Positions of Prayer – Part 7, Looking Expectantly To Heaven

Positions of Prayer – Part 7

Looking Expectantly To Heaven

By Pastor Bill

Last week we looked at how the condition of our heart affects our ability to look to heaven while we are praying. Ezra felt humiliated, embarrassed, and ashamed and could not look to heaven. Stephen was unashamed and gazed intently into heaven. Jesus looked to heaven when He prayed to bless the food for the five thousand. Today, I want to look at another aspect of looking to heaven – praying with expectation. Our text is found in Psalms 123.

“(A Song of Ascents.) To Thee I lift up my eyes, O Thou who art enthroned in the heavens! {2} Behold, as the eyes of servants look to the hand of their master, As the eyesof a maid to the hand of her mistress; So our eyes look to the LORD our God, Until He shall be gracious to us. {3} Be gracious to us, O LORD, be gracious to us; For we are greatly filled with contempt.{4} Our soul is greatly filled With the scoffing of those who are at ease, And with the contempt of the proud.”City on a hill

This was a song or psalm of ascents. Jerusalem is a city set on a hill. As people approached
Jerusalem, they were ascending. There are a group of psalms called the psalms of ascents, which people sang while they were approaching Jerusalem. The Jewish people would go to Jerusalem for the various feasts, like the Passover, and on their way, they would recite, or sing these various psalms of ascents. They were very expectant of what they were going to experience during the Feast.

The psalmist starts by saying that he will lift up his eyes to the Lord, who is enthroned in the heavens. This is in contrast to how most of us have been taught to bow our heads and close our eyes. The psalmist is lifting his head and his eyes and looking up towards heaven. In verses 2-3, the psalmist says that he is like a servant, who is looking to the hand of his master or a maid who is looking to the hand of her mistress. A servant or maid is looks expectantly to his master or mistress. He is waiting for instructions, commands, approval, or direction. In this case the psalmist is looking expectantly for the Lord to be gracious to him. They were experiencing contempt, disrespect, or shame from the world. Rather than succumb to what was being hurled at them, they looked expectantly to the Lord to be gracious to them. They were looking expectantly to the Lord to answer them and to remove all shame.

When we pray, we should lift our eyes to the Lord, to the One that we serve. We should lift our eyes with expectant hearts, to see how He is going to give us the answer, request, commands, or direction that we have asked for. We need to keep our eyes fixed attentively on the Lord, our Master, until He is gracious to us.

“Father, we want to be a people who pray expectantly to You, knowing that You will answer us and be gracious to us. Help us to pray attentively and confidently. Lord, help us to pray patiently until You are gracious to us and give us the answers that we need. To You be all praise and honour and glory. Amen.Jerusalem

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