King David in the Bible faced many leadership challenges. Some were outside his control and some were a direct result of his personal sin. We do not know the exact circumstances that surround Psalm 5, but it is clear that David feels some anguish and senses his need for divine help.
Give ear to my words, O Lord;
consider my groaning.
Give attention to the sound of my cry,
my King and my God,
for to you do I pray.
David is expressing an attitude of heart as well as a petition. He groans and he cries out. Notice that David calls the Lord “my King and my God.” David rightfully acknowledges his own dependence and submission as he calls upon Yahweh. Certainly David is facing threats from those who are less than reputable. He speaks of these opponents as “bloodthirsty and deceitful men.” What is the essence of David’s prayer? We find it in verse eight.
Lead me, O Lord, in your righteousness
because of my enemies;
make your way straight before me.
David the leader prays to be led. He prays for God’s righteousness to prevail and for straight paths. David is crying our for clarity and for vindication. He looks not to his own resources but to God alone.
When we as leaders are faced with half-truths and deceptive practices we must also rely upon the One who controls it all.
When we may be tempted to grab control and retaliate we must lean on the One who deeply understands and is able to act on our behalf.
David concludes this Psalm by pointing to God’s protection and blessing. David the king places his trust in the King of Kings. This is a leader’s prayer.
Can we do any less?