Reflections From Psalm 34: Models of Prayer


The Scriptures and particularly the Psalms are filled with deep theology and how it’s to be applied in everyday living.  This Psalm specifically teaches us much about how to pray in the midst of difficult times, it gives us a “blueprint” to follow.

First, there’s a resolve to be thankful before God always: “I will bless the LORD at all times…” (Vv.1-3).  Gratitude for who He is and what He has done is a mark of humility and clear thinking between the Creator and the creature.  The former is self-existent, the latter utterly dependent on His good graces to exist.  Thus, this is an appropriate way to come before the great I AM.

Second, there’s a reminder to persistently pray to God: “I sought the LORD and He answered me…” (Vv.4-7).  Too often we lack tenacity when pursuing God and thus forfeit the reality of answered prayer.  Jesus said that men ought always to pray and not faint.  To live contrarily demonstrates that we really don’t trust in the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.  After all, He’s the God of the living and not of the dead.  Nothing honors God more than when his creatures trust in Him.

Third, there’s an enticement to delight in God for He’s worthy to be praised because He hears our prayers, therefore: “O taste and see that the LORD is good…” (Vv.8-10).  How incredible that unlike all the other “gods” of the nations who: have ears but can’t hear, have eyes but can’t see, have feet but can’t walk, have mouths but can’t talk, and finally are the creation of the creature, how unbelievable that the One who upholds the universe personally, interacts with His people truly, and can be experienced by them, beckons them to “taste and see that the LORD is good”.  That’s what is tasted and seen: communion with the living God!

Fourth, there’s an impartation of wisdom for youth’s from God: “Come, you children, listen to me; I will teach you the fear of the Lord” (Vv.11-14).  Adults need wisdom, but youths all the more because of their lack of life experience.  God says He’ll give it if His voice is heeded.  This hearkens to Solomon’s purpose for the book of Proverbs 1: “to give youths knowledge and discretion.”  Is this an awesome alternative to sex, drugs and rock’n roll?  Yes but much more for the former leads to death, the latter to true life.

Fifth,  there’s a leading into the LORD’s presence: “The eyes of the Lord are toward the righteous… The Lord is near to the brokenhearted” (Vv.15-18).  Too often the loneliness that would swallow us up can be defeated by remembering that God has not forsaken us, even in the worst of times (E.g., The Babylonian Captivity).  David knew this well and even in the depths of despair he could confidently say, “The Lord is my light and my salvation; Whom shall I fear?  The Lord is the defense of my life; Whom shall I dread?” (Ps.27:1).  This text releases believers to be bold as a lion not timid as a turtle.

Sixth, there’s a reminder that the righteous do suffer: “Many are the afflictions of the righteous, But the Lord delivers him out of them all… The Lord redeems the soul of His servants, And none of those who take refuge in Him will be condemned” (Vv.19-22).  When Jesus laid down the conditions of discipleship it was, “Die to self and live for Me—the cross is the road to redemption where Christ and not self is king”.

What an amazing God! Who can compare?! Our God is an awesome God tender and mighty, shrewd and compassionate, just and merciful!  To God alone Be the glory both now and forevermore.


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