In the morning, LORD, you hear my voice;
       in the morning I lay my requests before you
       and wait expectantly. — Psalm 5:3

Prayer in Judaism is defined as “the work of the heart,” which profoundly changes the nature of prayer from one of entreating God to an act that transforms who we are – not what God does. Our devotions throughout this month are focused on different facets of prayer and what lessons we can learn about the power of our prayers. For more inspirational teachings about prayer, download our free booklet, The Work of the Heart.

One of the things I have always admired about King David was his close relationship with God. Despite his many failings — adultery, murder, his inability to discipline his children — David maintained an intimate connection with God throughout his life. In fact, God called him “a man after my own hear.” (1 Samuel 13:14; Acts 13:22). How did David earn such high esteem from God?

I believe some of the answers lie in the opening verses of Psalm 5. Written during a difficult period in David’s life, as he was surrounded and distressed by his enemies, this psalm finds David pleading with God to “listen to my words,” to “consider my lament,” “hear my cry of help” (Psalm 5:1-2). As he does so, David reaffirmed God as his King, the only One to whom he prays. David revealed his total dependence and reliance on God. David knew without a doubt that only God could help him.

His confidence is further revealed in verse 3, as he wrote, “In the morning, LORD, you hear my voice; in the morning I lay my requests before you and wait expectantly.” We see two important lessons here. First, David prayed expecting God to answer him. For David, praying wasn’t wishful thinking or an exercise in futility. It was a real exchange between David and God rooted in mutual love and faithfulness. David had faith that God would hear his heartfelt prayers and answer him.

Finally, we see that David consistently spent time in prayer with God. Verse 3 is translated as “each morning” in the New Living Translation; in the New King James, the verse begins “My voice You shall hear in the morning.” Prayer was woven into David’s daily routine; it wasn’t a once-in-a-while occurrence. David habitually found time to lay his requests before God.

Want to be known as a person after God’s own heart? I think we can as we acknowledge God as our help and King, as we come to Him in total dependence and expectation, and as we make spending time with Him part of our daily routine.

Begin today and pray as David did, “Listen to my cry for help, my King and my God, for I pray to no one but you” (v. 2, nlt).

To download a free copy of Rabbi Eckstein’s newest teaching resource on prayer, Work of the Heart: Ten Biblical Lessons on the Power of Prayer, go here.

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