A Devotional Exposition
of Psalm 143

by  Son T. Nguyen

1. Hear my prayer, O LORD, give ear to my supplications: in Your
faithfulness and in Your righteousness answer me.

2. And enter not into judgment with Your servant: for in Your sight no
man living is just.

4. My spirit has fainted within me; my heart has become weary within
me.

5. I remember the days of old; I think on all Your works; I muse on the
work of Your hands.

6. I stretch forth my hands unto You: my soul thirsts after You like a
thirsty land.

7. Hear me quickly, O LORD: my spirit fails: hide not Your face from
me, lest I be like those that go down into the pit.

8. Cause me to hear Your lovingkindness in the morning; for in You do I
trust: cause me to know the way in which I should walk; for I lift up my
soul unto You.

10. Teach me to do Your will; for You are my God: Your Spirit is good;
lead me into the land of uprightness.

12. I am Your servant.

Background:  This is a prayer that David, the Lord's anointed, made to God
at a point in his life when he was in a lot of difficulty even facing deadly
opposition all around him.  This devotional focuses on the heart behind the
prayer being lifted up.

"Hear my prayer, O LORD, give ear to my supplications: in Your
faithfulness and in Your righteousness answer me.  And enter not into
judgment with Your servant: for in Your sight no man living is just."

*       When we come to God with our prayers, we may fully expect that He
will answer us.  That is our confidence for God has decreed so.
*       However, we must remember that the basis for which God will respond
is not our rights but His attributes (faithfulness and righteousness).
Therefore, our prayers should never be presented as authoritative demands
but always as humble requests.
*       This should be so also because a Godly man realizes that not only
his requests are tainted with impure motives but the requests are made by a
sinful and corrupt man.  Thus, at the same time we are asking Him to fill
the desires of our hearts, we must have in mind that, we are also pleading
Him to correct both the requests and the very ones making the requests, us.

"My spirit has fainted within me; my heart has become weary within me."

*       God allows us to pour out our hearts to Him, honestly and vividly.
When we realize there are only so very few people in our lives with whom we
can run to to share very sad, morbid, sordid, shameful, and hurtful details
or troubles, time and again, without thinking less of us but still
cherishing, upholding, and strengthening us more and more, we see what a
constantly intimate and loving God we really have.

"I remember the days of old; I think on all Your works; I muse on the
work of Your hands."

*       It's interesting that in waiting for God to answer him, one of the
very first thing David did was not to dream up plans to get himself out of
troubles and to ask for God's blessing upon them.  Instead, he took time to
really meditate on what God has done, for him and for others, in the past.
All the great men in the Bible from Moses to Paul as well as contemporary
figures like Presidents George Washington and Abraham Lincoln stirred
themselves and their people to recall the historic deeds of God whenever
they faced adversity.
*       Herein is a lesson for us to remember that wisdom and stability in
the heart come not from finding or conjuring up new insights but in
searching out and discovering afresh the power of God and His faithfulness
to His people.
*       Also, nothing visual but what God has done can be trusted in times
of bewilderment.
*       Both the Christian life and the Christian walk are but the
fulfillment and the telling of a story - His story and the story He has
written in our lives before time began.

"I stretch forth my hands unto You: my soul thirsts after You like a thirsty
land.  Hear me quickly, O LORD: my spirit fails: hide not Your face from
me, lest I be like those that go down into the pit."

*       It would be wise for us to examine the manner in which we pray to
God -
        (1) Is it a presentation of mere words or is it accompanied by an
overwhelming passion and feeling for Him?
        (2) Are we concerned more with the requests than with Him?
        (3) Are we more consumed by pouring out our hearts and receiving His
answers rather than being truly desperate for Him?
        (4) Is there a genuine urgency within us to have Him present in our
lives so that if He were to not be around us for long, we surely will wilt
and wither away without His presence?

"Cause me to hear Your lovingkindness in the morning; for in You do I trust:
cause me to know the way in which I should walk; for I lift up my soul unto
You.  Teach me to do Your will; for You are my God: Your Spirit is good;
lead me into the land of uprightness."

*       Much has been made of morning quiet times, and of course, that is a
very good thing.  But what is the sweetest sound 1st thing in the morning?
It's not our voices and thoughts in prayers, but the sound of God's voice
guiding us through His loving presence and His Word.
*       The proper ending to any prayers should not be "In Jesus' name.
Amen.", but a submission of our will and soul to Him and His teaching.
Without giving ourselves over to God, we won't be able to hear His prayers,
no matter how eloquent our prayers may be or how often and fervently we
pray.

Conclusion:  Let the people who know God and long to have Him in every
moment of their lives say, "Your Spirit is good and I'm Your servant!"

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