A Prayer for Understanding

“Give me understanding, that I may keep your law
and observe it with my whole heart.” Psalm 119.34

Having called upon the Lord to teach him (33), the psalmist intensifies his show of dependence here by calling upon the Lord to give him understanding. He not only needs to receive instruction from the Lord; the writer also needs understanding from him. The same is true for every human being who would learn from God’s Word. We need his instruction, and we need Him to enlighten our minds to understand his teaching.

The Psalmist also expands upon his devotion. In the previous verse, he spoke of his resolve to obey until the end. Here, he expresses his desire to observe God’s Word—biblically speaking, a commitment to obey—with his whole heart. God-given understanding of the Word always has an impact on one’s affections. When we understand the truth of God, we see the beauty in it. What God teaches us captivates our mind and heart.

If you’re lacking an affection for the Word of God, a passion to observe his law with your whole heart, call on the Lord for illumination. Ask him to enlighten you, to increase your understanding of his truth. Then, spend time meditating on that right understanding, and your affection for his truth—and for obeying it by faith—will grow.

How has God given you an understanding of Scripture? In what ways have you seen your love for God’s Word grow as he’s enlightened your mind to grasp its truth? Praise the Lord for that growth and eagerly seek him for more.

Father, there is no true understanding apart from you. Enlighten us, O Lord. Sanctify us in your truth, so that our affection for you might increase. Amen.

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