3. The heart: “Turn my heart toward your statutes" (v. 36). In order to make progress in God's school we have to understand what the way of God is and have strength to walk in it, directing our feet along the old established path. We also have to want to walk it, which is what the author prays for next when he implores, “Turn my heart toward your statutes and not toward selfish gain.” 

John R. W. Stott's book Your Mind Matters deals with six areas of Christian living. Each, he maintains, is impossible without a proper and energetic use of our minds. In yesterday's study we looked at the first three areas: Christian worship, Christian faith, and Christian holiness. Today we continue with the remaining three areas of Christian living. 

It is useful to think in terms of a balanced education to understand what is going on next in Psalm 119. A well-rounded education is education for the whole person, and this is what the psalmist wants for himself. What is the best way to achieve a well-rounded education in God's school? Verses 34-37 teach that it is by keeping God's Word before one's mind, feet, heart and eyes—four important parts of the body. 

Christianity and learning have always gone hand in hand. Wherever the gospel of Jesus Christ has gone in this world, grammar schools, literacy classes, scholarship and schools of higher learning have inevitably followed its advance. This is because the gospel opens the mind not only to matters of the soul, but to the mind itself, to nature, man, history and the marvels of the world God created. In the fifth stanza of Psalm 119 we have this important combination: learning and religion. But the kind of learning the psalmist has in mind is learning God's Word. Moreover, he wants to learn God's Word so he might walk in it or obey it. In order to make progress in this school he asks God to be his teacher. 

As we have already noted, the psalmist prays for four things in order to enable him to live by God's law. In yesterday's study we looked at the prayers to “open my eyes” and to “teach me your decrees.” Today we continue with two more petitions.