(Psalms 17:1) “A Prayer of David. Hear the right, O LORD, attend unto my cry, give ear unto my prayer, that goeth not out of feigned lips.”
As the title of the Psalm states, this is a prayer of David. David is requesting God, Who is Omniscience (or has all knowledge), to give ear to his prayer. David adds, “that goeth not out of feigned lips,” as if the all-knowing God could not see David’s sincerity and truth in his request to God.
Questions to ponder as you read and meditate on the content of this devotion:
- What is the Request?
- To Whom is the Prayer directed?
- What is the Correct Attitude in Prayer?
The What (of the Request): “Hear the right, O LORD, attend unto my cry”
David wanted God, the Judge, to render His verdict on his request. David knew that God would judge righteously (1 Peter 2:23). David petitioned the Judge to attend to, or to notice, his request. Simply put, David said, ‘let me hear Thy righteous judgment; attend (or listen) to my plea.’ David styled his request as, “…my cry”; which indicates the burden David had in his request.
To Whom (the direction of the Prayer): “O LORD”
The Hebrew word translated “LORD” is the word “Jehovah,” “the Self-Existent or Eternal One. Jehovah is the Jewish national name of God.” Jehovah is described in the Old Testament as the One, True, and Living God and there is none else beside Him (Isa. 46:9-11). He is the Creator, Controller and Consummator of all creation. As the Creator, He has all power in heaven and in earth. He is Perfect, Holy, and Just; and all truth flows from Him, for He is The Truth. Therefore, He is qualified to be the Judge; for He is the Authority and The Truth; for The LORD sat upon the throne, (Psa 9:4) “For thou hast maintained my right and my cause; thou satest in the throne judging right.”
Therefore, all requests are to be directed to Him; for He alone knows the future, and knows the movements of all His creation, and the end of all things; especially, in the life of the believer (Ps. 37:23; Job 23:13-14); for the steps of the believer are “ordered” (or ordained, or established) by The LORD (Prov. 19:21).
The Correct Attitude (in Prayer): “give ear unto my prayer, that goeth not out of feigned lips.”
In this last phrase of (Ps. 17:1), “…that goeth not out of feigned lips,” David reveals that God will not hear the petition of the believer that is living in un-confessed sin, (Isa 59:2) “But your iniquities have separated between you and your God, and your sins have hid his face from you, that he will not hear.”
Therefore, David said, Lord, this petition to You is not a hypocritical or deceitful one; for God, you see this petition cometh from a heart that is totally given to You; a heart that is single-minded to You; a heart that is calling upon You in sincerity and uprightness; a heart that totally depends upon You. Therefore, God “…give ear unto to my prayer.” David said, ‘I come to the LORD humbling myself before the Judge of all the earth.’
David, under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit (2 Peter 1:21), gives the distressed believer the exact guidelines to receive God’s attention when petitioned. The believer must approach God in humility, purity, sincerity, and in a walk of peace and holiness and righteousness of heart when petitioning God to answer his request. As seen already, (Isa. 59:2) gives the reason why.
However, the question that needs to be addressed is, ‘Why would the believer approach God in any other way than purity, sincerity and righteousness? For first, this knowledge should be automatic for the believer; since his daily life is to be lived in holiness, and not in the flesh or in the lust of the flesh (2 Cor. 6:14-18). Secondly, if the believer is walking by sight and not by faith, depending upon everything except God to supply his needs; then, why flee to God when trouble comes? God only rewards those that, (Heb. 11:6) “But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.”
All believers know you cannot serve Baal (the name of a false god in the Old Testament) and God at the same time. Either Baal is god, or Jehovah is God. It cannot be both. (1Ki 18:21) “And Elijah came unto all the people, and said, How long halt ye between two opinions? if the LORD be God, follow him: but if Baal, then follow him. And the people answered him not a word.” But, many believers rely on the flesh (as typed in Baal worship), because relying upon The Faith (or Christ; Gal. 2:20) has a great Cost to the flesh (Lk. 14:26-33). When one walks by faith, and not by sight it means:
- They are praying and confessing their sins daily (1 Jn. 1:9).
- They are walking as Christ walked (1 Jn. 2:6b); Surrendered to the Sovereignty of God; Submitted to the Will of God; Obedient to the Word of God; and Enduring in the same.
- They are keeping the Commandment of Christ (Mt. 22:37-40; Jn. 14:15; 13:34-35).
- They are depending upon God as their Sufficiency (2 Cor. 3:6).
- They are “glorifying God in your body and spirit” (1 Cor. 6:19-20). (That is, living holy lives.)
- They are continuing in their “first love”; meaning that Christ and His Will and Word comes first in their attitude, actions and attire.
- They are walking in the fulness of the Holy Sprit (Eph. 5:18); “be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess” (or the ways of this world; 1 Jn. 2:15-16).
However, when the believer leaves his “first love”; it means the opposite of the above description of walking by The Faith – Christ. It means he is “sight walking,” and not “faith walking.” It means he is seeking counsel and security from the flesh, and not God.
Believer, if you do not feel God is hearing your petition; the problem is not with God, but with you. The problem is never God; it is always with the believer, and his unconfessed sin. Always remember, it is when the believer draws nigh to God; that God draws nigh to the believer.
(Jas 4:7-10) (7) “Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.
(8) Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you. Cleanse your hands, ye sinners; and purify your hearts, ye double minded.
(9) Be afflicted, and mourn, and weep: let your laughter be turned to mourning, and your joy to heaviness.
(10) Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and he shall lift you up.”
(1Jn 1:8-10) (8) “If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.
(9) If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
(10) If we say that we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us.”
When the believer follows these two passages of Scripture, he can be assured that God will hear his petition and will answer. But, when the believer has depended upon his flesh; he need not to expect God to hear his petition.
Believer, can you say with David in your hour of need that you call upon God “…that goeth not out of feigned lips”? If not, please examine your walk in Christ.