Prayer should be both the key of the morning and the bolt of the evening.
If we pledge ourselves to Him at the beginning of day,
taking sides with Him against the things He abhors,
we will be apt to find His way straight before our faces throughout the day.
1 Give ear to my words, O LORD, consider my meditation.
2 Hearken unto the voice of my cry, my King, and my God: for unto thee will I pray.
3 My voice shalt thou hear in the morning, O LORD; in the morning will I direct my prayer unto thee, and will look up.
4 For thou art not a God that hath pleasure in wickedness: neither shall evil dwell with thee.
5 The foolish shall not stand in thy sight: thou hatest all workers of iniquity.
6 Thou shalt destroy them that speak leasing: the LORD will abhor the bloody and deceitful man.
7 But as for me, I will come into thy house in the multitude of thy mercy: and in thy fear will I worship toward thy holy temple.
8 Lead me, O LORD, in thy righteousness because of mine enemies; make thy way straight before my face.
9 For there is no faithfulness in their mouth; their inward part is very wickedness; their throat is an open sepulchre; they flatter with their tongue.
10 Destroy thou them, O God; let them fall by their own counsels; cast them out in the multitude of their transgressions; for they have rebelled against thee.
11 But let all those that put their trust in thee rejoice: let them ever shout for joy, because thou defendest them: let them also that love thy name be joyful in thee.
12 For thou, LORD, wilt bless the righteous; with favour wilt thou compass him as with a shield.
Psalm 1 – J. Vernon McGee
Psalm 5 – Protection from the Wicked
The ordering of prayer is very necessary, Genesis 22:9. Our Lord’s prayer should be our model. Often our words need to be supplemented by our meditations; that is, we must make room for the “groanings which cannot be uttered,” but which the Spirit understands, Romans 8:26-27. Distinct from either of these is the urgent ejaculation for aid which is here described as the voice of my cry, Psalm 5:2. As soon as we awake, let us speak to God. We must keep watch for the answer, Psalm 5:3. How many answers we miss, because we get tired of waiting for the return of our ships!
Note the seven expressions for the ungodly, Psalm 5:4-7. As for me—the chief of sinners, but see I Corinthians 15:10. The Jew in prayer turned toward the Temple, Psalm 5:7; Daniel 6:10. Here the Tabernacle, which preceded it, stood for the same, I Samuel 1:9. We look to the Most Holy Place, whither Jesus has entered, Hebrews 10:19.
The ungodly are specially characterized by sins of speech, Psalm 5:9. Wicked men are like sepulchers, which exhale pestilential odors. Their doom is inevitable. Notice the combination of trust, love, and joy, Psalm 5:11. —Through the Bible Day by Day
Psalm 5:3—In the morning will I direct my prayer unto Thee.
It is very important to consider the order of our petitions. No man would approach an earthly sovereign without taking time to consider how best to present his requests. He would consider the pleas on which to rely, the arguments to present, and the method in which he would be most likely to carry his case. Upon entering the presence of the great King, our Father, would it not well repay us to stay on the threshold for a moment to ask what petitions we are about to proffer, the order in which we should arrange them, and the reasons we should adduce?
It is manifestly a mistake to pray at haphazard. There is too much random preying with us all. We do not return again and again to the same petition, pressing it home with all humility and reverence, and arguing the case, not Abraham did his for the three of the plain.
Study the order of the Lord’s prayer—the adoration and prostration of soul before God prior to supplication for definite gifts; the acquiescence in the Divine will before the prayer for daily bread; the entreaty for forgiveness before them can be a thought of deliverance from evil. Or consider the order of the High Priest’s intercession for his own in John 17 before He pours out his soul in prayer for the world. Lay the wood “in order”. Enter the temple of prayer through successive courts—Confession, Absolution Ascriptions of Praise, the Te Deum, the broken sentences, the outburst of intercession, as suggested by the Church of England liturgy. At the same time, do not forget to be perfectly natural. The soul ascends the temple by regular steps, let there be the glad conviction of the tender love of the waiting Father. —Our Daily Homily