GUARD ME, PROTECT ME!
Today I bring myself before you, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. You are great and greatly to be praised.
Read Psalm 141
A psalm of David.
1 I call to you, Lord, come quickly to me;
hear me when I call to you.
2 May my prayer be set before you like incense;
may the lifting up of my hands be like the evening sacrifice.
3 Set a guard over my mouth, Lord;
keep watch over the door of my lips.
4 Do not let my heart be drawn to what is evil
so that I take part in wicked deeds
along with those who are evildoers;
do not let me eat their delicacies.
5 Let a righteous man strike me—that is a kindness;
let him rebuke me—that is oil on my head.
My head will not refuse it,
for my prayer will still be against the deeds of evildoers.
6 Their rulers will be thrown down from the cliffs,
and the wicked will learn that my words were well spoken.
7 They will say, “As one plows and breaks up the earth,
so our bones have been scattered at the mouth of the grave.”
8 But my eyes are fixed on you, Sovereign Lord;
in you I take refuge—do not give me over to death.
9 Keep me safe from the traps set by evildoers,
from the snares they have laid for me.
10 Let the wicked fall into their own nets,
while I pass by in safety.
New International Version (NIV)Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
ReflectWe often think of God’s grace rescuing us from our past sins, and rightly so! However, it is good to also give thanks for how God’s grace has kept you from sin.
In this psalm, David is calling on God to hear his prayer and act quickly (vs 1,2). As in many other psalms, his prayer is for deliverance from his plotting enemies. But what is unusual here is the other half of the prayer. Before he asks for their plans to fail, he asks for God to guard him so that he will not fail (vs 3,4).
In a sinful world, it is easy to become confident in ourselves. After all, we are not the thieving crooks or violent criminals. But if it weren’t for the goodness of God, would we really be good? David asks God to guard his mouth – how easy it is to sin in what we say! David asks God to keep his heart from being drawn into sin – how easy it is to desire wrong (vs 3-5)!
David prays for the evildoers to fail in their sinister plans (vs 6–10). However, his confidence is not simply in justice, otherwise he may be tempted toward pride. Rather, his eyes are fixed on the God who can keep him safe from his enemies, and also from himself!
Prayerfully ponder where in your life you might be tempted to feel proud because your life seems above reproach. Pray as Jesus taught us, ‘lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one’ (Matthew 6:13).
Father God, I ask for friends who will speak the truth in love to me. I know I can so easily wander away from you and I need others to encourage me to stay close to you.