Her little hand swatted my newspaper aside. “Grandpa, I talking to you,” she said.
My granddaughter wanted to climb up on my lap and tell me something important. I was engrossed in my paper and hadn’t noticed her. Not so with our heavenly Father. He wants us on his lap, pouring out our hearts to him in prayer.
A father who hears his children’s prayers
What varied pictures the psalmist used in Psalm 91 to describe the God to whom we pray. “He is my refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust” (v. 2). Like some safe place to which we hurry when a tornado approaches, so God is our safe shelter in the storms of life. Like some impenetrable fortress bristling with weapons, so God is our strong defender against the onslaughts of Satan. Moreover, he is the “LORD,” the God of grace who keeps all his promises, especially the one promising the Savior.
But not everyone trusts our heavenly Father as a refuge and fortress, the psalmist reminds us. Quoting the Lord, he writes, “Because he loves me, . . . I will rescue him; I will protect him, for he acknowledges my name. He will call on me, and I will answer him; I will be with him in trouble, I will deliver him and honor him. With long life I will satisfy him and show him my salvation” (vv. 14-16). Prayer is the blessed privilege God grants only to those who love him and revere him as their Savior. They love him because he has worked trust in him in their hearts. Now as believing children, they climb up on his welcoming lap and pour out their hearts to him. They do not have to struggle to gain his attention. “The eyes of the LORD are on the righteous, and his ears are attentive to their cry,” another psalmist reminds us (Psalm 34:15).
A father who answers his children’s prayers
As believers, we have no guarantee that we’ll never face enemies or troubles. What we do have is a loving Father who hears our anguished prayers and protects us. When life’s troubles make us feel like birds pursued by a hunter or people trapped in a besieged city, we can crawl up on our Father’s lap and feel his strong arms encircling us. When Satan and his minions seek to inject their venom into faith’s veins like poisonous snakes, our Father will send his holy angels to wrap a protective shield around us (vv. 3-12).
Morning, noon, and night those angels walk with us as celestial bodyguards sent by the Lord. What a comfort it is to know that through all the changing scenes of life, our loving Father not only hears our prayers but also answers them according to his wisdom.
Can we see in the psalmist’s words the hint of the Father’s answer to another prayer, “Deliver us from evil”? Can we even imagine what it will be like to have every evil of body and soul eliminated when our Father welcomes us into his heavenly kingdom? Then there will be no more need for prayer. Instead, it will be endless praise to him whose love has brought us there.
Other psalms for when God lifts you up on his lap: Psalms 54, 61, and 86.
This is the fifth article in a six-part series about the psalms’ guidance for our daily lives. Read the psalms with FIC in a six-month Bible reading series.
Author: Richard Lauersdorf
Volume 110, Number 05
Issue: May 2023
- Psalm 103: When you count your blessings
- Psalm 91: When God lifts you up on his lap
- Psalm 4: When you draw nearer to the end
- Psalm 42: When you ask, “Where is God when I’m hurting?”
- Psalm 32: When you need forgiveness
- Psalm 130: When rocks fall
- Bible study: Freedom in service
- What does this mean for me? Article 6
- Bible study: Spiritual gifts
- What does this mean for me? Article 5
- What does this mean for me? Article 4
- Bible study: Rejoice in your status!
- Bible study: Baptismal blessings
- What does this mean for me? Article 3
- What does this mean for me? Article 2
- Bible study: Gifts of tongues and miraculous healing
- What does this mean for me? Article 1
- Bible study: Jesus is everyone’s Savior
- Bible study: Love one another
- Bible study: Above all things!
- Bible study: The comfort of God’s providence
- The book of James: Waiting for Christ’s return
- Bible study: Precious grace
- The book of James: Active in using prayer
- Bible study: Rewards of grace
- The book of James: Active in showing love
- The book of James: Correctly evaluating riches
- Bible study: What’s going to happen on the Last Day?
- The book of James: Avoiding loveless judging
- Bible study: Interpretation practice
- The book of James: Taming the tongue
- Bible study: The Bible’s attributes
- Bible study: The importance of the family altar
- Bible study: God’s attitude is grace
- Bible study: The Bible’s account of Easter morning
- Bible study: Different types of sin
- Bible study: God’s inspiration
- Bible study: Giving God glory
- Bible study: Judge for yourself
- The book of James: Using the Word of Truth
- Bible study: The need for the Bible and worship
- Bible study: Citizens of two kingdoms
- The book of James: Active in good works
- The book of James: When battling temptation
- Bible study: God cares
- Bible study: God made the world
- The book of James: When facing trials
- Bible study: A loving God saved people from hell
- The book of James: A blueprint for living out our life of faith
- A Bible story just for me: Guilt
- Bible study: God provides victory over death!
- A Bible story just for me: Anxiety
- Bible study: God forgives and refuses to remember our sins
- A Bible story just for me: Grief
- Bible study: God helps those who cannot help themselves
- A Bible story just for me: Depression
- Bible study: God has not grown soft on sin
- Bible study: Only one path leads to God’s presence
- A Bible story just for me: Trauma
- A Bible story just for me
- Bible study: God wants me in heaven
- Bible study: The incarnation of our Lord