Psalm 86 – A simple, yet powerful, illustration of prayer

prayer focus-Isn’t this what we all do, in a sense, when and as we pray? Verses are in italics, my comments are in parenthesis.

  1. Bow down thine ear, O Lord, hear me: for I am poor and needy.
    (Here is the soul speaking to God: We are all poor and needy in spirit. We come like beggars to Christ with our cups in need of continual refilling).
  2.  Preserve my soul; for I am holy: O thou my God, save thy servant that trusteth in thee.
    (It’s part and parcel of our intrinsic nature: We need TLC – tender loving care)
  3. Be merciful unto me, O Lord: for I cry unto thee daily.
    (David is spelling out his needs and his troubles and asking for God to manifest Himself, to come through for him in his need. Cant’ you see yourself in this prayer? Isn’t that what we all do, in a sense, when and as we pray?)
  4. Rejoice the soul of thy servant: for unto thee, O Lord, do I lift up my soul.
    (We seek for our soul to be uplifted in prayer: Our soul needs to live in a state of delight, of vibrancy, without which we feel empty and unfulfilled).
  5. For thou, Lord, art good, and ready to forgive; and plenteous in mercy unto all them that call upon thee.
    (He’s reminding himself of God’s goodness, forgiveness, and mercy)
  6. Give ear, O Lord, unto my prayer; and attend to the voice of my supplications.
    (We need to reach the state in prayer where we, not hope, but believe, that God is indeed listening personally to us: It’s the breakthrough point; out of self and into Christ and the Father).
  7. In the day of my trouble I will call upon thee: for thou wilt answer me.
  8. Among the gods there is none like unto thee, O Lord; neither are there any works like unto thy works.
  9. All nations whom thou hast made shall come and worship before thee, O Lord; and shall glorify thy name.
  10. For thou art great, and doest wondrous things: thou art God alone.
    (As David prays he’s building himself up in spirit, he’s reminding himself that God alone is to be worshipped).
  11. Teach me thy way, O Lord; I will walk in thy truth: unite my heart to fear thy name.
    (Through vs. 7-10 The very substance, focus and nature of his prayer is morphing from a troubled, pleading, state into one of a clearer sense of purpose and a fixed determination. He’s asking that all the inner workings of the heart, mind, psyche and spirit to be united in purpose.)
  12. I will praise thee, O Lord my God, with all my heart: and I will glorify thy name for evermore.
  13. For great is thy mercy toward me: and thou hast delivered my soul from the lowest hell.
    (Having broken through in spirit in his prayer and his gotten hold of the Lord, inner union, settled purpose and intent, now leads to faith-filled praise)
  14. O God, the proud are risen against me, and the assemblies of violent men have sought after my soul; and have not set thee before them.
    (David commits yet more needs, troubles and the inner turmoil to the Lord as they surface.)
  15. But thou, O Lord, art a God full of compassion, and gracious, long suffering, and plenteous in mercy and truth.
  16. O turn unto me, and have mercy upon me; give thy strength unto thy servant, and save the son of thine handmaid.
    (Strength and salvation are sought: Again, isn’t this what we ultimately need and look for in prayer).
  17. Shew me a token for good; that they which hate me may see it, and be ashamed: because thou, Lord, hast holpen me, and comforted me.
    (It’s always nice and cheering to receive those little ‘tokens’ of answered prayer: We all look for them. And we end in prayer having received into ourselves that which we prayed for).
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