English Basic Explanation - Chapter 141
Like the previous chapter of Tehillim, this Psalm is a prayer that David composed and recited asking for protection from his relentless enemies who sought to destroy him through the dissemination of false rumors and other devious ruses. As in the previous chapter, David describes here the "snares" and "traps" set for him by his adversaries, and begs the Almighty to rescue him from these schemes (verse 9). He further prays that the enemies who placed these traps should themselves be ensnared through the very schemes that they had planned for David (verse 10).
One of the striking features of this prayer is that it begins with a plea that the prayer should be conducted properly. David asks that God accept his prayer as an incense offering in the Temple (verse 2), and then, in the subsequent verses (3-5), he proceeds to specify how his prayer could earn this kind of acceptance. Namely, he begs the Almighty to eliminate any "obstructions" in his mouth that may impede the smooth, fluid recitation of his prayer. Additionally, he prays that his heart should remain firmly committed to God, and not be lured by the successes of the wicked. David understood that for prayer to earn acceptance, it must be recited properly and with the proper mindset and concentration. One cannot expect the Almighty to grant his wishes if he does not approach prayer with the seriousness, focus and attention it deserves.
David also expresses his desire to hear the reproach of a Sadik and accept it without hesitation or resistance (verse 5). Understanding the natural human instinct to reject criticism and defend his own righteousness, David prays that he should always be receptive to criticism and rebuke, that he should embrace, rather than resist, wise words of advice and admonition.