Many times a part of our prayer life is to bring personal alignment to the standards and will of God. Such prayers posture us correctly for His presence.
1 Give ear to my words, O LORD,
Consider my meditation.
2 Give heed to the voice of my cry,
My King and my God,
For to You I will pray.
3 My voice You shall hear in the morning, O LORD;
In the morning I will direct it to You,
And I will look up.
Psalms 5:1-3 (NKJV)
Many times in the Psalms, we come across verses like these that seem to suggest David or the Psalmist, is giving orders to God. Is that allowed? Can we do that? In the course of these opening three verses to Psalm 5, the worshipper both declares God as King and also lists four commands to God:
- Give ear to my words
- Consider my meditation
- Give heed to the voice of my cry
- My voice you shall hear
Although these statements appear as commands to God, I think this is a misperception. The Psalmist is aligning his own posture. The things He seems to be commanding of God are, in fact, statements said for the benefit of his own soul. He is speaking to God, but these statements of faith change how he stands before God.
I can say these things as imperatives before God because they are true. They are unshakable realities of His nature, and because of that, not only will God not rebuke me when I make these statements before His presence, but my own soul will rise in confidence to the posture which these faith-filled statements proclaim.
- God listens to my words
- God considers my meditations
- God heeds the voice of my cry
- God hears my voice
CS Lewis once said, “I pray because I can’t help myself. I pray because I’m helpless. I pray because the need flows out of me all the time, waking and sleeping. It doesn’t change God. It changes me.”
Prayers before God are not for human ears. Hypocrites pray for the benefit of human ears. But when we pray to God, it is more than mere words we bring to him. We engage the heart and soul in the dialogue. We lift our will and our consciousness to Him. The authority we stand upon that gives us the right to do that is the authority of His own nature and will.
Our lives are often flooded with unnecessary and even corrupting “self-talk.” Self-talk is internal dialogue we speak to ourselves that is of no benefit. When our self-talk is filled with the will and nature of God, however, it takes on a quality to change the posture and atmosphere of our souls.
Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise. Philippians 4:8 (NLT)
In Psalm 5:1-3 we find the first of many examples in the Psalms of self-talk rooted to the heavenly reality. It is a personal alignment prayer by the Psalmist to bring his own soul into the correct posture before God.