A Prayer for Holiness

Psalm 139:23,24

As the saying goes, "Talk is cheap." It is so easy to say with David, "Do not I hate them, O Lord, that hate Thee? And am not I grieved with those that rise up against Thee? I hate them with perfect hatred: I count them my enemies." But we do well to ask ourselves how true this is of us, bearing in mind what David had written, namely, that God knows our thoughts afar off, and that there is not a word in our tongue that He does not know altogether.

If we give that serious thought, we will also with David pray, "Search me, O God, and know my heart; try me and know my thoughts: And see if there be any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting," Psalm 139:23, 24.

But since David already wrote that his life was as an open book to God, must God search to see whether there is any wicked way in him? Yes, but we must understand this in light of his last words in this verse. He prays that God will lead him in the way everlasting. He wants to be delivered from the way of sin that still is deep in his soul. He wants to be made holy and to love God perfectly with all his being.

Our Psalter versification states it thus:

Search me, O God, my heart discern,
Try me my inmost thought to learn;
And lead me, if in sin I stray,
To choose the everlasting way.

We label sins as little sins and big sins, and often defend what we call little sins. This is wrong. For then Adam's eating of a piece of fruit hurt no man and was a little sin. Yet it was an act of hatred against God, and so great a sin that it brought death on the whole human race!

If we are sincere and want to be led in the way everlasting, we will want every sin in us to be rooted out completely. This is then a prayer we should bring to God every day. It reveals a sincere love of God, and is not cheap talk. Sing these words of David, but sing them as a prayer that is sincere and from the bottom of your heart.

Read: Psalm 139
Psalter versification: #383:5

Meditations on the Heidelberg Catechism

Song for Meditation: Psalter #156
Why not sing along??

Through the Bible in One Year
Read today:

Job 12 ; Job 13 ; Job 14 ; Job 15:1-35
1 Corinthians 15:29-58
Psalm 39:1-13
Proverbs 21:30-31
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Quote for Reflection:

Matthew Henry: "Those who in choosing relations, callings, dwellings, or settlements are guided and governed by the lusts of the flesh, the lusts of the eye, or the pride of life, and consult not the interests of their souls and their religion, cannot expect God’s presence with them, nor his blessing upon them, but are commonly disappointed even in that which they principally aimed at, and miss of that which they promised themselves satisfaction in. In all our choices this principle should overrule us, That that is best for us which is best for our souls."

Last modified on 24 August 2015

Additional Info

  • Date: 24-August
Heys, John A.

Rev. John A. Heys was born on March 16, 1910 in Grand Rapids, MI. He was ordained and installed into the ministry at Hope, Walker, MI in 1941.  He later served at Hull, Iowa beginning in 1955.  In 1959 he accepted the call to serve the South Holland, IL Protestant Reformed Church.  He received and accepted the call to Holland, Michigan Protestant Reformed Church in 1967.  He retired from the active ministry in 1980.  He entered into glory on February 16, 1998.

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