A Prayer for Teaching

“Teach me, O Lord, the way of your statutes;
and I will keep it to the end.” Psalm 119.33

With this verse, we move into the fifth stanza of this extraordinary psalm. In the previous stanza the psalmist wrote at length of his own weakness, frailty, and sin. Out of that comes this section, where the psalmist speaks at length of his own dependence.

In the opening of this stanza he calls on the Lord to teach him the way of his statutes. In doing so, the psalmist shows humility. The proud know-it-all will not utter this prayer, for he sees in himself no need to be taught. The humble—the one who’s seen the error in his ways, as the psalmist displayed in the prior stanza—knows well his need to be taught. And there is no greater teacher than the Lord and his inspired Word.

Having expressed his need to learn from the Lord, the psalmist moves on to express his resolve to follow through on what he learns. He does not simply want knowledge; he wants to act on that knowledge. He wants not only to be a hearer of the Word, but he’s resolved to do what it says. What is the extent of that resolve? He’s committed to obey to the end—that is to the fullness of obedience.

Do you share the psalmists humility and desire to be taught of the Lord from his Word? How does your life display an eagerness to learn scriptural truth? Are you a hearer of the Word alone, or do God’s precepts guide your day-to-day life?

Teach us, O Lord. Without your Spirit’s illumination, we are lost. Help us, Father, to understand the way of your statutes and enable us to walk in obedience. May our lives be lived to your honor and glory. Amen.

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