God over the nations. Citing a divine oracle, the psalmist affirms the sovereignty of God over the nations.

God has promised in his holiness: “With exultation I will divide up Shechem and portion out the Valley of Succoth. Gilead is mine; Manasseh is mine; Ephraim is my helmet, Judah my scepter. Moab is my washbasin; upon Edom I cast my shoe; over Philistia I shout in triumph” (Psalms 108:7—9, ESV).

The enemies of the people of God, and particularly the country of Edom with which they are engaged in the battle now are at God’s disposal. He can parcel it out as He likes, he can treat some as his wash­basin, and some are like the place where he will throw his san­dals. In other words, it is God who decides the destiny of the nations.

This reminder makes the psalmist exult “With God we shall do valiantly; it is he who will tread down our foes” (Psalms 108:13, ESV).

Confidence to pray stems out of the realization that God is in control of our situations. He can control and conquer the situations that we face.

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