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Would You Pray That Prayer?

Jonathan Banning

In Psalm 7 King David makes a shocking petition to God,

“O’ Lord my God, if I have done this, if there is injustice in my hands... let the enemy pursue my soul and overtake it; and let him trample my life down to the ground and lay my glory in the dust” (Psalm 7:3-5).

That is the petition of a man with a clean conscience. Did you notice what he wrote? He asks God to let his enemies obliterate him if he is guilty of wrongdoing. Only a man who knew he was innocent would make such a bold and startling petition. We don’t pray that the wicked be destroyed when we know in our heart of hearts that we are the wicked. This songs emanates from a guilt-free heart. I wonder, would you be willing to pray that prayer?

Some prayers are so bold and so honest that they can only be prayed by a heart that is free of guilt. You may put on a good face in public, you may leave no impression on your spouse that something is amiss in your spiritual life, but when you bow before the all-knowing and all-present God of heaven you wouldn’t dare pray for the destruction of the wicked if you knew you were guilty before Him. Sometimes we’re convicted by the prayers we aren’t willing to pray.

So let me ask you, is your conscience clean enough, is your heart guilt-free enough, to pray the following prayers?

“Examine me, O’ Lord” (Psalm 26:2)

In this song, David invites spiritual inspection. He asks for God to dig, delve and dive into his spiritual life and test his integrity. David is telling God that he has nothing to hide. Would you pray that prayer?

I’ve noticed something about tests and inspections. The only people who get worried about those things are the people who aren’t prepared. The man who knows he’s selling you a car in pristine condition wouldn’t baulk at an inspection. He’d invite it! The woman who has brushed and flossed just as the dentist prescribed doesn’t hate going to the dentist. She might even look forward to it! Only those with something to hide fear examination.

What about you? Would you invite the Lord to examine your spiritual life? Would you look forward to the test because you know you are prepared? Would you pray that prayer?

“Make me know your ways, O’ Lord” (Psalm 25:4)

In this song, David begs to know God’s ways. It’s a bold petition. He’s not asking for anything physical. He just wants the truth, no matter what it may require of him. Would you pray that prayer?

Sometimes we think ignorance is bliss. Sometimes when we’re guilty we’d rather not know that we’re guilty. Throughout the books of Kings and Chronicles you see the leaders of Israel execute, punish and banish those who tried to inform them of the ways of the Lord. They didn’t want to know God’s ways because they knew they weren’t on His way.

What about you? Are you actually interested to know what you need to fix, how you can grow, what to improve? Or do you prefer ignorance? Would you pray that prayer?

“May He remember all your meal offerings” Psalm 20:3.

In this song, David prays that the Lord will remember all the good things he has sacrificed. He wants the Lord to remember all his meal offerings because he is proud of how much he has given to the Lord. Would you pray that prayer?

David tells God to look back at how David served and what he offered and decide whether or not He should help based on what He found. Would you want the Lord to consider you sacrifices? Would you want the Lord to decide whether or not He would help you based on what you’ve given Him in the past month?

What about you? Would you pray that prayer?

“‘Yes, I am coming quickly.’ Amen. Come, Lord Jesus” Revelation 22:20.

This prayer lays my heart bare. It is the ultimate tool in determining whether my conscience is clean or guilty. Are you confident enough in the cleanness of your soul to look into the heavens and beg the Lord to come right now? No one with guilt on their soul can honestly pray that prayer. Only those who know they are ready to meet the Lord are bold enough to pray that He come quickly.

What about you? Would you pray that prayer?