The psalmist learned various things about God as he studied his Word. In yesterday's study we looked at two things the psalmist learned, including that (1) God is merciful, and that (2) God's Word is true. In today's study we continue with two more points. 

There is nothing so obvious as the truth that "faith” without obedience is worthless, even contemptible. Yet few things are so common. One writer says, “Open sin, and avowed unbelief, no doubt slay their thousands. But profession without practice slays its tens of thousands.” He means that those who disobey God will be carried away by life's torrents. 

There is a link between the last stanza (vv. 145-152) and these two stanzas (vv. 153-168). The enemies of the psalmist are still present, as they have been throughout the psalm, and he is still praying: “Deliver me” (v. 153), “defend my cause and redeem me” (v. 154), “renew my life” (vv. 154, 156), and “preserve my life" (v. 159). Derek Kidner says that there even seems to be “a mounting urgency” in these repeated pleas for salvation. At the same time, there is also a significant change as we move from the former stanza to these two. The last set of verses was almost entirely a prayer. In these stanzas the petitions tend to drop away—stanza twenty-one (the sin/shin stanza) has no explicit prayers at all—and in their place comes a quiet, obedient waiting upon God. 

The fourth truth to be learned about prayer in these verses is that prayer must be in faith, believing. It must be earnest, a constant way of life, and biblical, but it must also be in faith. 

The third thing the psalmist teaches about prayer in these verses is that prayer is best when it is biblical, that is, when it accompanies and flows from serious Bible study and when it is, in a sense, repeating God's very words, teaching, decrees and promises back to him. It is when our own prayer words become biblical. The psalmist expresses this when he talks about God hearing him “in accordance with your love” and renewing his life “according to your laws” (v. 149). What distresses him about the wicked is that “they are far from your law" (v. 150).