Psalm 119:36

Incline my heart unto thy testimonies,and not to covetousness.
~ Psalm 119:36

Incline means to spread out or bend. He is praying for his heart to be bent or stretched toward God’s testimonies. The heart is referred to throughout the Old Testament and heavily in the wisdom literature. In this usage, the heart most commonly stands for the mind, the seat of the intellect and will. Sometimes it stands for the whole inner being, or person. In our modern day, we primarily associate the heart with emotions, but that is not what is meant in the text.

The Psalmist recognizes a natural bent to covetousness and that’s why he prays for Divine power in inclining toward the testimonies of God. This verse is similar to the New Testament passages about renewing our minds (Romans 12:1-2; Ephesians 4:23; Colossians 3:10). We fight against our natural bent daily and must trust completely in the grace and power of God to overcome it.

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