Read Psalm 5
For the director of music. For pipes. A psalm of David.
1 Listen to my words, Lord,
consider my lament.
2 Hear my cry for help,
my King and my God,
for to you I pray.
3 In the morning, Lord, you hear my voice;
in the morning I lay my requests before you
and wait expectantly.
4 For you are not a God who is pleased with wickedness;
with you, evil people are not welcome.
5 The arrogant cannot stand
in your presence.
You hate all who do wrong;
6 you destroy those who tell lies.
The bloodthirsty and deceitful
you, Lord, detest.
7 But I, by your great love,
can come into your house;
in reverence I bow down
toward your holy temple.
8 Lead me, Lord, in your righteousness
because of my enemies—
make your way straight before me.
9 Not a word from their mouth can be trusted;
their heart is filled with malice.
Their throat is an open grave;
with their tongues they tell lies.
10 Declare them guilty, O God!
Let their intrigues be their downfall.
Banish them for their many sins,
for they have rebelled against you.
11 But let all who take refuge in you be glad;
let them ever sing for joy.
Spread your protection over them,
that those who love your name may rejoice in you.
12 Surely, Lord, you bless the righteous;
you surround them with your favor as with a shield.
In this chapter, we can see that David is urgent, sorrowful, and begging to be heard by God. But realizing that his words might not be enough, that he might not be able to even form the words he needs, he asks God to consider his sighing and hear his cries. David knew that sometimes there are situations that are too difficult, too heart wrenching, too confusing, to even form words of prayer.
Perhaps it’s familiar to you what is happening in Psalm 5. Parents quickly learn to recognize their child’s cry, whether hungry, mad, sad, hurt, or simply tired. A young child doesn’t have to use words, because the parent recognizes and understands what is meant by the cry for help. The same is true with our Father! Jeremiah 29:12 tells us that when we pray, God listens. And Romans 8:26 further encourages us that in our weakness, when we don’t even know the words to use, the Holy Spirit intercedes for us. How awesome a thought that our cries reach the very heart of the Creator of the universe. He hears them, He understands them, and He takes delight in being the One to whom we cry out!
In return, God asks us to remember His faithfulness. In Joshua 4, as Joshua was about to lead the people into the Promised Land, God told them to set up stones as a memorial of all the ways He had taken care of them during their years of deliverance. He wanted those stones to be a sign to later generations that God kept His promises and provided for His people.
That is the same God that we worship today. For thousands and thousands of years, God has remained available, consistent, and faithful. It does not matter what we say, how we say it, or if we can even “say” it. We can speak, we can sigh, or we can cry. It does not matter. All that matters is that we show up, that we trust Him, and that we remember to testify about His faithfulness to the generations after us. Whatever it is that we need, God hears it. He knows us, He loves us, and He is listening. Take time today to let Him know what you need.
What do you need God to hear today?
When was a time when you lacked the right words, but knew that God knew and met your needs despite your ability to pray the “right prayer”?
As you reflect on God’s faithfulness, do you need to “set up stones” as a testimony to the generations of what He has done?
By the Way
When he was writing Romans 3:10-18, the Apostle Paul quoted several different psalms while describing the power of sin. In Romans 3:13, Paul references Psalm 5:9 and how the wicked speak.