Deal bountifully with Your servant, that I may live and keep Your word.
Psalm 119:17

How would you finish this statement? “Deal bountifully with Your servant, that I may…”

It is painfully easy to pray for things without really considering how God would be most honored. We can pray for health, employment, friendships, etc. as though health, employment or friendships should be the ultimate goal of our prayers.

The psalmist’s self-identification as God’s servant is very telling. To describe oneself as a servant indicates that you also have a master. The psalmist is clearly speaking as a servant when his request is directly linked to a desire to keep the Master’s word.

Many people desire God’s bounty, most of whom are simply interested in their personal benefit. God becomes a source of provision that allows me to live the life I want to live. After Jesus fed the 5,000, He made an interesting statement:

Jesus answered them and said, “Truly, truly, I say to you, you seek Me, not because you saw signs, but because you ate of the loaves and were filled.”
John 6:26

It was not a relationship they were looking for from Jesus. They were not really considering what it meant to follow Jesus as Lord and Savior. They were just happy to have the physical provision of food from Christ.

When we pray it should be obvious that we are servants who desire to please our master. We must consider what we are bringing before the Lord so that our requests clearly accomplish the purposes that are honoring to the Lord.

The psalmist desires God’s bounty, because it is this provision that makes it possible for him to live as God has directed.

Spurgeon says “The prayer of this verse shows that it is only through divine bounty or grace that we can live as faithful servants of God, and manifest obedience to his commands. If we give God service it must be because he gives us grace. We work for him because he works in us.”1

Take time to seriously consider what you pray for this week. Ask yourself:  Is my prayer designed to bring God glory above all else, or is it simply a desire for God to accommodate what I want to happen?

1Spurgeon, C. H. (n.d.). The Treasury of David: Psalms 111-119 (Vol. 5, p. 171). London; Edinburgh; New York: Marshall Brothers

 

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