A Psalm of David. LORD, I cry out to You; Make haste to me! Give ear to my voice when I cry out to You. 2 Let my prayer be set before You [as] incense, The lifting up of my hands [as] the evening sacrifice. 3 Set a guard, O LORD, over my mouth; Keep watch over the door of my lips. 4 Do not incline my heart to any evil thing, To practice wicked works With men who work iniquity; And do not let me eat of their delicacies. 5 Let the righteous strike me; [It shall be] a kindness. And let him rebuke me; [It shall be] as excellent oil; Let my head not refuse it. For still my prayer [is] against the deeds of the wicked. 6 Their judges are overthrown by the sides of the cliff, And they hear my words, for they are sweet. 7 Our bones are scattered at the mouth of the grave, As when one plows and breaks up the earth. 8 But my eyes [are] upon You, O GOD the Lord; In You I take refuge; Do not leave my soul destitute. 9 Keep me from the snares they have laid for me, And from the traps of the workers of iniquity. 10 Let the wicked fall into their own nets, While I escape safely.PSALM 141:1-10
AN EVENING PRAYER
The Psalms are songs to be sung, but in a sense they are also well crafted prayers that teach us how to pour our hearts out to God. We have seen a range of emotion expressed out of a variety of circumstances with one common thread that runs through it all… Looking to God to hear and answer our prayers. Every Psalm looks to heaven and awaits a reply.
This Psalm of David is no different. He mentions the time of day that this would be sung and so many have associated it with an evening prayer. He prays, as perhaps we all should, that God would guard his mouth. He doesn’t want to be an idle talker filled with gossip, or crude joking, but rather he wants to honor God with his lips. It is here that I am reminded of Jesus’ words in Matthew 12:36 “But I say to you that for every idle word men may speak, they will give account of it in the day of judgment” (Matthew 12:36, NKJV).
Next David prays that God would keep his heart from being inclined to any wicked thing. David knows that he is not above the suggestion, peer pressure, or heavy influence of those with corrupt hearts. He doesn’t want to grow callous to God because of the company he has to keep.
This is a worthy prayer, especially for young men/ women who are going off to face the world for the first time. This is fitting for those staffing a ship in the Navy, or attending college at a state school miles from home, or clocking in at the mill/plant/rig where there is already a culture that may not be favorable… as David prays to keep his eyes on the Lord, it should be our prayer too to remain focused on the Lord as we go through these life circumstances. We all need to keep our eyes on the Lord, regardless of our age and stage of life.
Father, Thank you for your grace that has been poured out on my life. I am so grateful for the privilege to pray to you in the morning or evening and I hope my prayer are well received. I have a boldness in praying because I know that what I am asking is your will. I pray that I would guard my mouth today and there wouldn’t be any idle words on my lips. I pray that you keep me from the influence of the wicked and that I honor you in all things. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
I’m reading and blogging the Psalms Through The Summer. I’d love for you to join me. You can find out a little more here.