An Honest Look at Our Hearts 

Lead me, O Lord, in Your righteousness because of my enemies; Make Your way straight before my face. 9 For there is no faithfulness in their mouth; Their inward part is destruction; Their throat is an open tomb; They flatter with their tongue. 10 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. 11 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. 12 For You, O Lord, will bless the righteous; With favor You will surround him as with a shield. —Psalm 5:8-12 

In this Psalm, David continues to contrast the wicked and the righteous. He says that the words of the wicked come from a heart of destruction, but he asks God to lead him in the way of righteousness and to make His way straight before him. The following two verses show us what this means. 

The steps of a good man are ordered by the Lord. . . . Though he should fall, he shall not be utterly cast down; for the Lord upholds him with His hand” (Ps 37:23- 24). “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding: in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths” (Prv 3:5-7). 

So, in order to pray the way that God wants us to pray, we must trust that He hears our cries and will answer our prayers, even when we don’t see it. Remember: prayer is seeking God for His will—not just telling Him ours

David doesn’t hesitate in this psalm to call out the enemies of God. Plots against us are plots against God! David prays that God might let the wicked reap what they have sown; that they might experience the consequences of their rebellion. When attacks against God’s children come, Satan is the one behind it. Never forget that the battle belongs to the Lord. 

Prayer is an expression of trust and confidence in the will and power of God. Why pray if you don’t believe that He will answer? Remember: your situations are never impossible. And your enemies? They are fighting against God himself, because He is your shield! So, if we can trust Him in that, then we can believe that we also have our requests for other things, like being soul winners, better witnesses, living righteously in a wicked world. That’s the meaning of fervent, effectual prayer! Do I hear an “Amen”?

Excerpt from “Beside Still Waters” now available on Amazon.

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