The fourth truth to be learned about prayer in these verses is that prayer must be in faith, believing. It must be earnest, a constant way of life, and biblical, but it must also be in faith. 

The third thing the psalmist teaches about prayer in these verses is that prayer is best when it is biblical, that is, when it accompanies and flows from serious Bible study and when it is, in a sense, repeating God's very words, teaching, decrees and promises back to him. It is when our own prayer words become biblical. The psalmist expresses this when he talks about God hearing him “in accordance with your love” and renewing his life “according to your laws” (v. 149). What distresses him about the wicked is that “they are far from your law" (v. 150). 

When Paul was writing to the Thessalonians in his first letter and came to the closing section in which he was accustomed to give some practical applications of the earlier teaching, one thing he told these believers was to “pray continually,” that is, at all times (1 Thess. 5:17). The author of Psalm 119 seems to have learned this lesson too, since the next pair of verses speaks of his daily prayer pattern.

The second New Testament passage we are going to look at is from the book of James. James has a lot to say about prayer, and toward the end of the book he picks up on this important theme again, saying that “the prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective” (5:16). 

We are coming near the end of Psalm 119, so it is not surprising that the danger that has threatened the psalmist all along should emerge again strongly, though not for the final time. It has to do with his relentless enemies. The presence of these enemies has been alluded to earlier.1 But verses 145-152 seem to concentrate on this reality: “I call out to you; save me" (v. 146); “I rise before dawn and cry for help" (v. 147); “Those who devise wicked schemes are near” (v. 150).