Psalm 119 is a psalm of devotion and obedience to God’s Word. Jesus said that if we love Him, we will obey Him. The more I value and obey God’s Word, the more I can express my love for Jesus. The writer of Psalm 119 has many wonderful attitudes towards God’s Word that I can learn from. Below are 7 of them in the form of prayers.
1)Lord, help me to obey all Your commandments before I die.
Oh that my ways may be established to keep Your statutes! Then I shall not be ashamed when I look upon all Your commandments. – Psalm 119:5-6
I imagine getting to heaven and discovering that there were a few commandments of God that I never obeyed. I am not only referring to breaking commandments like “Do not lust”, but also obeying commandments like “Love others as I have loved you.” I would be sad, but it would be too late. Now is the time to take all of God’s commandments seriously and not neglect any.
2)Lord, help me to obey Your commandments with flying colors.
I shall run the way of Your commandments, for You will enlarge my heart. – Psalm 119:32
The psalmist starts off very discouraged. Psalm 119:25 says, “I am completely discouraged” (Living Bible). But by the end of this section in Psalm 119:32, the psalmist is encouraged and is now running in God’s ways.
I like the word “run”. Most of the time, I see “walk” in God’s ways, but to “run” is something much higher. I can run because God will enlarge my heart. God can take someone who is discouraged and help them to obey His commandments fully.
3)Lord, help me understand your Word so that I can obey You more
Give me understanding, that I may observe Your law and keep it with all my heart. – Psalm 119:34
Whenever I understand something new in God’s Word, it is tempting to think, “I can’t wait to share this on Sunday at church!” But this Psalmist sought for understanding so that he could obey God’s law better.
4)Lord, please give me a heart of reverence for You.
Establish Your word to Your servant, as that which produces reverence for You. – Psalm 119:38
It is easy to read the amazing miracles and descriptions of God in the Bible and yet not develop reverence for God. For example, God is described as the King of Kings and Lord of Lords. But I find it so easy to not thank the Lord after I ask Him for something. If the CEO of my company held open the elevator door for me, I would definitely say “thank you.” How much more should I give reverence to the King of Kings and thank Him?
5)Lord, thank you for giving us Your commandments.
At midnight I shall rise to give thanks to You because of Your righteous ordinances. – Psalm 119:62
I think most Christians think of God’s commandments as a burden. But this psalmist is so grateful for God’s commandments that he gets up at midnight to give thanks. I believe this is because the psalmist has a true desire to please God through obedience.
For example, if my father-in-law gave me a list of “things to do” to make my wife happy, I would be so grateful. Because I love my wife, I do not see that list as a burden, but as a gift. Similarly, I believe this psalmist is so grateful for God’s commandments because he loves God and wants to please God through obedience.
6)Lord, open my eyes to see that I am rich because You have given me your commandments.
The law of Your mouth is better to me than thousands of gold and silver pieces. – Psalm 119:72
I never want to have self-pity and feel I am poor. For example, I live in the San Francisco Bay Area where living costs are extremely expensive. It is easy to feel poor. But this verse reminded me that I am rich because of God’s Word. I am like a billionaire playing a game of Monopoly on this earth. I might not have a lot of Monopoly cash to buy houses, but from an eternal perspective, God has given me billions because I have been taught God’s Word clearly and simply in church.
7)Lord, help me to obey your commandments today.
I am determined to obey you until I die. – Psalm 119:112 (Living Bible)
It is hard to imagine too far into the future about obeying God even if it costs me my life. Instead, I simply say, “Lord, I am determined to keep Your commands today.” If I practice this, I believe God will help me to truly have a heart like this psalmist one day.
Lastly, the phrase “teach me” occurs 10 times in this Psalm. God is a wonderful Teacher. I have faith to believe that God will teach me and make all of these prayers a reality in my life.