The Psalmist declares in the first verse: “I love the LORD, because he hath heard my voice and my supplications.” One of the unique things about Judaism and Christianity is the command to love The Lord. The other unique thing is that Christians and Jews have a prayer-answering God. In fact, this is the very reason why we love for our God.
There are some who will say that if you are spiritual, you should not expect anything from God. They believe there is more spirituality in learning to accept sickness, sorrow, and poverty than in receiving God’s deliverance from them. Some will even declare that prayer is primarily about meditating on God. The world even reinforces this by showing instances — in real life and in fiction— where God did not answer prayers. Even in Christian circles, God’s ability, readiness, and willingness to answer prayer is questioned or belittled. Often many pastors begin healing services with whole talks about why God may or may not heal the sick.
But the Bible does not define prayer in that way. Yahweh, the god of Judaism and Christianity, is all about love. Yahweh is a God who can be loved. And His covenant with Jews and Christians is based on His love for His people and the fact that He delivered them.
A Jew and a Christian are enjoined to love the Lord because of covenants of love. God brought the Israelites out of slavery. The relationship between Yahweh and his people is a covenant of gratitude because God delivered the people, and because God loved the ancestors of the people. Exodus 20:3 and 2 Kings 17:35-39
Yahweh has a personality. Yahweh, the Judeo-Christian God is a Personal God, with personal traits, and with a personality. He is jealous, He weeps, He has a nasty temper. He desires Love. He loves the poor, and seems to have a particular love for outcasts, and those who don’t fit in. He has a sense of humor, and he gets angry when His name is used lightly. He loves animals and birds. Certain behaviors --such as religious hypocrisy, stealing, homosexuality, divorce, and cross-dressing-- disgust him. He is holy, holy, holy. Yet He dislikes those who are merely externally righteous and who believe they have “earned” his love. He has forgiveness to all, yet He has declared that on the day of judgment, prostitutes who have believed and obeyed God will be treated with more honor than religious legalist hypocrites. Matthew 21:31-32
Consider the following verses: Luke 10:27, Joshua 23:11, Psalm 147:18-20 He even loves particular geographic areas, such as Mt Zion. Psalm 48:2
The Church loves God’s personality. They love the way He does things. They love His nearness to them. The Christian does not go to church because he wants to be good. The Christian goes to church because he or she loves Yahweh and wishes to be with others who love Him. When they sing to God, they sing not because they are ordered to sing but because spontaneous praise arises from the heart to praise the Beloved.
Because of this loving God, the Bible often uses the metaphor of marriage, prostitution, adultery, and divorce to speak to Jews and Christians. Ezekiel 23:3
The Jew and the Christian love their God because God loves him and has delivered them. Both love God because of a great Exodus and Passover; they love God because He is a deliverer. God is good to all people but the people whom He has saved from trouble are called His very own because they understand His lovingkindness and faithfulness. 1 John 3:1, Deuteronomy 4:32-34
1I love the LORD, because he hath heard my voice and my supplications.
2Because he hath inclined his ear unto me, therefore will I call upon him as long as I live.
3The sorrows of death compassed me, and the pains of hell gat hold upon me: I found trouble and sorrow.
4Then called I upon the name of the LORD; O LORD, I beseech thee, deliver my soul.
5Gracious is the LORD, and righteous; yea, our God is merciful.
6The LORD preserveth the simple: I was brought low, and he helped me.
7Return unto thy rest, O my soul; for the LORD hath dealt bountifully with thee.
8For thou hast delivered my soul from death, mine eyes from tears, and my feet from falling.
9I will walk before the LORD in the land of the living.
10I believed, therefore have I spoken: I was greatly afflicted:
11I said in my haste, All men are liars.
12What shall I render unto the LORD for all his benefits toward me?
13I will take the cup of salvation, and call upon the name of the LORD.
14I will pay my vows unto the LORD now in the presence of all his people.
15Precious in the sight of the LORD is the death of his saints.
16O LORD, truly I am thy servant; I am thy servant, and the son of thine handmaid: thou hast loosed my bonds.
17I will offer to thee the sacrifice of thanksgiving, and will call upon the name of the LORD.
18I will pay my vows unto the LORD now in the presence of all his people.
19In the courts of the LORD’s house, in the midst of thee, O Jerusalem. Praise ye the LORD.