Psalm 86: 1-13 – A prayer of David
David here makes a petition and then follows it with the reasons why he is able to make the petition. In verse 1 we see, “Incline your ear, O Lord, and answer me for I am poor and needy.” As David prays to God he acknowledges that he is poor and needy. He acknowledges his inability to deal with whatever he is facing. He is looking to God for help, admitting that he needs to be trusting in God. In verse 7 we see the ability of God. “In the day of my trouble I call upon You for You answer me.” David is confident that God is able to answer; that is an encouragement for us as well.
I want to focus this evening on verse 5. “For you, O Lord, are good and forgiving, abounding in steadfast love to all who call upon You.” David here is helping us focus on some of the attributes of God, His character. Who is it we are calling on? God is good; we call on a God who is good. There is an emphasis on moral goodness. We don’t call on a wicked King, but a good one. Because God is good we can have confidence that He will do what is right. We don’t have to worry that He will do something evil. This should encourage us to come to Him, to a God who is good. Also, we are coming to a God who is forgiving. He is ready to forgive. He is not reluctant to forgive; He has a predisposition to forgive. We just need to call on Him and He will forgive. This should encourage any of us, as we struggle with sin and need forgiveness, that He is ready to forgive us. We also see that God is abounding in steadfast love. He doesn’t just have a little bit – He is abounding, overflowing in steadfast love. His lovingkindness and mercy is constant. It doesn’t waver. It will be there when we come.
So, we can have confidence as we pray that we come to a God who is good, forgiving and abounding in steadfast love to all who call on Him. Not only do we come to God with our requests, but when God does answer our prayers we see in verse 12 what our response should be. “I give thanks to You, O Lord my God, with my whole heart.” When we come to this God who is good, forgiving and abounding in steadfast love, and He answers our prayers how should we respond? With thanksgiving, with our whole heart, with sincerity, to God. “And I will glorify Your Name forever.” Our focus is on God, not ourselves. When the answer comes, don’t give yourself glory. You may have accomplished something or overcome some sin or a challenge in your life – the glory goes to God. “For great is Your steadfast love toward me. You have delivered my soul from the depths of Sheol.” This is the God we come to this evening. I hope it is an encouragement to pray.