Each of God's people should start each day with an attitude of devotion to Him and to His Word, with prayer for uprightness, with prayer for attitudes that please Him, and for righteousness of life each and every moment of the coming day. This psalm is that prayer. Each of the worshippers who comes to the temple at the beginning of the day is led by this psalm in a prayer for devotion to Jehovah.
They sing, "To You, O Lord, I lift up my soul. O my God, I trust in You; let me not be ashamed; let not my enemies triumph over me. Indeed, let no one who waits on You be ashamed; let those be ashamed who deal treacherously without cause." To be "ashamed" would be to find, after the fact, that the Lord wasn't there, that there was no real relationship to Him. So the worshiper sings out a heartfelt prayer that that might not be the way it is - for himself and for all who wait on the Lord that day.
Of course the only way for the worshiper to "stay on track" each day is to live it by the rules - by "Your Ways, O Lord." For that to happen, each one needs to be taught what those ways are, to be shown, as he says here, "Your paths," and to be led in "Your truth." Each and every one of God's people is entirely dependent upon Him for grace to live. They sing, "For You are the God of my salvation; on You I wait all the day." They are thus reminded as they sing that there is no other resource.
Every moment of the day they're going to need His "tender mercies and . . . loving kindness." But as each one remembers this need at the beginning of the day, so there also come to remembrance past sins, even sins of youth, so it's necessary to sing, "According to Your mercy remember me, for Your goodness' sake, O Lord."
Such prayer should lead to the realization that God has always been good, that "the humble He guides in justice, and the humble He teaches His way," and, in fact, that "all the paths of the Lord are mercy and truth, to such as keep His covenant and His testimonies."
In view of that constant goodness and mercy, each one cries out, "For Your Name's sake, O Lord, pardon my iniquity, for it is great." Such a thought leads to reflection on God's wonderful Character, on the fact that He teaches His way, the way "He chooses" to all who fear Him, and that it is He alone Who causes His people to dwell in prosperity, so that his descendants inherit the earth. In fact, "the secret of the Lord is with those who fear Him, and He will show them His covenant!"In view of such mercy and grace, the song goes on to say, "My eyes are ever toward the Lord, for He shall pluck my feet out of the net!"
With such renewed confidence in the Lord, then, each one can petition Him, "Turn Yourself to me, and have mercy on me, for I am desolate and afflicted - the troubles of my heart have enlarged. Bring me out of my distresses! Look on my affliction and my pain, and forgive all my sins." It just reflects the fact that there are many temptations and sins to be overcome in a life lived for the Lord.
And not only the weakness and waywardness within must be in view, but the dangers outside as well - each one prays,"Consider my enemies, for they are many; and they hate me with cruel hatred. Keep my soul, and deliver me; let me not be ashamed, for I put my trust in You. Let integrity and uprightness preserve me, for I wait on You."
Having dealt with his own needs, the worshiper is then led to pray, with and for all the people. Together they sing, "Redeem Israel, O God, out of all their troubles!"
With what attitude do you come before the Lord each morning? Do you realize that you will be "ashamed" at the end of the day unless you depend on Him in prayer right from the beginning of it? Do you express your need of Him, your need of His forgiveness and of His grace and strength for that day? Do you realize the strong enemy that lurks about you all the day, seeking to "devour" you in self-seeking and sin? Are you so acquainted with yourself that you know you'll fail, possibly even many times each day, and that you'll need to be delivered each and every time by the only One Who can deliver you? And do you pray, not only for yourself, but also for all of God's people, many of whom you know and mention by name? Oh how good it is to begin each day with our eyes upon our Lord!