S8P1 – The journey of Psalm 143: the cry

Let us take a journey through Psalm 43 and study David’s progression of prayer and praise during a difficult time.

Psalm 143:1-2
Lord, hear my prayer, listen to my cry for mercy; in your faithfulness and righteousness come to my relief. Do not bring your servant into judgment, for no one living is righteous before you.

This Psalm of David paints a picture of a man at his end turning to God for help. This is an illustration of not only of the path to salvation but also of our path after salvation. It starts with the cry for God’s mercy. David acknowledges that it is this mercy through which he makes his plea for God’s judgment to pass over His servant. And in his plea, He appeals to God’s holiness. In doing so, he makes his cry for help an act of confession and praise.

David understands the mechanisms through which he can make such a request for relief. It is God’s mercy that causes Him to listen to our prayers, and His faithfulness and righteousness cause Him to come to our aid. David also understands that he possesses no righteousness of his own that can keep him from judgment. Only God is righteous. David’s prayer is an admission of the condition that causes him to need God’s help. This is indeed a humble praise before God.

We can learn a lot from this beginning of David’s prayer. Appealing to God for relief must come from a place of humility and an acknowledgement of how we are even able to ask for His help. This is not empty flattery; we appeal to no ego. We come before God with a right perspective of who we are and who He is. We ask for nothing out of entitlement but everything out of mercy. Father, as we cry out to You for help, keep us humble in our pleas for mercy.