Psalm 86 – David’s prayer of worship, praise, and humble requests
1. Bow down your ear, O LORD, hear me: for I am poor and needy.
2. Keep and save my soul; for I am holy: you O my God, save your servant that trusts in you.
3. Be merciful to me, O Lord: for I cry unto you daily.
4. Give joy to the soul of your servant: for to you O Lord, do I lift up my soul.
5. For you, Lord, are good, and ready to forgive; and are filled with mercy to all them that call upon you.
6. Hear, O LORD, my prayer, and listen to the things that I bring before you.
7. In the day of my trouble I will call upon you: for you will answer me.
8. Among the gods there is none like you, O Lord; and there are no works like your works.
9. All the nations you have made will come and worship before you O Lord; and shall glorify your name.
10. For you are great, and do things full of wonder: you are God alone.
11. Teach me your way, O LORD, I will walk in your truth: let my heart fear your name.
12. I will praise you, O Lord my God, with all my heart: and I will glorify your name for ever.
13. For great is your mercy toward me: and you have delivered my soul from the lowest hell.
14. O God, the proud have risen against me, and the men that are violent have sought my soul; and have not put you before them.
15. But you, O LORD, are a God full of compassion, and gracious, patient, and filled with mercy and truth.
16. O turn to me, and have mercy upon me; give your strength to your servant, and save me.
17. Show me a sign of your goodness: that those which hate me may see it, and be ashamed: because you, LORD, have helped me, and comforted me.
What a beautiful prayer this is. David knows that in his heart, he is poor and needy in the things that only the Lord can give him. He asks the Lord to keep and to save his soul, because David trusts in Him. He asks the Lord to show him mercy, because David cries out to him in prayer daily.
David worships the Lord, saying that He is good, and ready to forgive and show mercy to everyone that calls upon Him. He asks the Lord to hear his prayer, and listen to the things that David requests of him.
David says that in his days of trouble, he will call upon the Lord because he knows that the Lord will answer him. David says that among the gods, that is the false gods that other men serve, there are none like the true Lord, and no works like the Lord’s works. Then David speaks of something that is yet to happen, but we know it will. That is when all nations that the Lord has made will come and worship before Him, and glorify His name. And David acknowledges that God is God alone.
David asks the Lord to teach him His ways, so that he will walk in the Lord’s truth, and David requests that his heart will fear the name of the Lord. Again, this means a respectful fear of the Lord as our great all knowing, all powerful God. And David promises to praise the Lord “my” God with all his heart, and glorify His name forever. In this, David is making his relationship with the Lord personal, as our relationship to the Lord Jesus must be. He must be “my” Saviour, not just “the” Saviour.
David says that the proud will rise against him, and try to kill him, and they have not honoured God. But David knows that the Lord is a God full of compassion, and that he is full of grace and patience and mercy and truth.
David prays that the Lord will have mercy to him, that He will fill David with strength and save him. He asks for a sign of God’s goodness in his life, so that those that hate him will see it, and be ashamed. Because the Lord has helped him and comforted him.