Years ago, I found myself sitting in my room holding a loaded 12 gauge shotgun. I had two people in mind as I sat there knowing where and when they’d meet. At that moment, I realized that every sin lives in me. It’s only waiting for the right circumstances to be woken up. It scared me to death that I could be capable of such a thing. I put down the gun and drove for over an hour away. I then parked on the shoulder and sat there fighting the mental battle to not return home. I didn’t want to make an emotional decision that would affect the rest of my life.
David knew that struggle as well. The wrong circumstances plus the wrong thoughts equals the wrong action. In Psalm 19:12-13 he prayed, “How can I know all the sins lurking in my heart? Cleanse me from these hidden faults. Keep your servant from deliberate sins! Don’t let them control me. Then I will be free of guilt and innocent of great sin” (NLT). He found that certain circumstances awoken hidden sins, and the more he thought about it, they became deliberate sins.
I think this is something we all struggle with at some point in our lives. We get caught up in a moment and time, combined with our emotions, our thoughts have the ability to run wild and direct our actions. A momentary weakness creates a lifetime of regret. A hidden sin in our heart, when woken up, can cause us to do or want to do the unthinkable. David prayed against those. He didn’t want to be controlled by thoughts that caused him to sin against God and others. That’s why he continued the prayer to go a step further.
He prayed, “May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be pleasing to you, O LORD, my rock and my redeemer.” If thoughts control your actions, why not pray that your thoughts would be pleasing to God? What we think and meditate on grows in our lives. We can choose to entertain thoughts that develop hidden sins or we can choose to meditate on good things. Proactive prayer can keep us from the hidden sins lurking in our hearts.