Answer me, O Lord, for your steadfast love is good; according to your abundant mercy, turn to me.
~ Psalm 69:16 ~
This attitude says God is full of loving-kindness, He is good, and He responds to our needs with a multitude of tender mercies. He is full of compassion, and He has proven it over and over with His loving mercy in the past. His supply of mercy and kindness will never run dry, so go to Him with full confidence in a loving, merciful Father, who is ready to hear your request today.
~ Ken Turner – God Hears Us, God is Good
On what basis have I called upon my Heavenly Father? What right do I have to approach His throne and appeal for help? If I do not know the answer – if it isn’t deeply rooted in my soul – I may have a barren prayer life. And if I were spiritually hungry, the lack of fruitfulness will bother me. I ask why? How is it my prayer life has become unfruitful and barren? How have I given myself over to doubting God? What is my spiritual attitude toward Him when I come before the altar and offer up my daily sacrifices – my will and life? What prevents me from experiencing God’s full sovereign grace and mercy?
One hinderance, I have found, to a fruitful life of prayer is approaching God on the wrong basis. He is often portrayed in my mind as a debtor- God owes me blessings – as if He is obligated to care for me regardless of my attitude. It’s true that He promises to care for each one of us. But, it is not according to our will, our desire, our means, and specifications. He has, time and time again, straighten me out on this. He has taught me to approach Him with His true nature – love and mercy – in the forefront of my mind.
Though I know His grace is sufficient for me – as it is promised in sacred scripture – I need to be humble before Him. Have faith in Him. Only then shall He strengthen my weaknesses (see Ether 12:27). Yet, I get confused and sometimes see Him as lenient and not merciful. The difference is monumental. He does not casually dismiss my sin. No, He forgives it because of the costly sacrifice of Jesus Christ and the infinite atonement wrought through the Cross, death, burial, and resurrection of the Savior. Knowing the difference has significant implications for me. When I see Him as lenient, I will be casual about my own sin, just as I assume He is. I may take my Heavenly Father for granted and become a complacent and lukewarm Christian. Never fully experiencing the depth of His love. I will pray with a sinful and distorted heart. When I understand mercy, I will truly grieve, lament, and fully humble myself unto repentance. And I will never again approach Him with a sense of entitlement.
David’s cry is a model for prayer. Christians who are not spiritually mindful act entitled to the favors of God. Such attitude is annoying, both to God and other observers. Worse than that, such Christians never come to taste and appreciate the generosity of a Sovereign God. They take for granted His Sovereign Grace and Mercy. Our Heavenly Father knows the hearts and minds of all and will not allow us to relate to Him in such a way. He is not lenient toward us; He is merciful, yes. He sees the ugliness of transgression and loves us. As the Apostle Paul writes: while we were yet sinners He loved us (see Romans 5:8). He has dealt with our rebellion painfully. And then He blesses us with answered prayer. When I pray, I want to come to know the depth of His sovereign mercy. It is behind every wisdom and answer He bestows and blesses me with.