The old British divine Matthew Henry refers to the practice of praying God’s Word back to God as “wrestling with God in his own strength.” For this reason, I love to peruse the Bible for prayers to make my own. And one of my favorite passages to pray is Psalm 25.
As we look forward to a new year, I don’t know what changes, purposes, or opportunities await each of us, but I am confident that “good and upright is the LORD” and that, “therefore he instructs sinners in the way. He leads the humble in what is right, and teaches the humble his way” (Psalm 25:8, 9).
What a comfort to enter into this year with a prayer for God’s good direction, knowing, not only that he will guide us, but also that “All the paths of the Lord are steadfast love and faithfulness” (Psalm 25:10).
God will lead us in his good ways, if we meekly seek his counsel.
God will lead us in his good ways, if we meekly seek his counsel. My prayer, therefore, for each of us in this new year, is that we will make David’s prayer in Psalm 25 our own.
Notice that he prays the prayer of a meek man in the first part of the psalm and then—and only then—lays hold on the promises of God to those who are humble. May we meekly seek the Lord’s favor and direction, opening ourselves completely and trustingly to his wise and good path for our lives.
Here is David’s prayer. I hope that we will each commit it, not only to our memory, but to our hearts and, from our hearts, to the Lord:
To you, O Lord, I lift up my soul. O my God, in you I trust; let me not be put to shame; let not my enemies exult over me … Make me to know your ways, O Lord; teach me your paths. Lead me in your truth and teach me, for you are the God of my salvation; for you I wait all the day long. (Psalm 25:1-5).
Whatever challenges or difficulties we may face in the coming year, let us face them with confidence in God’s promises and with faith in his goodness. As he has proven to us time and again, God is always worthy of our trust.
As he has proven to us time and again, God is always worthy of our trust.
God will never disappoint our faith in him, nor will he ever deny those who seek him. “Who is the man who fears the Lord? Him will he instruct in the way that he should choose. His soul shall abide in well-being…” (Psalm 25:12, 13).