Wednesday, February 4, 2015
Psa. 19:14 Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart
be acceptable to you,
O LORD, my rock and my redeemer.
In Psalm 19 David has prayed against all kinds of sins, those that are practical, which we do in the body and now finally what may come out of our mouth. It is a prayer of cleansing, that the person of God may be entirely and wholly clean, and living in service to God. This is a prayer of penitence from one who realizes that the actions of his life spring from the motivations of his heart. There must be complete reliance upon God who hears the prayer, provides the foundation and redemption. This is a prayer for radical transformation.
E. M. Bounds provides some of the best advice when it comes to prayer. Here is an excerpt from his book “Selected Works on Prayer.”
In Psalm 19, David magnifies the Word of God in six statements concerning it. It converts the soul, makes wise the simple, rejoices the heart, enlightens the eyes, endures eternally, and is true and righteous altogether. The Word of God is perfect, sure, right, pure. It is heart-searching, and at the same time purifying, in its effect. It is no surprise therefore that after considering the deep spirituality of the Word of God, its power to search the inner nature of man, and its deep purity, the Psalmist should close his dissertation with this passage:
“Who can understand his errors?” And then praying after this fashion: “Cleanse Thou me from secret faults. Keep back Thy servant also from presumptuous sins. Let them not have dominion over me. Let the words of my mouth, and the meditations of my heart be acceptable in Thy sight, O Lord, my strength and my redeemer.”
Prayer invariably begets a love for the Word of God, and sets people to the reading of it. Prayer leads people to obey the Word of God, and puts into the heart which obeys a joy unspeakable. Praying people and Bible-reading people are the same sort of folk. The God of the Bible and the God of prayer are one. God speaks to man in the Bible; man speaks to God in prayer. One reads the Bible to discover God’s will; he prays in order that he may receive power to do that will. Bible-reading and praying are the distinguishing traits of those who strive to know and please God. And just as prayer begets a love for the Scriptures, and sets people to reading the Bible, so, also, does prayer cause men and women to visit the house of God, to hear the Scriptures expounded. Church-going is closely connected with the Bible, not so much because the Bible cautions us against “forsaking the assembling of ourselves together as the manner of some is,” but because in God’s house, God’s chosen minister declares His Word to dying men, explains the Scriptures, and enforces their teachings upon his hearers. And prayer germinates a resolve, in those who practise it, not to forsake the house of God.
I like that line, “prayer germinates a resolve.” The resolve of David through prayer was that this prayer would be transformative in his life. His actions would reflect the one he loved. His words would be spoken as those acceptable to the Father. By daily encounter with David one would know whom he loved and followed.
Taking time for prayer is not easy in today’s fast paced world. Taking time for study of the word is also not easy. However, when they are combined there germinates a resolve that makes space for the transforming work of God’s Holy Spirit in our lives. Then we join with the Psalmist in praying that our lives will be acceptable in the sight of the One who is our rock and our Redeemer.
Lord, may my life and words be acceptable to you today. Amen.