“Search me, O God, and know my heart;
Try me and know my anxious thoughts;
And see if there be any hurtful way in me,
And lead me in the everlasting way.”
Psalms 139:23-24 NASB
This a Prayer From a Heart That Really Trusts In God’s Unchanging Love!
David is asking God to pierce through the defenses of his false-self (old nature according to Paul), to go deep to the very heart of his life. His dangerous prayer also asks God to test the secrets he’s hidden within the deep recesses of his mind, maybe even secret to himself.
David’s request is one that will determine quality not quantity. This is nothing short of a request for God reveal to him the eternal value of his own inner life, so that, once revealed, God can remove David’s hurtful ways and lead him in paths that lead toward that which will last into eternity. It’s not at all about the quantity of good or bad in David’s life. Instead, it is about the quality of David’s very intimate, personal, and secret inner-life.
The first word he uses, “search,” is a term used in the assaying of fine metal to test the quality of that metal, particularly that of fine metals like gold or silver. The second is, “try.” It’s a proving of his own “anxious thoughts,” or his deepest inner-thoughts, to see if they are worthy to last into eternity.
In short, David is asking God to weigh his thoughts with that which comes from eternity, and to rid him of all that will not last – all that’s “hurtful” to others within him, and hurtful to himself as well.
Yet David’s spent the last twenty-two verses speaking of all that God knows and has done for him from even his own conception in his mother’s womb. David is a man utterly convinced of God’s absolute and unchanging love for him.
David can freely make this request of God. You see, little if any doubt of God’s loving kindness rests in this repentant man of God!
There are many prayers written in the Word of God, but few of them ask God for the deep inner-look of this prayer. It brings not only revelation but transformation.
If you’re trusting God to move you from your false-self to your true-self recreated in Christ (2 Corinthians 5:17), then begin praying this prayer and watch God begin the process of moving you from an ego-centric life to a Christ-centric manner of living.