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Psalm 86

Jorine Johnson

1 Incline your ear, O Lord, and answer me,

for I am poor and needy.

2 Preserve my life, for I am godly;

save your servant, who trusts in you—you are my God.

3 Be gracious to me, O Lord,

for to you do I cry all the day.

4 Gladden the soul of your servant,

for to you, O Lord, do I lift up my soul.

5 For you, O Lord, are good and forgiving,

abounding in steadfast love to all who call upon you.


6 Give ear, O Lord, to my prayer;

listen to my plea for grace.

7 In the day of my trouble I call upon you,

for you answer me.

8 There is none like you among the gods, O Lord,

nor are there any works like yours.

9 All the nations you have made shall come

and worship before you, O Lord,

and shall glorify your name.


10 For you are great and do wondrous things;

you alone are God.

11 Teach me your way, O Lord,

that I may walk in your truth;

unite my heart to fear your name.

12 I give thanks to you, O Lord my God, with my whole heart,

and I will glorify your name forever.

13 For great is your steadfast love toward me;

you have delivered my soul from the depths of Sheol.

14 O God, insolent men have risen up against me;

a band of ruthless men seeks my life,

and they do not set you before them.

15 But you, O Lord, are a God merciful and gracious,

slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love and faithfulness.

16 Turn to me and be gracious to me;

give your strength to your servant,

and save the son of your maidservant.

17 Show me a sign of your favor,

that those who hate me may see and be put to shame

because you, Lord, have helped me and comforted me.

This psalm is all about the Lord and how we can call upon Him with full assurance that He will answer our prayers, petitions, requests, and will answer us. Verses 1-4 is where David asks the Lord to answer Him, submitting His prayers toward the Lord. His confidence in the Lord’s answers are that God is good and forgiving in verse 5. Verses 6-7 go back to asking the Lord to hear their prayers and cries for help in David’s trouble. The reason that David prays to God is in verse 8 because the God that David prays to is the real God that answers and hears the prayers, the cries, and sees the tears of His people. There is none like our God who turns Himself toward us when we face trouble. Verses 9-10 continue with praise toward God who deserves all the worship of the nations and He alone is God who does wonderful things.

David transitions from asking the Lord for help to asking the Lord to teach David on how to obey and follow Him. There are characteristics of God that need to be taught to us because God is so amazing, His steadfast love is great, God is merciful and gracious, slow to anger and abounding in love. David must have faced so much including loneliness, desperation, trials, and troubles. But the thing that David had was the comfort and reassurance of God’s everlasting compassion and kindness onto David’s life.

And this is an amazing psalm of promise and hope that God is with us in the worst possible trials and storms. We can be confident of who God is and praise Him for the rest of our days. But also learn of His compassion, and by the power of the Holy Spirit that enables us, we too may be perfect like He is perfect, we may have spiritual fruit such as kindness, goodness, love, and strive to be like Christ. 

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