The scripture this morning is Psalm 141. Go here to read it in your preferred version.
Lord, I cry unto thee: make haste unto me; give ear unto my voice, when I cry unto thee.
2 Let my prayer be set forth before thee as incense; and the lifting up of my hands as the evening sacrifice.
3 Set a watch, O Lord, before my mouth; keep the door of my lips.
not my heart to any evil thing, to practise wicked works with men that
work iniquity: and let me not eat of their dainties.
the righteous smite me; it shall be a kindness: and let him reprove me;
it shall be an excellent oil, which shall not break my head: for yet my
prayer also shall be in their calamities.
6 When their judges are overthrown in stony places, they shall hear my words; for they are sweet.
7 Our bones are scattered at the grave's mouth, as when one cutteth and cleaveth wood upon the earth.
8 But mine eyes are unto thee, O God the Lord: in thee is my trust; leave not my soul destitute.
9 Keep me from the snares which they have laid for me, and the gins of the workers of iniquity.
10 Let the wicked fall into their own nets, whilst that I withal escape.
Verse 1 - If I will humble myself and cry out to God, He will rush in to me... He will hurry to listen to me. What an awesome concept! "Lord" in this verse is "Jehovah"... the one true God!
Verse 2 - A true prayer in faith is more meaningful to God than burning incense or sacrificing animals. Note: Incense is worthless unless it's burning. The same could be said for prayer... going through the motions without really believing is a waste of time.
1 Timothy 2:8 - "I will therefore that men pray every where, lifting up holy hands, without wrath and doubting."
We should be praying, lifting our hands in supplication to God, without anger or any doubt.
Verse 3 - Guard my mouth, God. You might need to lock my lips at times!
Proverbs 21:23 - "Whoso keepeth his mouth and his tongue keepeth his soul from troubles."
Keeping a check on my mouth can keep me out of trouble! I definitely know when I'm about to mouth off, and sadly, more often than not it's going to be to my children. I need God to set a guard on my mouth so only the good will flow out of it, especially to my very favorite loved ones.
Verse 4 - We have to pray that God will help keep us from sin. Sometimes we think that we can mingle with people who don't believe the same things as us. But then we feel this awkwardness... this feeling of being on the outside... sometimes, anyway. For some people that could certainly lead them into sin so they won't be perceived as different. God, don't let any of that stuff tempt me or seem like it would please me. Keep me from it.
Verse 5 - We must desire to be told our faults. I have a handful of friends who would come to me honestly and lovingly if they thought I needed to be reproved. That is a rare person. It's not easy to be rebuked, but would I want to continue down that path if it's wrong? If it's not glorifying to God? If it's presenting as a stumbling block to someone? No. I need a godly friend to come to me... it will be a "kindness". It may break my heart (as all sin should) but I should take this reproof in stride and have thankfulness for it.
Verse 6 - When life is good it's hard to hear God's voice at times. Nonbelievers find no reason to turn to God - after all, life is pretty good without this God character fitting into the picture. But when they are overthrown - even high-ranking judges, officials, powerful politicians - they will hear what we've been saying all along. "When the world is bitter, the word is sweet" - Matthew Henry
Verse 7 - Sometimes we feel like this. Our bones are just scattered at the opening of a grave. We're done. We're dry bones. Just ready to be piled into a little neglected heap of mulch. Oh, give me a break! Doesn't God say, "Can these bones live? Ye shall live!" (See Ezekiel 37:3, 5, 6, 14).
Verse 8 - My eyes are on you, God. I'm trusting you. Give me relief. Give me comfort.
Verse 9 - Help me discover traps. Help me to see them for what they are and not be deceived by them or lured by them.
Verse 10 - Whatever traps are laid for me by someone else, God, help me escape.
Thoughts? Comments? Questions?