Summary: We can hear the psalmist's heartfelt prayer within these 8 verses. From his cry, call & confession we can receive some instructions and incentives to persist in prayer.
PSALM 119: 145-152 [The Ministry of The Word Series]
THE PURSUIT OF TRUTH
[John 14:15, 23-24]
The psalmist called on the Lord to deliver him because he obeyed, hoped in, and meditated on His Word. In this section [Qoph the 19th letter in the Hebrew alphabet] the psalmist is clearly troubled. He stresses that he cries out to God three times (vv. 145–47). He is in need of help. Those who follow wickedness draw near (v. 150) but God and His Word are nearer still (v. 151). Thus his cry is heard. As he calls on God to save him, he also promises that he will keep or obey His Word. As Jesus says, "If you love Me, keep My commandments" (John 14:15). [Williams, Donald. The Preacher's Commentary Series, Vol. 14: Psalms 73-150. Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Inc, 1989, S. 377.]
We can hear the psalmist's heartfelt prayer within these eight verses. From his cry, call and confession we can receive some instructions and incentives to persist in prayer.
[Spurgeon broke these verse down into: How he prayed (Psalms 119:145). What he prayed for (v. 146). When he prayed (v. 147). How long he prayed (v. 148). What he pleaded (v. 149). What happened (v. 150). How he was rescued (v. 151). What was his witness as to the whole matter (v. 152). [Spurgeon, Charles. The Treasury of David. Vol. 3. McLean, VA: MacDonald Publishing. p. 401.]
I. HIS CRY, 145-148.
II. HIS CALL, 149-151.
III. HIS CONFESSION, 152.
Strong emotion comes through in the opening of this stanza. In verse 145 we hear the passion of his prayers. "I cried with all my heart; answer me, O Lord! I will observe Your statutes."
This cry is from the heart. Prayer is acceptable only if it is by the heart. If it is with the lips only then all is lost. Heart cries are the essence of fervent prayer. He has cried and was still crying with all his heart. All the powers of his soul were engaged and exerted to the utmost in his prayers.
The word hear can also be rendered "answer." Don't let my words die in the air but respond to them O Lord.
The one praying then promises to obey God's Word. He could not expect the Lord to hear him if he did not hear the Lord. He could not expect the Lord to hear him and act if he did not hear the Lord and act.
In verse 146 the cry is repeated. "I cried to You; save me and I shall keep Your testimonies."
He cries out to God to be saved. He needed saving, and none but the Lord could save him. "Save me" from the dangers which surround me, from the enemies that pursue me, from the temptations which beset me, from the sins which accuse me. [Spurgeon, 402.]
The answer that he wants from God's divine intervention is so that he may keep God's "testimonies." His promise that he will obey God is emphatic by the form of the verb and the parallelism to the previous verse. He is fully committed to obeying God's Word.
The intensity of the psalmist's cry is revealed by his early communion with God in verse 147. "I rise before dawn and cry for help; I wait for Your words."
He rises in the morning twilight to cry out in prayer. The help that he needs is divine deliverance. The basis of his prayer is God's revelation: "I hope in Your words." His hope is based upon Yahweh's Word, the covenant commitment that He has made to save His people.
Because God is true, and has never turn His back on His unconditional promises, the one who is diligent in prayer will find hope in His words. Just as the early bird gets the worm, so the early prayer will be refreshed with hope.
Verse 148 declares that when he is awake at night he meditates on the Word. "My eyes anticipate the night watches, that I may meditate on Your Word."
If the psalmist is awake during the night he guards it as if he is a night watchman [the "night watches" were divided into several time periods; Judg. 7:19]. He redeemed the time by "meditating on" God's "Word"so that he would not be caught of guard by the enemy of his soul. When God awakens us in the night we too would do well to keep vigil by mediating on the Word.
II. HIS CALL, 149-151.
The psalmist asks God to answer his call in verse 149. "Hear my voice according to Your lovingkindness; Revive me, O Lord, according to Your ordinances."
During his midnight devotions he calls upon Israel's covenant guarding God to renew his spirit within him as He has promised. Loving-kindness calls to mind God's "covenant-love." As he encounters promises in the Word he claims them and asks God to apply them because he is a Covenant keeping God.