Praying to a Sovereign God (Psalm 50:10–12) - Radical

Praying to a Sovereign God (Psalm 50:10–12)

“Every beast of the forest is mine. The cattle on a thousand hills. I know all the birds of the hills, and all that moves in the field is mine. If I were hungry, I would not tell you for the world and its fullness are mine.”
-Psalm 50: 10–12

I love these verses. God’s speaking to his people. Now, the context here is in verse seven, so right before this, we started in verse 10, right before this, God is speaking to His people, and He’s saying, “I’m going to testify against you. I am God, your God.” He starts talking about how they offer sacrifices to Him, which obviously in the Old Testament God had prescribed as a way for His people to worship Him. But they had started to get the idea that God needed their sacrifices in some way, that God needed their worship in some way. When the reality is God is completely, totally self-sufficient. He does not need anything from us. He doesn’t need anything from His people. This is one of the things that makes God different from you and me. We are needy people, all day long, right? We need God to put breath in our lungs. We need God to cause our hearts to beat. We need God to provide water and food for us. We need sleep. We need so many different things.

We pray to the God who is sovereign over it all.

God is not like us in this way. He doesn’t need anything. And that’s what He’s saying here, He says, “If I were hungry,” which God doesn’t get hungry, but He’s saying, “If I were, I wouldn’t tell you like you need to feed me, for the world and its fullness are mine.” In other words, God says, “I have everything.” So when we worship God, we need to remember that we are worshiping the self-existent, self-sufficient king of all. He has everything. He’s sovereign over everything. He doesn’t need anything from us. He owns it all. He possesses it all. Now here’s the beauty, when you jump down to verse 15, God says to His people, so this is the God who is self-sufficient, who has everything at His disposal, He says, “Call upon me in the day of trouble, and I will deliver you. And you shall glorify me.”

Yes. This is why we pray. This is what we do when we pray. We pray to the God who’s sovereign over it all, who doesn’t need anything, and who has said, “Look to me for all you need. Call upon me for what you need, and I will help you. I will deliver you. I will provide for you.” This is what God says over and over and over again to His people all throughout His Word. He says, “Look to me for grace and I will pour it out on you.” The beautiful design, even in verse 15, He says, “I will deliver you, and you shall glorify me.” The whole picture is God, the self-existent sovereign Lord of all, He pours out grace on all who look to Him and call out to Him. He pours out grace upon them, and they glorify Him. God gives the grace, God gets the glory, and you and I get to be a part of it. You and I get to be provided for by God with everything we need.

Think Philippians 4:19, “My God will supply all your needs according to His glorious riches in Christ Jesus.” Oh, doesn’t this drive you to prayer? God, we praise you right now as the self-existent, self-sufficient Lord of all, the king on high, the one true God. You need nothing from us. Yet we gladly bow our heads, our hearts right now before you, and we say, “We love you, oh God. We worship you. We praise you in all your beauty and all your majesty and all your glory. There is no one unlike you. There is nothing like you. You are far greater than we can even fathom. We worship you, not because you need us to, but because you deserve our worship, because you are glorious beyond comprehension. We praise you as the one who has all things, who’s sovereign over everything. We praise you for the privilege of calling upon you in every moment and specifically in the day of trouble, and knowing that you hear us. You are the sovereign self-existence, self-sufficient God of the universe. You hear us and you answer us and you provide for what we need in ways that are good for us, in ways that are glorifying to you.

So, God teach us to pray like this. Even as this podcast closes in a second, God help us just to call upon you in all kinds of different ways in our lives and to know that you, the self-sufficient, self-existent sovereign Lord of all hear us and you are committed to providing for all we need according to the glorious riches of Christ Jesus. Jesus, we praise you for making this possible, for dying on the cross so we could be forgiven of our sins and reconciled to relationship with God. All glory be to your name for opening the store house of mercy, to enter in, to behold such a majesty and to pray to the God who owns the cattle on a thousand hills and to ask for whatever we need. We love you, God. We praise you. Not because you need us, but because you love us and we love you. We love you, God. We pray all of this in Jesus’ name. Amen.

View the 2021 McLean Bible Church Reading Plan here.

David Platt serves as pastor at McLean Bible Church in Washington, D.C. He is the founder and chairman of Radical. He is the author of several books, including Radical, Radical Together, Follow Me, Counter Culture, and Something Needs to Change.

Less than 1% of all money given to missions goes to unreached people and places.*

That means that the people with the most urgent spiritual and physical needs on the planet are receiving the least amount of support. Let's change that!