The end of this psalm provides an excellent example of an excellent prayer: “Oh, save your people and bless your heritage! Be their shepherd and carry them forever” (28:9).
He asks God to “bless your heritage.” God’s heritage is Israel, as Moses told them, “the Lord has taken you and brought you out of the iron furnace, out of Egypt, to be a people of his own inheritance, as you are this day” (Deut. 4:20).
This people, Israel, God’s inheritance, are the descendants of Abraham. We read recently what God’s will was toward Abraham’s descendants: “I will make of you a great nation, and I will bless you and make your name great, so that you will be a blessing. I will bless those who bless you, and him who dishonors you I will curse, and in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed” (Gen. 12:2-3). God was already determined to bless his “heritage.” Why does the psalmist ask God to do what he has already promised to do?
So often, I find myself wanting to know God’s will—his secret, hidden plan that he has in store for me and those important to me. I pray and pray and pray, asking God that he would “reveal his will.” It’s like I want an audible Voice, an indubitable revelation of what God wants me to do right now.
The psalmist doesn’t ask for that. He asks, not that God would reveal what he hasn’t yet revealed, but that God would do what he has already revealed. God has given us an enormous Book in which he has revealed his will for us. The psalmist prays that God would be true to what he has said. He prays that because he knows that God’s promises are good and that his Word is sure. God will answer the psalmist’s prayer because the psalmist is praying according to God’s will.
I think this is a picture of what it looks like to pray, “Thy will be done.” In order to pray that God’s will be done, we have to know what God has told us (in Scripture) his will is. In order to pray this, we have to trust that God has told us all we need to know, and that we can trust him with the rest.
Deuteronomy 29:29 says, “The secret things belong to the LORD our God, but the things that are revealed belong to us and to our children forever, that we may do all the words of this law.” What God has told us in his Word belongs to us. We can claim his promises because they are our promises. Given all that he has promised, given his desire to bless us, his “heritage,” we can trust God with the secret things. And we can take joy in the blessings he has revealed to us forever.