Mar 23

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Psalms 86: 1-7

Hear me, LORD, and answer me, for I am poor and needy. Guard my life, for I am faithful to you; save your servant who trusts in you. You are my God; have mercy on me, Lord, for I call to you all day long. Bring joy to your servant, Lord, for I put my trust in you. You, Lord, are forgiving and good, abounding in love to all who call to you. Hear my prayer, LORD; listen to my cry for mercy. When I am in distress, I call to you, because you answer me.

Early on in David’s life, God directed the prophet Samuel to anoint David as the future King of Israel.  This anointing occurred even before David defeated Goliath.  But shortly afterwards, King Saul acknowledged David’s accomplishments and placed him in a position of leadership in his army.  As David achieved great success, King Saul soon became jealous of David, turned against him and even sought to kill him.  For years, David moved from place-to-place, trying to escape King Saul and his army.  There are several chapters in the Psalms where David laments his situation of being on the run, fearing for his life. 

In Psalm 86, David petitions God to be delivered from King Saul and also expresses his adoration of Him.   David acknowledges his need for God’s help (v.1).  He goes on to affirm his faith and trust in God (v. 2-3). Also note how David calls (prays) to God “all day long” (v.3).  He is persistent in asking God for help.   David then declares that God is forgiving, good and loves all those who call (pray) to Him (v. 4-5).  Finally, David asks God for mercy and states that he believes God will answer his prayer (v. 6-7).  

We have the same access to God that David did.  In fact, Jesus gave all believers the benefit of the Holy Spirit to guide us.  

Our question today is, whenever we’re faced with life’s challenges, where does our mind go first?  Do we sink into despair and worry how things might become even worse?  Some of us do just as David did.  How do we avoid fear and uncertainty when things aren’t going our way?  The only answer is walking with God on a daily basis and calling on the Holy Spirit to be our strength and guide.  To stay connected to God, we need to regularly study His Word and have a consistent prayer life.  God wants to hear from us.  He tells us to ask Him for what we want (Philippians 4:6).  He promises to hear all of our prayers.  Since He knows what’s best for us, we need to understand that the answers to our prayers might not always be what we had hoped.  But we know God is faithful to us and will always be there when we call upon Him.

Prayer Prompts:

  1. When faced with life’s challenges, where does your heart and mind go first?  Ask God to help you direct your concerns to Him first and to trust Him to answer your prayer.

  1. Are there things in your life that you are reluctant to give over to God and trust Him with?  Ask God to give you the faith that He can deal with all your concerns, even those we might try to hide from Him.

  1. God gave us the Holy Spirit to live in us.  He calls us to let go of worldly concerns and trust Him to lead us.  Ask God to reassure you of His presence as you release your concerns to Him.

  1. Do you pray persistently, or do you sometimes give up when you don’t receive an immediate answer? Ask God to give you a stronger and more persistent prayer life.  

  1. Openly express your thanks and praise to God for how you’ve personally experienced what David declares about God in Psalm 86 (e.g., God is forgiving, good, abounding in love, answers prayer, trustworthy, brings joy, etc.) 

Mark Heim

Friends Church Elder