Reflection on Psalm 86

In this Psalm 86 the psalmist, David elaborately prepared for his petition to God. Verses 1 to 7 make an impassioned plea for God to hear. Verses 8 to 10 tell God He is the only God who can hear. Verse 11 is a prayer and a pledge to be God’s obedient servant. Verses 12 and 13 praise the loving, saving God. Verses 14 to 17 petition for help when enemies are attacking. The petition maintains the spirit of humility and reverent praise established in the first thirteen verses.

Here God is addressed in a very personal way by David, expecting an answer. God’s faithful servants can count on his personal, loving attention.

Sometimes our trouble or pain is so great that all we can do is cry out to God, “Protect me” verse 2. And often, when there is no relief in sight, all we can do is acknowledge the greatness of God and wait for better days ahead. The conviction that God answers prayer will sustain us in these difficult times and circumstances.

“Among the gods there is none like you, O Lord.” The God of the Bible is unique! He is alive and able to do mighty deeds for those who love him. All human — created deities lack power because they are merely inventions of the mind and reflections of our own desires, not living beings. The Lord alone is “worthy . . . to receive glory and honour and power” as per Revelation 4:11. Although people follow different religions and different gods, never assume that God is only one among many, that all are equally valid, or that you may be worshiping the wrong God. The Lord alone is God.

God is ultimately the Creator of all persons and things on the earth. Each nation owes its existence to Him and is invited to worship and Glorify him. Glory is the weight, the honour, and the prestige that belongs to God alone. When we worship we recognize and testify to God’s unique Glory.

Life, as God’s gift, is the result of His love. The psalmist experienced that Love as deliverance from certain death. God is Love — In faithful covenant of love, God also listens to his people’s prayers and delivers them from the threat of death. Because our God is a Compassionate and Gracious God, slow to anger, abounding in Love and Faithfulness. We experience it in Jesus Christ as total victory over death. God saves us from physical death as well as from spiritual death, and gives us Salvation and Eternal Life based on God’s Love and brings forth human praise. God’s unique saving actions were not done just for one people. They serve as reason for all peoples to worship God.

The day will come when all will bow before the Lord. That is the final judgment. Before that hour, however, God’s call to faith in Christ goes out to all nations. He wants all to know of his saving acts and to believe He alone is God. We share in that divine call to salvation because we have tasted God’s Redemption. God is patient with those who do not know him. He waits for us to go tell them the Gospel story. God’s Salvation call to the lost comes through the saved.

The godly person does not depend solely upon previous learning to keep walking in the way of truth but upon God’s continued guidance. The child of God never graduates from the school of divine instruction; every day is “commencement.” Therefore, we need to read the word of God, the Bible daily, and ask God for continued guidance.

It is right to pray for a sign of God’s favour. As David found, that may be just what we need. But we should not overlook the signs of favour he has already given us: the support of family and friends, the fellowship of other Christians, and the light of each new day. You can be confident that he knows your situation no matter how desperate it becomes, and he cares. Ask God today for a sign of his love. It may come in an unexpected way.

In verse 11, this prayer within a prayer captures a glimpse of vibrant spiritual vitality. Two requests are made: “Teach me your ways” and “Grant me purity of heart.” Each request has a God-centred purpose: the person praying would “live according to Your truth” and “honour You.” No matter how well we know and follow God, we can always ask him to increase our awareness and improve our obedience. Jesus echoed one of these requests in the sixth beatitude: “God blesses those whose hearts are pure, for they will see God” as per Matthew 5:8. Commit this prayer to memory and use it often.

God’s characteristics of Love, Forgiveness, Faithfulness, Mercy, Grace, and Compassion offer the greatest comfort to the sufferer. When we endure in prayer, we believe and know that God will answer.

David’s prayer provides a wonderful outline we can pray today.


Let us pray!

Dear Lord,

I ask that You will

hear and answer my prayer;

protect and save me;

be merciful to me;

give me joy and satisfaction;

teach and guide me;

cleanse my heart;

and show me Your favour. Amen.


God Bless you all