1 I lift my eyes to You, the One enthroned in heaven.
2 Like a servant’s eyes on his master’s hand, like a servant girl’s eyes on her mistress’s hand, so our eyes are on the Lord our God until He shows us favor.
3 Show us favor, Lord, show us favor, for we’ve had more than enough contempt.
4 We’ve had more than enough scorn from the arrogant and contempt from the proud.
Lifting up our eyes to the Lord. It’s simple but it says something very profound and very significant. It’s looking to God; it’s coming to God in all our helplessness. This Psalm reminds us that prayer is recognition of God’s power.
From the trouble, from the pain, from the hurt, from the turmoil of this world, you redirect you mind, you redirect your heart, and you focus upon the Lord. You look to Him, to a God, the psalmist says, who is enthroned in the heavens. The God he knows to be in control, unchangeable in His being, wisdom, power, holiness, justice, and goodness and truth.”
Remove from your thoughts every limitation that makes God too small, so that when you think of God’s presence you say to yourself, ‘There isn’t a location in this entire created universe in which God cannot be found. God is everywhere.’ Then you think of His knowledge. You say to yourself, there isn’t one iota of knowledge that God doesn’t know. When you think of His power, you say to yourself there is no force in this universe that is greater than God. God is in the heavens. He reigns in the heavens. He rules from the heavens. God is sovereign.
Prayer is also is a recognition that we are powerless. “Show us favor” because we are powerless to adequately deal with the problems of this life. There’s absolutely nothing I can do about it! This problem, this situation in which I find myself, I cannot change it. I cannot do one single thing to alter it. I bring it to You and ask You for mercy.
Isn’t that a marvelous description of what our prayers are sometimes like, when we feel our helplessness, when we feel as though we are being fought at every side? ‘Lord, there’s nothing I can do. This problem is too big for me. Lord, You take it. You deal with it. There’s nothing that I can do.’ This is what prayer is all about—an expression of our helplessness.
And how comforting to know that God cares so much about us that He would show any favor at all! But this Psalm recognizes this characteristic in God. Because he has experienced the favor of God before he comes to God again knowing that God is loving and faithful. He delights to extend that mercy and that compassion to His people.
Perhaps you get the impression in reading this Psalm that he’s been praying this prayer for some time? This isn’t the first time he’s prayed this prayer. Perhaps this Psalm is a reminder that there will be long times when we must learn to wait for the Lord to work in His time.
And some of you have been down this road, too, and you’ve got issues in your life…in your personal life, in your family life, in the places of your work. And you’ve brought this burden and you’ve brought this concern before the Lord, and it seems that every time you pray that God would bring His mercy and show His compassion, it seems as though the problem is getting worse and not better. Please be assured that you’re not alone.
The psalmist is saying, “I’m not going to quit … I know there is no other who can help and show mercy … I’ll wait in obedience because I know that God will show favor on His people and when He does it will be worth the wait.”
But that’s the problem, isn’t it? It’s the “until.” Because we want that mercy now, we want that mercy tonight, we want that pain gone this very hour, we want our prayers answered how we want them and when we want them. But God’s timetable is not our timetable. His ways are not our ways. His thoughts are not our thoughts. And what this Psalm is calling upon us to do tonight is to wait upon the Lord, that we might renew our strength and mount up with wings as eagles, and run and not be weary, and walk and not faint, as we see and discern His timetable working itself out in our pilgrimage to heaven.
Kyle Blanton is Pastor, Pee Dee Baptist Church