Verse 2. Lord, hear my voice. It is all we ask; but nothing less will content us. If the Lord will but hear us we will leave it to his superior wisdom to decide whether he will answer us or no. It is better for our prayer to be heard than answered. If the Lord were to make an absolute promise to answer all our requests it might be rather a curse than a blessing, for it would be casting the responsibility of our lives upon ourselves, and we should be placed in a very anxious position: but now the Lord hears our desires, and that is enough; we only wish him to grant them if his infinite wisdom sees that it would be for our good and for his glory. Note that the Psalmist spoke audibly in prayer: this is not at all needful, but it is exceedingly helpful; for the use of the voice assists the thoughts. Still, there is a voice in silent supplication, a voice in our weeping, a voice in that sorrow which cannot find a tongue: that voice the Lord will hear if its cry is meant for his ear. Let thine ears be attentive to the voice of my supplication. The Psalmist's cry is a beggar's petition; he begs the great King and Lord to lend an ear to it. He has supplicated many times, but always with one voice, or for one purpose; and he begs to be noticed in the one matter which he has pressed with so much importunity. He would have the King hearken, consider, remember, and weigh his request. He is confused, and his prayer may therefore be broken, and difficult to understand; he begs therefore that his Lord will give the more earnest and compassionate heed to the voice of his many and painful pleadings. When we have already prayed over our troubles it is well to pray over our prayers. If we can find no more words, let us entreat the Lord to hear those petitions which we have already presented. If we have faithfully obeyed the precept by praying without ceasing, we may be confident that the Lord will faithfully fulfil the promise by helping us without fall. Though the Psalmist was under a painful sense of sin, and so was in the depth, his faith pleaded in the teeth of conscious unworthiness; for well he knew that the Lord's keeping his promise depends upon his own character and not upon that of his erring creatures.
EXPLANATORY NOTES AND QUAINT SAYINGS
Verse 2. Lord, hear my voice, etc. Every prayer should have its reverent invocation, as every temple its porch. The two greatest prayers in the Old Testament -- Solomon's prayer and Daniel's prayer -- both have it very emphatically. And it is a very distinct part of our own perfect model: "Our Father, which art in heaven, hallowed be thy name." On our part it is deferential, and puts the mind into its proper form; while it places the great God, whom it addresses, where he ought to be, -- in the awe of his glory; in the magnitude of his power; in the infinitude of his wisdom and love. Never think little of that part of your prayer: never omit, never hurry over the opening address. Do not go into his presence without a pause, or some devout ascription. Lord, hear my voice: let thine ears be attentive to the voice of my supplications. True, he is always listening and waiting for his children's "cry", -- far more prepared to answer, than we are to ask. And the very fact that we are praying is a proof of his attention, -- for who but he put it into our hearts to make that prayer? Nevertheless, it becomes us, and honours him, to establish, at the outset, the right relationship between a creature and his Creator; between a child and his Father: "Lord, hear my voice: let thine ears be attentive to the voice of my supplication." - -James Vaughan.
Verse 2. Lord. Hebrew, Adonai. As Jehovah marks his unchangeable faithfulness to his promises of delivering his people, so Adonai his Lordship over all hindrances in the way of his delivering them. -- Andrew Robert Fausset, in "A Commentary, Critical, Experimental and Practical", 1866.
Verse 2. Lord, hear my voice, etc. The expressions are metaphorical, and borrowed from the carriage of a parent to a child, and upon the matter his suit is this, -- Lord, notice me when I pray, as a parent will notice his distressed child's cry when he is like to ruin. Let thine ears be attentive to the voice of my supplications; that goes a little further; that as a parent knowing a child to be in hazard, he will listen and hearken attentively if he can hear him cry, and notice and ponder that cry, and what he cries for; so he pleaded with God, that he would be waiting on and attentive, to see and hear if a cry should come from him, and that he would affectionately ponder and notice it when he hears it. -- George Hutcheson, 1678.
HINTS FOR PASTORS AND LAYPERSONS
Verse 2. Attention from God to us -- how to gain it.
- Let us plead the name which commands attention.
- Let us ourselves pay attention to God's word.
- Let us give earnest attention to what we ask, and how we ask.
- Let us attentively watch for a reply.
Verse 2. Lord, hear my voice.
- Though it be faint by reason of distance -- hear it.
- Though it be broken because of my distress -- hear it.
- Though it be unworthy on account of my iniquities -- hear it. --W. H. J. P.