David prays that his appeal may be acceptable, 1, 2; his conscience sincere, 3-6; and his life free from snares, 7-10.
1 [A Psalm of David.] LORD, I cry to you. Make haste to me. Give ear to my voice when I cry to you.
2 Let my prayer be set forth before you as incense, and the lifting up of my hands as the evening sacrifice.
3 Set a watch, O LORD, before my mouth. Keep the door of my lips.
4 Do not incline my heart to any evil thing or to practice wicked works with men who work iniquity. And do not let me eat of their dainties.
5 Let the righteous smite me—it shall be a kindness. And let him reprove me—it shall be an excellent oil, which shall not break my head. For yet my prayer shall also be in their calamities.
6 When their judges are overthrown in stony places, they shall hear my words, for they are sweet.
7 Our bones are scattered at the grave's mouth, as when one cuts and cleaves wood upon the earth.
8 But my eyes are to you, O GOD the Lord. My trust is in you. Do not leave my soul destitute.
9 Keep me from the snare which they have laid for me and the gins of the workers of iniquity.
10 Let the wicked fall into their own nets while I escape.
Matthew Henry Commentary - Psalms, Chapter 141[➚]
John Calvin's Chapter Summary:
Whatever may have been the immediate cause pressing David to pray in the manner he does in this Psalm, it is plain that his desire is through divine grace to check and bridle his spirit, under injuries of a causeless and unprovoked description, so as not to break out into retaliation and revenge, and return evil for evil. Having attained to the exercise of forbearance, he seeks that God would judge between him and his enemies.