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Petitions, Promises and Praise


Psalm 119:169-176

Verses 169-171 May my cry come before You, Lord; give me understanding according to Your word. May my supplication come before You; deliver me according to Your promise. May my lips overflow with praise, for You teach me Your decrees.


Today we begin stanza twenty two which is the final stanza of this psalm about the word of the Lord. The psalmist uses this stanza to give a broad summary of the entirety of his praise song.


The psalmist begins this stanza of prayer by saying that he hopes that his prayer will be heard by the Lord and with the request that the Lord answer his prayer with understanding. Notice though that the request was not for understanding of the Word but understanding according to the Word. This is important because it shows that the psalmist wasn’t simply wanting to know the Lord’s word but wanted to understand it so that he could live in accordance to it.


The man of song wasn’t asking to be made the richest, most popular person, he was asking that his life would be different from those around him. Not unlike the world today, the psalmist knew that if he were to understand and obey the word of the Lord, he would be looked at as someone who was odd. It would require him to shun the gods of the world and seek only the Lord and His will.


The song writer knew God had made promises to His people and that is what he is thinking about. He is looking at what God’s promises will mean to him in his obedience. His prayers for deliverance are requests made with the promises in mind. He is petitioning the Lord and that should bring us a reminder that we too can ask God for things that align with His promises. Of course we must remember that it isn’t about asking to get whatever we want, but looking to see what would be something that would bring God the greatest glory.


That brings us to the end of today’s verses where the psalmist can’t help but proclaim his praise for the Lord and His teachings. This man wants to know the decrees of the Lord in the deepest way possible and knows that even from the small amount of knowledge he already has, the Lord is worthy of praise!


Making It Personal

What do you cry out to the Lord to understand about His Word? Do your requests of God reflect what would bring you pleasure or what would bring Him glory? Does your life overflow with praise for the Lord and His teachings?


Making It Personal Kids

What do you want to understand better about Jesus’ teachings? Do you ask that Jesus help you understand what He says? What has He taught you that you can praise Him for today?


Closing Prayer

Father, thank You for giving us Your Word and promises that guide us to the way You desire us to live. Give us the wisdom to know Your will, the love to obey and the hunger to know You more. In Jesus’ name, amen.

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