Answer me when I call, O God of my right!
You have given me room when I was in distress.
Be gracious to me and hear my prayer. (Psalm 4:1)

The dictionary defines gracious as: “merciful, compassionate — used conventionally of royalty and high nobility”. Psalm 4 is teaching us that before we pray to ask God for something, we need to appeal to the mercy and compassion of the Lord. Think of this as a “scriptural” way of saying “please”, before asking our request.  The second line of the verse also makes note of a past help that the Lord provided and uses this as part of the appeal to the Lord in requesting that a current prayer be answered. The rest of the Psalm is a prayer with a feeling of confidence to it that the Lord has been generous in the past and will continue to be so into the future.  For us to pray with a confidence like this, we need to learn to start our prayer by asking the King of Kings for mercy and compassion.