A Morning Prayer
Meet the LORD in the morning.
To the Chief Musician. With flutes. A Psalm of David.
In this Psalm we see David coming to the LORD in the morning. In that time of morning prayer, he received the strength, joy, and direction he needed to face the day and his many challenges.
Meeting God in the morning.
David, a leader of men, armies, and a nation learned a good habit while he watched over his father’s sheep as a youth. Godly habits established in youth, will serve a leader well.
David’s habit of early morning prayer
Give ear to my words, O LORD,
Consider my meditation.
Give heed to the voice of my cry,
My King and my God,
For to You, I will pray.
My voice You shall hear in the morning, O LORD;
In the morning I will direct it to You,
And I will look up.
Give ear … consider … give heed:
David does not take it for granted that God will hear. He asks for God’s attention. “LORD, please hear my prayers.”
For to You, I will pray:
David prayed to God. He didn’t offer prayers to “the big man in the sky” or “if anyone is up there.” He sought out the One True God who could hear and help during a time of need. David was called “a man after God’s heart.” His attitude in prayer revealed how sincere his heart was.
“Very much of so-called prayer, both public and private, is not unto God. In order that a prayer should be really unto God, there must be a definite and conscious approach to God when we pray; we must have a definite and vivid realization that God is bending over us and listening as we pray.” (Torrey)
My voice You shall hear in the morning:
David’s learned habit was to pray in the morning. We would do well to learn from the habit the greatest King of Israel developed in his life. This early morning approach honored God above all other things in the beginning of his day. His perspective was correct. Other things could wait, God would be first.
Hudson Taylor, the famous missionary to China, had trouble finding time alone with God. He began to wake himself up at 2:00 in the morning and using those quiet hours when everyone else slept to commune with God.
In the morning I will direct it to You, and I will look up:
David directs his prayer to the only One who can hear it. He looks up to the only place from which an answer could come. We should look to God, not some random chance that things will turn out well. Karma shouldn’t be our hope.
“Do we not miss very much of the sweetness and efficacy of prayer by a want of careful meditation before it, and of hopeful expectation after it? Let holy preparation link hands with patient expectation, and we shall have far larger answers to our prayers.” (Spurgeon)
The Godly stand with God…the wicked…not so much.
For You are not a God who takes pleasure in wickedness,
Nor shall evil dwell with You.
The boastful shall not stand in Your sight;
You hate all workers of iniquity.
You shall destroy those who speak falsehood;
The LORD abhors the bloodthirsty and deceitful man.
But as for me, I will come into Your house in the multitude of Your mercy;
In fear of You, I will worship toward Your holy temple.
Lead me, O LORD, in Your righteousness because of my enemies;
Make Your way straight before my face.
You are not a God who takes pleasure in wickedness:
David thinks about the righteous character of God. If we prefer our sinful ways to the righteous character of God our prayers will not find a willing and listening ear in the heavens. Our character matters. How we live matters to God.
As David drew closer to God he became more aware of God’s holiness and man’s sinfulness. “This is a good way to measure how well you are praying and whether, as you pray, you are drawing close to God or are merely mouthing words. If you are drawing close to God, you will become increasingly sensitive to sin, which is inevitable since the God you are approaching is a holy God.” (Boice)
I will come into Your house in the multitude of Your mercy:
David knew that the LORD is merciful. He went to him with that FACT firm and secure in his thoughts. We must do the same. We, as repeat offenders, 🙂 can only approach God with confidence if we know he is merciful.
In fear of You I will worship:
The starting point for David’s worship was his fear of the LORD. The Bible tells us the “Fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom.” The proud can boast that they fear nothing. The wise humbly admit they respect and fear God.
Make Your way straight before my face:
David trusted God to clear the path he walked. He did not proudly boast in his ability to find his own way in life. He asked the LORD for a clear path. We all would love to have a “path of least resistance” but that usually isn’t the case. But David asked for it anyway. David’s path was most likely normally filled with various forms of trouble, so asking the LORD to clear it was probably a regular thing.
The destiny of David’s enemies
For there is no faithfulness in their mouth;
Their inward part is destruction;
Their throat is an open tomb;
They flatter with their tongue.
Pronounce them guilty, O God!
Let them fall by their own counsels;
Cast them out in the multitude of their transgressions,
For they have rebelled against You.
There is no faithfulness in their mouth:
The mouth of David’s enemies told the whole story. Who they were inside, spilled out of their corrupt mouths. It has always been that way. we can know a person by their conversation. Their words reveal who they are inside. The corrupt hearts of David’s enemies stunk of death. When they opened their mouth the deadness of their inner person was revealed. David knew of Jesus’ words; Matthew 12:34: Out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks. Our righteousness or wickedness will sooner or later show up in our speech.
David felt the sting of wicked words and lies against him. Yet this prayer shows something good brought out of the attacks from the enemy. “Thus a man’s enemies, while they oblige him to pray more fervently, and to watch more narrowly over his conduct, oftentimes become his best friends.” (Horne)
Let them fall by their own counsels:
In the Psalms we something we don’t expect. We see the writers of the Psalms praying for the demise of enemies. It seems contrary to the gentle Jesus many of us have in mind. Two things we should take note of when we see this in the Psalms. It shows the honesty of the servant of God. When we have foes, we want them gone. That’s normal. Also, we must remember that God is just. That means those who stand in opposition to God don’t get a free pass. David prayed that the wicked will come to their deserved end. As rebels against God, they deserve the “guilty” sentence. They chose their path, God grants them the penalty they ‘earned’ for their choice.
The destiny of the Godly
But let all those rejoice who put their trust in You;
Let them ever shout for joy, because You defend them;
Let those also who love Your name
Be joyful in You.
For You, O LORDwill bless the righteous;
With favor, You will surround him as with a shield.
Let all those rejoice who put their trust in You:
The sentence is what defines a righteous person. It isn’t their good deeds, gifts to charity, or how many times they helped orphans in need. The righteous gain good standing with God because of one thing–their trust in God. In their weakness, they put all their weight on and trust in God who can carry them through all difficulties. It’s not by regular attendance in church or saying the right thing to the pastor when he is finished preaching. Trusting in God. That’s the whole ball game right there. Don’t trust your own abilities; they are insufficient. Trust God. The righteous are those who trust the LORD and love His name. But their righteous inner man often becomes evident by their words. They rejoice, they shout for joy, and they are joyful in the LORD.
But let all those rejoice who put their trust in You:
You should pray for joy, both in yourself and others – especially servants of the LORD. “If you lose your joy in your religion, you will be a poor worker: you cannot bear strong testimony, you cannot bear stern trial, you cannot lead a powerful life. In proportion as you maintain your joy, you will be strong in the Lord, and for the Lord.” (Spurgeon)
There is a good reason to have joy when you trust in God.
You, O Lord, will bless the righteous; with favor, You will surround him:
This is the greatest blessing of all – the favor of God. Knowing that God looks on us with favor and pleasure is the greatest knowledge in the world. This is our standing in grace.
When Martin Luther was on his way to face a Cardinal of the Roman Catholic Church to answer for what they said were his heretical teachings, one of the Cardinal’s servants taunted him saying, “Where will you find shelter if your patron, the Elector of Saxony, should desert you?” Luther answered, “Under the shelter of heaven.”
Let us seek the Lord in the morning. Start a new habit of prayer. Trust in God to clear your path, vanquish your foes, and count you among the righteous.
More from the Psalms