Must God be reminded of his character and the covenant mercies that derive from it? In the prayer framework of psalm 25, David approaches the throne in prayer by voicing the grace that is God’s alone to give.
To you O Lord, I lift up my soul; in you I trust, O my God.
Do not let me be put to shame, nor let my enemies triumph over me.
No one whose hope is in you will ever be put to shame, but they will be put to shame who are treacherous without excuse. (vv 1-3)
It’s not so much that God needs to be reminded of who He is or what He is like. Rather, the penitent prayer is suffusing himself with the confidence that comes from rehearsing the promises of God’s goodness in times of trouble. Here, David puts his trust in God to deal with an enemy that he did nothing to provoke. He trusts that the goodness inherent in God and the promise to shepherd His people will be the hedge of protection that surrounds David and his people.
His approach changes in the verses that follow. Continuing to recite the goodness of Yahweh, David also recognizes and seeks grace for the flaws within himself. The deep contrast is a valuable reminder to us as we enter our prayer closets.
Remember, O Lord, you great mercy and love, for they are from old.
Remember not the sins of my youth and my rebellious ways; according to your love remember me, for you are good, O Lord.
Good and upright is the Lord; therefore he instructs siners in his ways.
He guides the humble in what is right and teaches them his way. (vv 6-9)
Covenant promises are a two-way bond and they require that we not only recognize the goodness and grace that God will exhibit but also, that we recognize and catalog the flaws and corruption within ourselves. We must be penitent before the King.