Lord, I cry unto thee: make haste unto me; give ear unto my voice, when I cry unto thee.
2 Let my prayer be set forth before thee as incense; and the lifting up of my hands as the evening sacrifice.
3 Set a watch, O Lord, before my mouth; keep the door of my lips.
4 Incline not my heart to any evil thing, to practise wicked works with men that work iniquity: and let me not eat of their dainties.
5 Let the righteous smite me; it shall be a kindness: and let him reprove me; it shall be an excellent oil, which shall not break my head: for yet my prayer also shall be in their calamities.
6 When their judges are overthrown in stony places, they shall hear my words; for they are sweet.
7 Our bones are scattered at the grave's mouth, as when one cutteth and cleaveth wood upon the earth.
8 But mine eyes are unto thee, O God the Lord: in thee is my trust; leave not my soul destitute.
9 Keep me from the snares which they have laid for me, and the gins of the workers of iniquity.
10 Let the wicked fall into their own nets, whilst that I withal escape.
David's prayer is a desperate cry for help, but also an act of worship since his prayer is compared to incense, which was burned during worship services. Ellen White writes: “While engaged in our daily work, we should lift the soul to heaven in prayer. These silent petitions rise like incense before the throne of grace; and the enemy is baffled. The Christian whose heart is thus stayed upon God cannot be overcome. No evil arts can destroy his peace. All the promises of God’s word, all the power of divine grace, and all the resources of Jehovah are pledged to secure his deliverance” (Gospel Workers p. 254).
Another beautiful principle arises out of this psalm. David values true friendship (vs. 5). True friends help to keep us on the “straight and narrow,” and have the courage to tell us when we’re headed in the wrong direction. In her book Patriarchs and Prophets, p. 667, Ellen White writes that David blesses Abigail because of the rebuke she spoke to him when he would have acted unwisely towards Nabal (1 Samuel 25).
May we too value true friends and bless them when they speak to us with wise, God-given advice.