Wednesday, August 10, 2016

A Prayer For Help

Psalm 86:1-17

A Prayer of David.

Bow down thine ear, O LORD, hear me: for I am poor and needy.  Preserve my soul; for I am holy: O thou my God, save thy servant that trusteth in thee.   Be merciful unto me, O Lord: for I cry unto thee daily.  Rejoice the soul of thy servant: for unto thee, O Lord, do I lift up my soul.  For thou, Lord, art good, and ready to forgive; and plenteous in mercy unto all them that call upon thee.” (Psalm 86:1-5)

Most people try to fix their problems by themselves and only turn to God when their efforts have failed.  Sometimes they even commit suicide, because they don’t understand God is far more powerful than they are, or they can’t imagine him forgiving what they have done.    David recognized his inability to solve his problems, and asked God for help.   Because he had made the effort to please God he had no load of guilt to worry about, and he had learned by experience to trust in God.  He had developed a relationship where he turned to God for help daily.  As a result he had no hesitation about asking God to make him rejoice, or about his willingness to forgive and not demand the maximum penalty for any sin his people might have committed. 

 Give ear, O LORD, unto my prayer; and attend to the voice of my supplications.  In the day of my trouble I will call upon thee: for thou wilt answer me.  Among the gods there is none like unto thee, O Lord; neither are there any works like unto thy works.  All nations whom thou hast made shall come and worship before thee, O Lord; and shall glorify thy name.  For thou art great, and doest wondrous things: thou art God alone.” (Psalm 86:6-10)

David had confidence God would answer his prayer.  He understood that God was unlike any thing other people call gods, and that he did things no one else could do, and that ultimately all mankind would come to bow before him in worship, recognizing him as the only God. 

“Teach me thy way, O LORD; I will walk in thy truth: unite my heart to fear thy name.  I will praise thee, O Lord my God, with all my heart: and I will glorify thy name for evermore.  For great is thy mercy toward me: and thou hast delivered my soul from the lowest hell.” (Psalm 86:11-13)

Many will never admit they don’t know something or have made a mistake for fear they will appear weak or dumb.  Unfortunately, that attitude leaves you unable to move forward because you  can’t ask for advice, and to change would imply you were wrong.  It makes you as dumb and weak as you were concerned about appearing. 

David asked God to teach him his way, promising to follow what he learned.  He promised to thake time to show his heartfelt appreciation, because he understood little he deserved God’s blessings, and had an understanding how much worse things could have been. 

“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.  But thou, O Lord, art a God full of compassion, and gracious, longsuffering, and plenteous in mercy and truth.” (Psalm 86:14-15)

Those who consider religion and faith in God a sign of weakness or ignorance attack those who trust God, and violent, immoral people try to take advantage and control others, placing their own desires ahead of God.  God, on the other hand, is concerned about others, being gracious and polite to them, putting up with unsatisfactory behavior, forgiving and teaching what is tight and proper instead of flying into a rage. 

“O turn unto me, and have mercy upon me; give thy strength unto thy servant, and save the son of thine handmaid.  Show 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.” (Psalm 86:16-17)

David that God have mercy, limiting his suffering and strengthening him so he can endure.  He further asks that God show evidence of his blessing and protection so that those who hated him might realize that it was God’s power protecting him and that they were going against God.  He knew that God had helped and comforted him, but those around needed to know as well.     

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