Psalm 141 is an amazing prayer for our world today. It is clear that David, in this Psalm, is in the midst of unrighteous people—people who might cause him to loosen his tongue or participate in sinful activities.
We all have those friends and co-workers, right? Well, maybe not co-workers since I work at a church, but you get my point. We all have those people in our lives that as we hang around them, all of a sudden, we find ourselves speaking and acting differently. This may or may not be a bad thing, which is why we need biblical community. However, it’s when these friends make inappropriate jokes and celebrating poor life-decisions, that we find ourselves wanting to fit in and ultimately giving approval—if only through our silence. It is the warning of Romans 1:32, “Though they know God’s righteous decree that those who practice such things deserve to die, they not only do them but give approval to those who practice them.”
David is actively praying against this. How many of us need to “set a guard” over our mouth? I long ago memorized Ephesians 4:29, and still struggle to live by its wisdom, “Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear.”
Because sin may be fun for a season, David compares it to “delicacies.” However, the delicacy of sin is, at best, a fleeting pleasure. David recognizes the kindness in the rebuke of a righteous man. He compares it to the refreshment of oil on his head.
Verses 3–7 are a great picture of the sanctification process. This kind of prayer is how a person takes a step toward becoming a true disciple of Christ. Additionally, David prays for protection in verses 8–10. These are great things for which to pray. We are entangled in a world where sin reigns. It is impossible to completely insulate ourselves from unrighteous people (nor should we). Thus, we need God, through His Holy Spirit, to help us in troubled times.
If you have had a hard week, or if you’ve felt beat down with the struggles that come from living in a sinful world, this Psalm is for you. Today, take a moment and pray through each verse of this Psalm and write in the comments how God is challenging you. My prayer for each of you is that the Lord would “hasten” to your call, and “give ear to your voice.”
By: Tyler Short — Connection Ministry Associate