Verse 13. But as for me, my prayer is unto thee, O Lord. He turned to Jehovah in prayer as being the most natural thing for the godly to do in their distress. To whom should a child turn but to his father. He did not answer them; like a sheep before her shearers he was dumb to them, but he opened his mouth unto the Lord his God, for he would hear and deliver.
In an acceptable time. It was a time of rejection with man, but of acceptance with God. Sin ruled on earth, but grace reigned in heaven. There is to each of us an accepted time, and woe to us if we suffer it to glide away unimproved. God's time must be our time, or it will come to pass that, when time closes, we shall look in vain for space for repentance. Our Lord's prayers were well timed, and always met with acceptance.
O God, in the multitude of thy mercy hear me. Even the perfect one makes his appeal to the rich mercy of God, much more should we. To misery no attribute is more sweet than mercy, and when sorrows multiply, the multitude of mercy is much prized. When enemies are more than the hairs of our head, they are yet to be numbered, but God's mercies are altogether innumerable, and let it never be forgotten that every one of them is an available and powerful argument in the hand of faith.
In the truth of thy salvation. "Jehovah's faithfulness is a further mighty plea." His salvation is no fiction, no mockery, no changeable thing, therefore he is asked to manifest it, and make all men see his fidelity to his promise. Our Lord teaches us here the sacred art of wrestling in prayer, and ordering our cause with arguments; and he also indicates to us that the nature of God is the great treasury of strong reasons, which shall be to us most prevalent in supplication.
EXPLANATORY NOTES AND QUAINT SAYINGS
Verse 13. But as for me, my prayer, etc. The phrase is full of emphasis; And I, my prayer to thee: that is, such am I altogether, this is my main occupation; as it is in Psalms 109:4 : And I, a prayer; this was my employment, this ever my only refuge, this my present help and remedy. Venema.
Verse 13. An acceptable time. All times are not alike. We will not always find admittance at the same rate, with the same ease. As we will not always be chiding, so he will not always be so pleasing neither. We may knock, and knock again, and yet stand without a while; sometimes, so long, till our knees are ready to sink under us, our eyes ready to drop out, as well as drop with expectation, and our hearts ready to break in pieces, while none heareth, or none regardeth. We should have come before, or pitched our coming at a better time... The prophet David expressly speaks of an acceptable time to make our prayers in. And, "Today if you will hear his voice," in the psalmist, paraphrased by the apostle, "Today, while it is called today," shows there is a set day, or days, of audience with God, wherein he sets himself, as it were, with all readiness to hear and help us -- an accepted time. And will ye, next, know what it is that makes it so? There are but two things that do. Either God's being in a good or pleasing disposition towards us, or our being in a good and pleasing disposition towards him. Come we but to him in either of these, and we have nicked the time; we are sure to be accepted. Mark Frank. 1613-1664.
Verse 13. --
Heavier the cross, the heartier prayer;
The bruised herbs most fragrant are.
If sky and wind were always fair,
The sailor would not watch the star;
And David's Psalms had never been sung
If grief his heart had never wrung. From the German.
HINTS FOR PASTORS AND LAYPERSONS
Verse 13. An acceptable time. While life lasts usually, and especially when we are repentant, feel our need, are importunate, give all glory to God, have faith in his promise, and expect a gracious reply.
Verse 13. Multitude of thy mercy. Seen in many forbearances before conversion, countless pardons, innumerable gifts, many promises, frequent visits, and abundant deliverances. Of all these who can count the thousandth part?
Verse 13. The truth of thy salvation. An instructive topic. Its reality, certainty, completeness, eternity, etc., all illustrate its truth under various aspects.