“In the morning, Lord, you hear my voice; in the morning I lay my requests before you and wait expectantly.”
Psalm 5: 3
This Psalm’s authorship is traditionally assigned to David. The ‘Director of Music,’ or ‘Great Musician,’ could refer to God Himself or to a leader of choirs at the time of writing; there is some uncertainty over these introductions.
The Psalm can be divided into two parts. The first seven verses where the Psalmist, David, beseeches God to hear His prayer, and from verse eight to the end where he retraces his steps but in greater detail. It describes how the righteous can pray for deliverance, not only for freedom from suffering, but in order to be able to serve God without distraction.
David begins his day with prayer, laying his requests before God. His confidence in God is based on God’s righteous character which he describes. He acknowledges that the only way that he can come into God’s presence is by God’s mercy.
In the second half he describes the ‘wicked’ who self-identify by the words they use and actions they take. He prays that God deals with them accordingly; that they come to their deserved end. In contrast the righteous sing with joy and gladness. They are made righteous by their trust in and love for God. As a result of this close relationship God bestows His favour, protection and blessing upon them.
Within this Psalm there is a wonderful description of personal prayer that places its trust in God and upon who He is. Joy, praise, answers and blessings follow.
David describes a pattern that would truly bless us if we adopt it. The first step is that he begins the day with prayer. So often we let the day start, our mood be set, and the course of the day scheduled before we consider God. What a difference we would find if we each began the day with the Lord as our first priority.
Secondly we see that prayer is more than just words. David asks God to hear his mediations, his cry and his words spoken in faith, asked in expectation. The heart and emotion as well as logical intelligence are all involved. In complete honesty we are to lay all before God, in faith.
Thirdly he directs the prayer to God and focuses on the character of God. If we look up to God and focus on Him our faith is rewarded and encouraged as we see our Almighty God capable, willing and able to answer our prayers. This enables us to pray in line with His will.
In the fourth step David acknowledges that it is only by God’s mercy that we can enter His presence, worship Him and seek answers to prayer. This is a prequel to that wonderful word of encouragement in Hebrews 4: 16 to boldly approach God’s throne for grace. In this approach we see that prayer is not just about seeking answers to petitions that benefit us but about enabling us to serve God.
Finally we see that this prayer brings about blessing. As focus on God is secured, praise and joy follow as we see reality through His eyes. Protection and blessings also ensue.
The Question of Application
Why don’t you try making prayer in this form your first priority in the morning; see how God answers and blesses? If you do this let me know how it goes!
Source of all justice and goodness, you hate deception and evil. Lead us in the paths of righteousness and keep us from falling into sin, that we may pray in faith and sing out our joy in Jesus Christ our Redeemer. Amen
Eternal Spirit of the Living God – David Hurd
Our Prayer – Rend Collective
In 2023, each week's blog is a follow-up reflection written by the preceding Sunday’s preacher to dig deeper into the sermon topic and explore engaging discussion questions.