145 With my whole heart I cry; answer me, O LORD! I will keep your statutes.
146 I call to you; save me, that I may observe your testimonies.
147 I rise before dawn and cry for help; I hope in your words.
148 My eyes are awake before the watches of the night, that I may meditate on your promise.
149 Hear my voice according to your steadfast love; O LORD, according to your justice give me life.
150 They draw near who persecute me with evil purpose; they are far from your law.
151 But you are near, O LORD, and all your commandments are true.
152 Long have I known from your testimonies that you have founded them forever.
Have you ever had trouble sleeping because something or someone was on your mind and you didn’t know what to do or how to handle the situation? I think that is what is happening here. But the important thing to note here is the Psalmist is not just praying to God for deliverance or for forgiveness. The Psalmist is praying for guidance and he is promising his own obedience as he discovers God’s direction. Notice the words “I cry” but then “I will keep”, “I call” but then “I may observe”, “I rise” and “I hope”. I think too many times, we humans, or at least me, will, or have used prayer to God, especially a prayer of deliverance as if God is a genie in a bottle who can grant our every wish or whim. But prayer is about so much more than that. I think with this passage, the Psalmist has figured that out. Yes, God will deliver us from many things but most of the time it has been my experience that He delivers me THROUGH many things, with lessons to be learned in the process and actions that must be taken on my part. But most of all, please don’t miss the hope. We have hope in His word, we have hope in the deliverance. We have promises of God all throughout His word that we can count on. And all of those promises and meditating on them is what keeps us grounded in the hope. I found this quote from Spurgeon in my studies.
“He who is diligent in prayer will never be destitute of hope. Observe that as the early bird gets the worm, so the early prayer is soon refreshed with hope.” (Spurgeon)
Many times I struggle with no sleep. I am a better person when I have had a full night’s sleep, aren’t we all? But I also have learned on a sleepless night, there is always something to pray for. I rise early to study and to pray because I know that I need my time in the mornings so that people can stand to be around me through the day. I have to align myself with God daily to be able to keep His hope in front of me, to know the paths I should take and to be able to keep His commandments and walk in His obedience.
The Psalmist asks the Lord to hear him because of God’s steadfast love, but in this prayer he is praying in a way of confidence rather than the desperation we have seen in many of his prayers. He states that he knows the Lord is near and that his commandments are true and then he recognizes that he has a history with the Lord. Enough history to know that the Lords’ commandments are “founded forever”.
I believe that this passage in this Psalm is born of years of experience of walking with the Lord. The Psalmist has a faith that has been founded on his experiences of deliverance, experiences of his forgiveness and his experiences of obedience. And the cry of his heart is to continue to obey.