Verses 169–170

Here we have, I. A general petition for audience repeated: Let my cry come near before thee; and again, Let my supplication come before thee. He calls his prayer his cry, which denotes the fervency and vehemence of it, and his supplication, which denotes the humility of it. We must come to God as beggars come to our doors for an alms. He is concerned that his prayer might come before God, might come near before him, that is, that he might have grace and strength by faith and fervency to lift up his prayers, that no guilt might interpose to shut out his prayers and to separate between him and God, and that God would graciously receive his prayers and take notice of them. His prayer that his supplication might come before God implied a deep sense of his unworthiness, and a holy fear that his prayer should come short or miscarry, as not fit to come before God; nor would any of out prayers have had access to God if Jesus Christ had not approached to him as an advocate for us.

II. Two particular requests, which he is thus earnest to present:—1. That God, by his grace, would give him wisdom to conduct himself well under his troubles: Give me understanding; he means that wisdom of the prudent which is to understand his way; “Give me to know thee and myself, and my duty to thee.” 2. That God, by his providence, would rescue him out of his troubles: Deliver me, that is, with the temptation make a way to escape, 1 Cor. 10:13.

III. The same general plea to enforce these requests—according to thy word. This directs and limits his desires: “Lord, give me such an understanding as thou hast promised and such a deliverance as thou hast promised; I ask for no other.” It also encourages his faith and expectation: “Lord, that which I pray for is what thou hast promised, and wilt not thou be as good as thy word?”