Psalms: What to Pray For

Peter Barnes: Psalm 141

(17 June 2018)

The Psalms are songs to be sung, but they are often prayers to be prayed. Psalm 51 is the most obvious example of that – Ps.51:1-2. Psalm 141 is also a prayer – 141:1-2.
1. We should pray that God would sanctify our whole being.

– 141:3-4. For speech, note Prov.13:3; 21:23; James 1:19-20; 3:2.

– for our hearts, note 141:4a, Matt.15:19-21; Ps.51:10. The heart is to be ‘the royal throne’, said Frances Ridley Havergal, where God reigns.

– for our deeds, what we do, note 141:4. As a rule, we become like that those around us. ‘Take my life, and let it be/ Consecrated, Lord, to Thee,’ to quote Frances Ridley Havergal again.
2. Pray that we would be open to accepting rebuke.

– 141:5-6. The general idea is clear but verses 5-7 have some clarity issues.

– David is certainly open to being corrected – Prov.9:8; 27:5-6. Calvin: ‘No one likes to be reproved’.

– How do you think Peter felt at Antioch? (Gal.2:11-14) George Whitefield: ‘When I am unwilling to be told my faults, dear Sir, correspond with me no more.’ Luther: ‘I had rather that true and faithful teachers should rebuke and condemn me, and reprove my ways, than that hypocrites should flatter me and applaud me as a saint.’ Compare 2 Kings 22:11 (Josiah) and Jeremiah 36:27 (Jehoiakim).
3. Pray for protection from God’s enemies.

– 141:7-10. The context for this Psalm is not given, but David was under threat on a number of times in his life – from the Philistines, from Saul, from Absalom.

– 2 Cor.1:9. God has so ordered the universe that evil so often eats itself even in this life (141:10).