¨ [David] prayed neither coldly nor only in a few words; but that, according as the vehemence of his grief urged him, he was earnest in bewailing his calamities before God; and that since it did not immediately appear what would be their issue, he persevered in repeating the same complaints. JC
¨ […] words in prayer to God ought to be few, at least not repeated, and these should be a man's own words, as were the psalmist's; not what were suggested by another, or written in a book before him, but what were of his own composing and putting together, under the direction of the Spirit of God; who put words into his mouth, and furnished him both with words and matter, and which he freely uttered before the Lord: and this is the "parrhesia", boldness, freedom of speech, which the Scriptures speak of, and the saints are allowed to use in prayer before God; when they may pour out their souls unto Him, and freely tell Him all their mind, as the psalmist now did… [God has a] kind regard… to the prayers of the destitute, which He does not despise but delight in; and of His bowing and inclining His ear, or of the strict and close attention He gives to them; and of the full and suitable answer He returns, in His own time and way; and is what the psalmist most earnestly entreats. JG
¨ What David here prays for…, may encourage our faith and hopes in all our addresses to God. If we pray fervently, and in faith, we have reason to hope… that God will take cognizance of our case, the representation we make of it and the requests we make upon it; for so he prays here: Give ear to my words, O Lord! Though God is in heaven, He has an ear to His people’s prayers, and it is not heavy, that He cannot hear. Men perhaps will not or cannot hear us; our enemies are so haughty that they will not, our friends at such a distance that they cannot; but God, though high, though in heaven, can, and will. MH
“[…] consider my meditation.”
¨ By not uttering the desires of his heart, he shows more emphatically that his inward feelings, which he brought with him before God, were such that language was insufficient to express them. JC
¨ […] it was not a lip prayer only, but… proceeded from and was accompanied with the deepest thoughts and most fervent affections of his soul. MP
¨ There are two sorts of prayers – those expressed in words, and the unuttered longings which abide as silent meditations. Words are not the essence but the garments of the prayer… Yet the use of language may prevent distraction of the mind, may assist the powers of the soul, and may excite devotion. David, we observe, uses both modes of prayer, and craves for the one a hearing, and for the other a consideration… If I have asked that which is right, give it to me; if I have omitted to ask that which I most needed, fill up the vacancy in my prayer… Let thy soul consider it as presented through my all-glorious mediator: then regard thou it in thy wisdom, weigh it in the scales, judge thou of my sincerity, and of the true state of my necessities, and answer me in due time for thy mercy’s sake! There may be prevailing intercession where there are no words; and alas! There may be words where there is no true supplication. Let us cultivate the spirit of prayer which is even better than the habit of prayer. There may be seeming prayer where there is little devotion. We should begin to pray before we kneel down, and we should not cease when we rise up.
¨ […] meditation is requisite to prayer, and should go before it; which is necessary in order to pray with… understanding; nor should men utter anything rashly and hastily before the Lord: it may design mental prayer, in distinction from vocal prayer… The word also signifies inward mourning, and groans; the root from whence this is derived to mourn… and are the same with the unutterable groanings with which the Spirit of God sometimes makes intercession for the saints, Rom. 8:26; and which are not hid from God, but are well known to Him: He understands the language of a sigh or groan; and so the words may be rendered "understand my moan." JG
¨ The Psalmist well shows… how from within, from the chamber of the heart, without the body’s utterance, it reaches unto God: for the bodily voice is heard, but the spiritual is understood. Augustine
¨ [This] signifies that which is spoken meditatively, here praying in rapt devotion. K&D, Franz Delitzsch
¨ [God] will take [our prayers] into His wise and compassionate consideration, and will not slight it, or turn it off with a cursory answer; for so he prays: Consider my meditation. David’s prayers were not his words only, but his meditations; as meditations [are] the best preparative for prayer, so prayer is the best issue of meditation. MH
What a beautiful and reassuring opening verse to this Psalm! How wonderful it is for the people of God to know that it is not just the words of our mouth that God receives on our behalf; it is also our groanings, our moans, or sighs. When we are plagued with weakness and infirmity, when we are embattled with sin, when we are so beaten up that we feel we do not have the knowledge or strength to ask the Lord for what would heal us yet our moans are heard by Him and He answers. It may not be as we had hoped He would answer. It may not be in the time that we wanted Him to answer. But what a beautiful picture of a loving God that listens not just to our specific petitions but listens for our moans of anguish and receives them, considers them, and answers them. What we mull in our mind, what we feel in our heart, all of it is laid open to our God and He listens to the meditations of the saints and replies not just in response to the specific issue but we can hear Him saying lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world. With this realization in mind we read Rom. 8:26 and see that our God is so faithful that we don’t even have the capacity to pray for what we should be praying for and thus the Spirit intercedes for us just as Spurgeon said, “[He] fill[s] up the vacancy in [our] prayers.”
He is here now and forever and we are not alone. When it seems like we are indeed alone, when it seems as if we cannot be heard, when it seems like we have no hope, He is there for His children. When we are slouched in our chairs at night burdened with problems and we find it impossible to verbalize a prayer as only lumps in our throat and exhaustion seem to appear, He is there and He hears our pain. What could possibly prevent us from regular fervent prayer when we serve a God who is so faithful that He even hears our moans? What beauty and reassurance we have here! Let us revel in this truth and pray to the Lord with all of our might and in all of our affairs both now and always, Amen.