In the Scriptures we have several examples of how we can pray for each other (eg. Philippians 1:9-11; Colossians 1:9-12,). But as I have read through the Psalms these last few months I have noticed some ways that the Psalmist prayed for himself. They are worthy of our consideration and imitation.

We should pray for the inclination of our hearts.

"Incline my heart to your testimonies, and not to selfish gain!" (Psalm 119:36) All of us would have to admit that there are times, when our hearts are just not in to doing what we know that we need to do.  We sometimes say, "my heart is just not in it" or "I just don't feel like it." Sometimes we just don't feel like reading the Bible or praying, or worshipping.  Our hearts are suceptable to being captured by the material things of this world, in such a way, that our appetite for spiritual things becomes weak. In those times, we may feel alieneated from God, but it is in those times that we need to cry out to Him, to do a work in our hearts! The Psalmist evidently knew that experience. So he prayed that God would incline his heart toward the Word of God, and away from selfish gain or covetousness.

 

We should pray for the protection of our lips.

"Set a guard, O Lord, over my mouth; keep watch over the door of my lips!" (Psa 141:3 ESV) James said, "For every kind of beast and bird, of reptile and sea creature, can be tamed and has been tamed by mankind, but no human being can tame" (James 3:7–8 ESV) All of us our tempted to say things that we should not say. It may be that we are tempted to speak evil of someone. Or it may be the temptation to speak harshly to someone.  We all have tongues that defy human taming. That is why we need the Lord to help us in our communication struggles! "As a father shows compassion to his children, so the Lord shows compassion to those who fear him. For he knows our frame; he remembers that we are dust." (Psa 103:13–14 ESV) He knows our struggles, and will answer our prayers to help us with our communication problems.

We should pray for the direction of our lives.

"Teach me your way, O Lord, and lead me on a level path because of my enemies." (Psa 27:11 ESV) Jeremiah said, "I know, O Lord, that the way of man is not in himself, that it is not in man who walks to direct his steps." (Jer 10:23 ESV). We have not been designed to chart our own course. God has not given us the ability to make wise decisions about the direction of our lives, independently of Himself. Life is designed to be perplexing, so that we will cry out to God for direction! When we do, He has promised that He will lead us! Prov. 3:6 In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.

We pray when we are made aware of the deficits in our lives, which is just another way of saying, that it takes humility to realize that we need help with our hearts, our tongues, and our lives.  May God give us the grace to walk in dependence upon Him, in these areas of our lives.

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