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Bible Commentaries

The Church Pulpit Commentary

Psalms 65

Verse 2

THE HEARER OF PRAYER

‘O Thou that hearest prayer, unto Thee shall all flesh come.’

Psalms 65:2 (with Php_4:6 ).

Taking for granted the existence of a personal God, the question arises, Does this involve, by necessary consequence, that, to use the language of the Bible, this God will be ‘a rewarder of them that diligently seek Him’ by prayer and otherwise, that He will attend to prayer and answer it?

I. It is obvious that every man of science in the pursuit of abstract knowledge, or in the examination of nature, acts, whether he is aware of it or no, upon the maxim that God is a rewarder of them that diligently seek Him.—It is a part of the scheme of the universe that discovery shall reward research. Nature deals with men precisely as God is said to do; with the froward she shows herself perverse. Now this, which is mere matter of scientific ascertainment, appears to bear directly and very strongly on the character of God as involved in the question of the reasonableness of prayer. Prayer has throughout all known ages recommended itself to the human mind so powerfully that even in religions, such as Buddhism, which deny the existence of a personal God distinct from nature, and in which therefore prayer can have no proper place, it has nevertheless forced its way.

II. Besides the argument based on almost universal practice, the idea that intercourse can be carried on between the soul and God seems reasonable.—If there be a God distinct from nature, He that gave man a moral nature of a certain kind, shall He not treat man accordingly? Does not the very analogy of science and religion require that as God rewards them that diligently seek Him in the one domain, so He will reward them that diligently seek Him in the other?

III. Another argument for the reasonableness of prayer is based on the unchangeable character of God.—It is precisely because God’s character is unchangeable that His purposes are flexible. It is because He is a just God that He is a Saviour; i.e. that He adapts His providence to the changing characters with which it has to deal. He treats differently those who treat Him differently, and this precisely because He is in Himself the same and changes not.

IV. If God does not grant every prayer, it is because He knows what is good for us far too well to do so.—We must offer all our prayers for temporal blessings with due submission to God’s better wisdom. ‘Not my will, but Thine, be done.’ Only one prayer needs no such qualification; the prayer for that Holy Spirit which, in the Christian doctrine, is the direct influence of the Deity on the spirits He has created, bestowing on them the highest wisdom, purifying them even as He, the fountain of purity, is pure.

—Bishop Reichel.

Illustration

‘Everything is full of God; His hand and His footsteps everywhere. There is no chill of a heartless and godless philosophy, falsely so-called, on the heart of this inspired poet; his glowing soul is warmed by the felt presence of an active, energising God Whose handiwork and Whose blessed footsteps he sees in everything that grows and in every agency that makes growth and beauty and fruitfulness on the face of this fair world.’

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Bibliographical Information
Nisbet, James. "Commentary on Psalms 65". The Church Pulpit Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/cpc/psalms-65.html. 1876.