Relying on Your Righteousness in Prayer

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Scott

Puritan Board Graduate
Psalm 18 was written by david following (according to the superscription) his delivery "from the hand of all his enemies and from the hand of Saul."

It contains this excerpt:
20 The LORD has dealt with me according to my righteousness; according to the cleanness of my hands he has rewarded me.

21 For I have kept the ways of the LORD; I have not done evil by turning from my God.

22 All his laws are before me; I have not turned away from his decrees.

23 I have been blameless before him and have kept myself from sin.

24 The LORD has rewarded me according to my righteousness, according to the cleanness of my hands in his sight.
Does anyone ever include statements like this in their personal prayers? You certainly don't see statements like this in Puritan prayers or statements about themselves. The Valley of Vision, for example, is pervaded with statements about personal failings in sin. In fact it seems that nearly all of them (perhaps not all) contain a strong element of penitence. They more closely resemble Psalm 38 than Psalm 18.

It is very hard for me to imagine praying something along the lines of Psalm 18 unless I am actually just praying the Psalm. Yet, it is an inspired model that we should use and is an example of doctrine in action.

Thoughts?
 

Scott1

Puritanboard Commissioner
It was eye-opening for me recently as our Pastor taught through a representative sample of the Psalms.

He taught that Christ is in the Psalms quite a bit. Much more than I had ever realized. For example, in Psalm 1, "Blessed is the man who walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners." This was looking toward Christ. It still has personal application to us, but only the coming Christ could fulfill the righteous standard spoken of.

Your answer may lie somewhere in understanding the Psalms this way. We cannot look to God on the basis of our own righteousness... but we can on the basis of Christ's.
 
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