“Invigorate my life so that I can praise you even more, and may your truth be my strength! I’ll never forget what you’ve taught me, Lord, but when I wander off and lose my way, come after me, for I am your beloved!” (Psalms 119: 175-176, the Passion Translation)
This plea is full of trust and expectancy. It is also glowing with gratitude and humility.
What a wonderful example of prayer! The psalmist begins by turning to God, but he doesn’t ask for things or for his own personal success. He asks his Father to vitalize his own life so that the writer can more actively praise God. It is a motive that certainly desires help but is also driven by a need to be what God would have him be, to reveal in his own experience the qualities he seeks.
This prayer acknowledges the strength of Truth and its place in the psalmist’s heart and thoughts. He honors this Truth as a needed aspect of living. It is an awareness of God that makes his course right and good.
But, humbly, the poet here also knows he doesn’t always get it right. He may wander off at times, forget what is most virtuous and true, be fearful or confused or in doubt. So, he adds a request that he be sought out by God when this happens. He demonstrates a willingness to receive guidance and be brought back home to God’s own plan. And while this is an earnest appeal, it contains an expectation of answered prayer.
I am your beloved. The psalmist knows this is a fact, and so his help must come, the guidance must be given, the rescue, the strength, the invigorated life will be provided. For Love must love. And we are all God’s beloved ones. Our prayers can affirm this, and we can also be ready for the influx and the embrace.