Here we have, I. David’s good prayers, by which he sought to God for mercy; these he mentions here, not as boasting of them, or trusting to any merit in them, but reflecting upon them with comfort, that he had taken the appointed way to comfort. Observe here, 1. That he was inward with God in prayer; he prayed with his heart, and prayer is acceptable no further than the heart goes along with it. Lip-labour, if that be all, is lost labour. 2. He was importunate with God in prayer; he cried, as one in earnest, with fervour of affection and a holy vehemence and vigour of desire. He cried with his whole heart; all the powers of his soul were not only engaged and employed, but exerted to the utmost, in his prayers. Then we are likely to speed when we thus strive and wrestle in prayer. 3. That he directed his prayer to God: I cried unto thee. Whither should the child go but to his father when any thing ails him? 4. That the great thing he prayed for was salvation: Save me. A short prayer (for we mistake if we think we shall be heard for our much speaking), but a comprehensive prayer: “Not only rescue me from ruin, but make me happy.” We need desire no more than God’s salvation (Ps. 50:23) and the things that accompany it, Heb. 6:9. 5. That he was earnest for an answer; and not only looked up in his prayers, but looked up after them, to see what became of them (Ps. 5:3): “Lord, hear me, and let me know that thou hearest me.”
II. David’s good purposes, by which he bound himself to duty when he was in the pursuit of mercy. “I will keep thy statutes; I am resolved that by thy grace I will;” for, if we turn away our ear from hearing the law, we cannot expect an answer of peace to our prayers, Prov. 28:9. This purpose is used as a humble plea (Ps. 119:146): “Save me from my sins, my corruptions, my temptations, all the hindrances that lie in my way, that I may keep thy testimonies.” We must cry for salvation, not that we may have the ease and comfort of it, but that we may have an opportunity of serving God the more cheerfully.