Precept and Prayer

James Smith, 1860


Precepts
call for prayers, for as they point out God's requirements, and call upon us for obedience; they also teach us our weakness, and our need of Divine strength. David seems to have felt this, and therefore he says, "You have commanded us to keep your precepts diligently" and then immediately prays, "O that my ways were directed to keep your statutes!" Psalm 119:4, 5.


THE COMMAND. "You have commanded us to keep Your precepts diligently."

His precepts are to be kept we should keep them in our minds and memories, and in our practice and daily behavior.

They are to be kept diligently, as our rule of conduct, as our guide in all of life.

They are to be kept with sincerity, promptness, and careful attention.

We should keep them as the command of God of God who is our Father, the source and giver of all good things.

We should keep them too, as those who must give an account.
 

THE DEVOUT ASPIRATION. "O that my ways were directed to keep Your statutes!" This expresses a love to the precepts, and an approval of them. It intimates that there are hindrances, or difficulties in the way of keeping them . . .
Satan hinders,
the world hinders,
the flesh hinders.

It is a recognition of our weakness and a desire for Divine strength. Divine influence is necessary to enable us to keep God's statutes. He who gives the precept must give the wisdom and the strength, necessary to observe it. He who requires obedience is ready to give us ability to render it. Let us then take every precept to His throne of grace, and with a hearty desire to do all that God commands, just because he commands it, and with a view to His glory; and cry out from the depths of the soul, "O that my ways were directed to keep Your statutes!"

Beloved, if we perform duty in a right spirit, it will soon become our delight. It will . . .
bring us near to God,
keep us dependent on Jesus, and
lead us into close fellowship with the Holy Spirit.

It will preserve us from a thousand snares and introduce us to a thousand unknown, and unexpected joys!

Gracious Lord, direct us daily, that we may keep your precepts diligently!