Psalm 130 begins with a couple of pleas to the Lord to hear the Psalmist’s prayers. In :1 he says: “I have cried to You, O YHWH” and again in :2, “Lord, hear my voice.” He wants God to hear and answer His prayers. Then, as if wrestling with the objection that the enemy of our souls (or perhaps his own conscience!) whispers in his heart, “You are not worthy of an answer from Him!”, he cries in :3, “If You, LORD, should mark iniquities, O Lord, who could stand?”
That little voice is, in one sense, right. If there were no grace, indeed it is true: the prayers of NONE of us would be heard. If the Lord were to mark iniquities, NONE of us would stand before Him. If God “kept score” we would ALL lose! But then the Psalmist stands on this confidence from Verse 4: “But there is forgiveness with You, that You may be feared.” He has indeed sinned, and doesn’t deserve for his prayers to be answered. But he also knows that the God of the Bible is a merciful God, Who loves us, and Who has provided a way of forgiveness. By standing on this promise of forgiveness, he comes confidently before the Lord with his prayers, just as he expresses in the next verse: “I wait for the Lord, my soul does wait, and in His word do I hope.”
That is the same truth that each of us needs to stand on when we pray. When the voice of the accuser whispers that you have sinned, and do not deserve your prayers to be heard, agree with him! But then claim the promise of Psalm 130:4: “There is forgiveness with You” in Jesus’ name — and bring your request before His throne of grace!