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  • Chad Werkhoven

Psalm 5 - Intolerant Prayers

Experience true peace by praying for what God wants instead of just what you want.

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Read Psalm 5

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Heidelberg Catechism Q&A 10

Q. Will God permit

such disobedience and rebellion

to go unpunished?

A. Certainly not.

He is terribly angry

about the sin we are born with

as well as the sins we personally commit.

As a just judge

he punishes them now and in eternity.

He has declared:

“Cursed is everyone who does not continue to do

everything written in the Book of the Law.”



The 5th Psalm is known as the Morning Prayer, as it records David laying out his requests before God in the morning (v3). What a model for God's people to follow: to begin each new day by asking God to "consider my lament (v1)," and to "hear my cry for help (v2)!"

But notice what follows isn't a grocery list of all of the specific items that David needs help accomplishing as he begins a new day. Rather, David expresses a deep felt concern for the wickedness and evil that permeates God's good world, and he begs God to restore justice and righteousness.

David doesn't mince words, using harsh language in this beautiful, divinely inspired poetry. Those who have been with this Bible reading plan for awhile will recognize that, like so many of the Bible's prayers, this prayer fits the AAA prayer pattern:

  • David Acknowledges who God is:

    • v2 - My King and my God;

    • v3 - The Lord hears my voice;

    • v4-6 - God is not pleased with wickedness and will not welcome evil people;

    • v7 - God is loving, and welcomes His people;

    • v12 - The Lord blesses the righteous.

  • David Aligns his life with God's will:

    • v3 - In the morning I lay my requests before you and wait expectantly;

    • v7 - In reverence I bow down toward your holy temple;

    • v8 - Make your way straight before me;

  • David Asks God for what he needs:

    • v1-2 - Listen to my words, consider my lament and hear my cry for help;

    • v3 - I lay my requests before you.

Dig Deeper

We come to Psalm 5 today in the context of a warning, being reminded that God will not permit the disobedience and rebellion of man to go unpunished.

David's cutting descriptions of evil people not being welcome before God, and that they in fact are hated by Him (v4-5) because "not a word from their mouth can be trusted... and their throat is an open grave (v9)" seem out of place and extreme to our ears that are continually being groomed for tolerance.

You need to model David's visceral disgust for evil behavior, so much in fact that your primary prayer each morning would be that God will root it out of this world.

But don't let the prevalence of evil in our world steal your happiness! Be reminded as you begin each day that all who take refuge in the Lord will be glad and will ever sing for joy (v11)!

Finally, pray in hope. David prays this relatively short prayer to God, and then he simply "waits expectantly."

Think about what that means today: to not just wait, but to wait expectantly on the Lord.


Today, choose your prayer elements from the summary list above.





Read the New Testament in a year, a chapter a day - Acts 1


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