Pleasing God, Making Disciples of Jesus Christ

A Needed Prayer

PSALM 86:11 – Teach me your way, O Lord, that I may walk in your truth; unite my heart to fear your name.”


THEME OF THE DAY:  A NEEDED PRAYER.  Psalm 119 is the most unique portion of scripture found in our Bibles.  It is 176 verses long and has one theme – the Word of God.  It is a running exposition of the Bible.  Take time soon and read it at one sitting.  The delight the Psalmist has for God’s Word challenges the heart as well as his commitment to it.  Yet, the Psalm ends with these words – I have gone astray like a lost sheep; seek your servant, for I do not forget your commandments (Psalm 119:176).


Does it seem odd to end the Psalm with a declaration of weakness? No. It is a mark in a mature Christian. This truth is affirmed by the third stanza of a familiar hymn written in 1758 by Robert Robinson titled Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing.  It reads O to grace how great a debtor daily I’m constrained to be! Let that grace now, like a fetter, bind my wandering heart to thee. Prone to wander, Lord, I feel it, prone to leave the God I love; here’s my heart; O take and seal it; seal it for thy courts above. Mature Christians know their hearts are never to be trusted; our hearts are deceitfully wicked, unreliable, and without the restraining grace of God, we will drift from the Lord.  Yes, prone to wander defines the heart of even the most spiritually mature of Christians.  And that leads us to the scripture of the day.


In the eighty-sixth Psalm, David is petitioning the Lord for two things.  The first is to be taught by the Lord in order that He may walk with the Lord in what he was taught. This is an important truth.  We never may say we are being taught by the Lord or growing in the grace and knowledge of the Lord Jesus unless the teaching is being lived. James would tell us the severe consequence of learning without doing; self-deception – But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves. For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man who looks intently at his natural face in a mirror. For he looks at himself and goes away and at once forgets what he was like (James 1:22-24).  But there is another aspect of David’s prayer that is a very needed prayer in our lives, even daily.


David seeks the Lord would do what he could not – unite his heart to fear the Lord’s name.  Basically, the Psalmist cries out, “Lord, please keep my heart from wandering from You. Make my heart one so I won’t drift from You.”  And it is the fear of the Lord that keeps us from a divided heart.


One of the fruits of being born again is God writing His fear on our hearts, and pay attention to the reason why He does so – I will give them one heart and one way, that they may fear me forever, for their own good and the good of their children after them. I will make with them an everlasting covenant, that I will not turn away from doing good to them. And I will put the fear of me in their hearts, that they may not turn from me (Jeremiah 32:39-40).  God writes His fear in our hearts to keep us from wandering from Him.  What a great God we have who would do what we cannot do – unite our hearts to fear Him so we may stay close to Him and part of staying close to Him is this needed prayer of David.


PRAYER: “Father, apprehend my wandering heart and write Your fear deeper in it.”


QUOTE: “We need not only the saving grace in Christ but His keeping grace as well.”


In the affection of Christ Jesus,


Pastor Jim