Praying Through Psalm 86

    04.18.20 | Devotional by Daniel Webb

    Begin today's devotional by reading through Psalm 86 slowly. After you are done, come back to this page and we are going to read through it again and slowly, methodically and prayerfully consider the words; realizing that they are God breathed and have the power to change everything in our lives.

    Psalm 86

    A prayer of David.

    1 Hear me, Lord, and answer me, for I am poor and needy. 2 Guard my life, for I am faithful to you; save your servant who trusts in you. You are my God;

    Begin by opening your heart, fully opening your heart to what God has to say, today, in this moment to you. The cry of “Hear me” is one that all humans share regardless of race and religion. We all have a life story and we all want it to be heard. Thus in the same way that you want God to hear YOU are you taking the time to hear OTHERS.

    3 have mercy on me, Lord, for I call to you all day long. 4 Bring joy to your servant, Lord, for I put my trust in you.

    David is calling forth to his own memory and to that of the LORD that it is in Him that he puts his trust. “For I call to you all day long”. David seemed to make this a part of his daily life, do you?

    5 You, Lord, are forgiving and good, abounding in love to all who call to you.

    The LORD is good, He is so so good. Stop and think on this. Find the one thing, the ONE thing that makes you happy all the time. Could be a person or pizza; thank God for that.

    6 Hear my prayer, Lord; listen to my cry for mercy. 7 When I am in distress, I call to you, because you answer me.

    David recalls the reality that God has taken care of Him, he has answered him. God answers you. He does, all the time. We serve a God that is reachable through His son and through the Holy Spirit we are answered when we pray. Ask God to show you how to pray expecting an answer. Now ask God to help you accept all answers, because some might not be the one you wanted to hear.

    8 Among the gods there is none like you, Lord; no deeds can compare with yours. 9 All the nations you have made will come and worship before you, Lord; they will bring glory to your name. 10 For you are great and do marvelous deeds; you alone are God.

    We are so prone to forget the ways of God; His majesty and wonder. There are no gods like Him, nothing in history has done what He has done. Set a timer on your phone for 3 minutes and let your mind completely wander; let loose your imagination about the vastness of space and the vastness of the deeds that God has done.

    11 Teach me your way, Lord, that I may rely on your faithfulness; give me an undivided heart, that I may fear your name.

    An undivided heart is hard to come by and can only come through the teaching of the Holy Spirit. Notice that David knows where to go to for this heart, to the one that created it in the first place. Pray for an undivided heart, that is not set on anything else but holy things.

    12 I will praise you, Lord my God, with all my heart; I will glorify your name forever. 13 For great is your love toward me; you have delivered me from the depths, from the realm of the dead.

    Notice that now that David has an undivided heart it is now focused solely on God. “I will praise you…with all my heart”. And why, because He is everything, but if we needed another reason it is because HE saved us. YOU have delivered me from the depths, the realm of the dead. What deep, provocative language this is. Disturbingly deep almost.

    14 Arrogant foes are attacking me, O God; ruthless people are trying to kill me—they have no regard for you.

    Even with a heart totally on God, does not mean that you will be without trouble. David was sought after for most of his life. You will be sought after as well. It might not be by ruthless “people”, but it might be ruthless worldly pursuits, passions, and lusts. Sin has no regard for you, it will bring you pleasure and then cast you aside as trash. Take no haven in sin, you will find none. Pray against such action in your life.

    15 But you, Lord, are a compassionate and gracious God, slow to anger, abounding in love and faithfulness. 16 Turn to me and have mercy on me;

    Again David turns back to God’s compassion and grace. And again he is asking for mercy. We are forgiven by Jesus, once and forever, but IT IS GOOD to ask for mercy.  An old monastic prayer goes like this “Jesus Christ Son of God, have mercy on me a sinner.” This prayer can be a mantra that we utilize during those time that you don’t know what to pray and when you feel the need for forgiveness.

    show your strength in behalf of your servant; save me, because I serve you just as my mother did.

    What a unique thing that David would bring up at the conclusion of his psalm. “Just as my mother did,” David is reminded himself that he is not the first to follow God and he must not be the last. Pray to God and ask for a memory of your parents or perhaps a mentor that served God before you; from whom you learned from.

    17 Give me a sign of your goodness, that my enemies may see it and be put to shame, for you, Lord, have helped me and comforted me.

    And with finality David asks for a reminder of the goodness of God so that his enemies might see God through him. That they might be shamed and I would hope reminded of their need. Pray that God might show His goodness through you. That others might be stopped in their tracks for how they encounter you, full of goodness, compassion and goodwill. Pray for hope for them as much as for you.

    Pray in silence now, as much as possible don’t speak out loud or in your mind and instead allow God to speak to you. Remember prayers are a conversation, and this only takes place when both parties have an opportunity to speak.

    God be with you.