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The Key to Answered Prayer: 3 Psalms About Humility

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The Lord takes pleasure in His people;
He honors the humble with victory.
Psalm 149:4


The Key to Answered Prayer: 3 Psalms About Humility

Written by Dean Marini

There is an old country music song that says “Oh Lord it’s hard to be humble, when You’re perfect in every way.” While the song is meant to be tongue-in-cheek, it does point out an interesting truth. There are few things on earth as fragile as humility. As the old saying goes, even by saying you’re humble, you’ve already lost it.

When we study teachings on prayer, we find a lot of emphasis on faith, fervency and frequency. I can find even more advice on when, where, why and what words to pray. An internet search on “how to pray more effectively” will yield thousands of results that give us all types of insight on how to get our prayers answered. 

Many “faith-based” teachers will espouse the “name it and claim it” philosophy. That if we pray with enough faith, our prayers will be answered in the way we want. Sadly, many people fall victim to feeling that their faith was lacking when their prayers went unanswered. In truth however, it is oftentimes more a matter of God simply saying, “I have something different for you.”

One of the more often quoted verses about prayer, especially in times of difficulty, is found in 2 Chronicles 7:14: If My people, who are called by My Name, will humble themselves and pray and seek My face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from Heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land.”  That passage powerfully directs us to the need for humble prayer, repentance, and a faith-filled desire for God’s restorative power in whatever situation we are facing. 

Ironically when reading through Scripture, we often breeze over a word here or there that is the link to the success we are searching for — particularly as it relates to our prayer life. One such example can be found in the beginning of Psalm 131 below. One of the most important keys to a successful prayer life is humility. Additionally, and lost on so many, is the fact that many of the words of the psalms weren’t just interpreted by a prophet. They were spoken by God himself! And in the example below, the very first thing God told Solomon was that we must humble ourselves when we pray.

As you prayerfully read over The Key to Answered Prayer: 3 Psalms About Humility, pay close attention to what these passages say about humility in our prayers and in our attitude towards God. One word of direction can mean all the difference in receiving those answers to our prayers!

The Key to Answered Prayer: 3 Psalms About Humility

Psalm 18:27

You save those who are humble, but You humble those who are proud.

Psalm 149:4

The Lord takes pleasure in His people; He honors the humble with victory.

Psalm 131

Lord, I have given up my pride and turned away from my arrogance.I am not concerned with great matters or with subjects too difficult for me. Instead, I am content and at peace. As a child lies quietly in its mother’s arms, so my heart is quiet within me. Israel, trust in the Lord now and forever!

Upon reflection, reflect also upon Jesus’ response to His apostles when they asked Him to teach them how to pray. The very first thing Jesus did was humble Himself and acknowledge the awesomeness of His Heavenly Father:

Our Father, who art in Heaven,hallowed be thy Name… 

If Jesus humbled Himself when He prayed, think of the humility we must have! Yes, we can approach the Throne of Grace with confidence and boldness. The righteousness we receive by the forgiveness of our sins and the indwelling of the Holy Spirit grants us permission to do so. But we must remember that in so doing is in itself a gift of grace … and that warrants a loving state of humility.

Humbling ourselves also puts us in the proper state of heart and mind to not only petition for our own desires but, more importantly, to listenfor God’s will for our lives. When we pray in humility, we come to the place Jesus taught us through His model prayer — The Our Father

thy Kingdom come, thy will be done, on earth as it is in Heaven. 

Jesus also addressed the need to be humble when we pray in Luke 18:9-14. In this parable we see that God answers prayers of humility rather than of piety. In a world of increasing discord moreover, remembering the sin that God rescued us from gives us compassion to pray for others as well — even our enemies. Rather than praying for someone’s downfall, we are called to pray for their salvation. Jesus does not want us to pray down fire from Heaven on those we judge are steeped in sin. Rather, we are to recall our own sin and need for repentance and pray for mercy for ourselves and for others. That is humility!

As you put it into practice today, trust God. Quiet yourself and humbly pray, meditating on the 3 Psalm verses above as well as on these words: “He leads the humble in the right way and teaches them His will”Psalm 25:9. In so doing, God will answer you. Be humble enough to accept and trust any answer you receive.

Written by Dean Marini

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