121 I have done what is righteous and just; do not leave me to my oppressors.
122 Ensure your servant’s well-being; do not let the arrogant oppress me.
123 My eyes fail, looking for your salvation, looking for your righteous promise.
124 Deal with your servant according to your love and teach me your decrees.
125 I am your servant; give me discernment that I may understand your statutes.
126 It is time for you to act, Lord; your law is being broken.
127 Because I love your commands more than gold, more than pure gold,
128 and because I consider all your precepts right, I hate every wrong path.
Right >§§§> Left
Do not leave me to my oppressors; I have done what is righteous and just. Do not let the arrogant oppress me; ensure your servant’s well-being. Looking for your righteous promise my eyes fail, looking for your salvation. According to your love, teach me your decrees, deal with your servant. Give me discernment that I may understand your statutes; I am your servant. Your law is being broken; it is time for you to act, Lord. More than gold, more than pure gold, I love your commands and I hate every wrong path because I consider all your precepts right.
Praying is hard. Emotions are involved and sometimes they actually become a barrier to praying at all. Who wants to admit they think the key to God’s behavior might be getting the wording just right to assure Him of your trust at the same time you’re trying to keep any negative thoughts from Him? That’s the opposite of what the Psalmist’s prayers and this section of Psalm 119 show us. His no-holds-barred method of praying is right there for us to see. He’s learned something about true humility; God does not see the Psalmist’s words or emotions as good or bad. His prayers are his true heart given to God whether they’re words of harsh desperation or high praise. God has given the Psalmist the courage to reveal everything in his heart to the God whose “eye” is always on him anyway. ע Ayin is right there for us to “see” too.
At first glance the word “humble” wouldn’t be how I’d describe the prayers of this Psalmist king. He’s as straightforward with his bold demands of God as he is with his praise. He adds no timid phrases like “thy will be done” to soften what he asks. His prayers combine his own desperate physical and emotional needs along with his fervent praise of the God who continues to be his teacher. God has given the Psalmist the assurance of true humility that recognizes nothing he says can remove God from his heart OR remove his heart from God’s own.
That is the kind of prayer I want to learn.