Hello, I’m Daniel Westfall on the channel “Pray with Me”.
Psalm 141 says:
Set a guard over my mouth, Lord;
keep watch over the door of my lips.
Do not let my heart be drawn to what is evil
so that I take part in wicked deeds
along with the evildoers;
do not let me eat their delicacies (vv. 3-4).
Don’t let me eat their delicacies? Does the poet imagine great evildoers lounging around the pool,sipping wine and sampling hors d’oeuvres? Does that lifestyle attract you? What’s more pleasant than good food and good wine in civilized company? But the poet prays, Don’t let me be drawn into their evil society.
He goes on to say,
Let a righteous man strike me–that is a kindness;
let him rebuke me–that is oil on my head.
I will not refuse it,
for my prayer is against the deeds of evildoers (v. 5).
Let a righteous man strike me? Yes, if that’s the only way to learn wisdom. Proverbs says fools are not interested in second opinions, but it’s a wise person who searches out good advice. She welcomes news she is wrong, and listens to those who correct her. One proverb says:
Do not rebuke mockers or they will hate you;
rebuke the wise and they will love you (Prov 9:8).
In Psalm 141, the poet says, I’m ready for good advice, whether given with a stinging blow or rebuking words. It’s more important to make good decisions than to preserve my self-importance and dignity.
Our father, with the poet, we pray against our predilection to evil.
Guard our mouths so we don’t slip into evil speech–slandering the righteous, parading our tongues through the earth, planning evil deeds.
Guard our hearts, for they love unkind words and unholy thoughts.
Guard our friendships for we love the rich, the famous, and the socially competent, even when they reject you, scorn others, and plot evil.
Guard our appetites for we love the delicacies of Christmas–chocolates and eggnog and fruitcake and butter tarts.
Teach us self-control in what we think and what we do. As Peter wrote, “Be clear-minded and self-controlled so that you can pray” (1 Pet 4:7).
With the poet:
We call to you, Lord, come quickly;
hear us when we speak.
May our prayers be incense before you;
may the lifting of our hands be like the evening sacrifice (vv. 1-2).
I’m Daniel on the channel “Pray with Me”.
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