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Psalm 141

Prayer for Preservation from Evil

A Psalm of David.

1

I call upon you, O Lord; come quickly to me;

give ear to my voice when I call to you.

2

Let my prayer be counted as incense before you,

and the lifting up of my hands as an evening sacrifice.

 

3

Set a guard over my mouth, O Lord;

keep watch over the door of my lips.

4

Do not turn my heart to any evil,

to busy myself with wicked deeds

in company with those who work iniquity;

do not let me eat of their delicacies.

 

5

Let the righteous strike me;

let the faithful correct me.

Never let the oil of the wicked anoint my head,

for my prayer is continually against their wicked deeds.

6

When they are given over to those who shall condemn them,

then they shall learn that my words were pleasant.

7

Like a rock that one breaks apart and shatters on the land,

so shall their bones be strewn at the mouth of Sheol.

 

8

But my eyes are turned toward you, O God, my Lord;

in you I seek refuge; do not leave me defenseless.

9

Keep me from the trap that they have laid for me,

and from the snares of evildoers.

10

Let the wicked fall into their own nets,

while I alone escape.


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Verses 1–4

Make haste unto me. Those that know how to value God's gracious presence, will be the more fervent in their prayers. When presented through the sacrifice and intercession of the Saviour, they will be as acceptable to God as the daily sacrifices and burnings of incense were of old. Prayer is a spiritual sacrifice, it is the offering up the soul and its best affections. Good men know the evil of tongue sins. When enemies are provoking, we are in danger of speaking unadvisedly. While we live in an evil world, and have such evil hearts, we have need to pray that we may neither be drawn nor driven to do any thing sinful. Sinners pretend to find dainties in sin; but those that consider how soon sin will turn into bitterness, will dread such dainties, and pray to God to take them out of their sight, and by his grace to turn their hearts against them. Good men pray against the sweets of sin.

Verses 5–10

We should be ready to welcome the rebuke of our heavenly Father, and also the reproof of our brethren. It shall not break my head, if it may but help to break my heart: we must show that we take it kindly. Those who slighted the word of God before, will be glad of it when in affliction, for that opens the ear to instruction. When the world is bitter, the word is sweet. Let us lift our prayer unto God. Let us entreat him to rescue us from the snares of Satan, and of all the workers of iniquity. In language like this psalm, O Lord, would we entreat that our poor prayers should set forth our only hope, our only dependence on thee. Grant us thy grace, that we may be prepared for this employment, being clothed with thy righteousness, and having all the gifts of thy Spirit planted in our hearts.




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