Psalm 86:1-15 – This is the Psalm portion from which the Introit for next Sunday is taken. The antiphon is taken from verse 6, “Give ear, O lord, to my prayer; listen to my plea for grace.” In our need we pray to the Lord because out of His kindness and love our Lord answers each prayer according to His gracious Fatherly will and according to our need.
In this psalm David asks the Lord for protection against his enemies and expresses confidence the Lord will act. This is personal prayer as David states his confidence in the Lord.
In Psalm 86 you’ll find a man who puts his faith in God while crying out desperately. The psalm is filled with 15 requests—some of them are repetitive. In all, the requests break down into four sections. In 86:1-7, David cries out in great need for God to hear and act on his behalf. In 86:8-10 there is a deliberate request of praise when David declares God as the only true God—the lord of the nations. Then in 86:11-13, David asks for God to teach him and unite his heart to fear God so that he can glorify Him forever. Finally in 86:14-17, David appeals to God’s mercy and grace to deliver him.
The ultimate lesson and big picture that encompasses the entire psalm is, our great needs should drive us to pray to the great God, who alone can deliver us. The Lord is the only one who has control over the world that we live in. No matter how hard we wish, the Lord is the only one who can provide us with the strength and hope to get where we yearn to be. Once we all learn to put God first, then everything else falls into place.
There are so many trials and tribulations within the world; it is imperative that we pray to God for mercy. He will help lead us away from potential sin as He guides us. The explanation to the first commandment reminds us, “We should fear, love and trust in God above all things.” May this be our prayer as we begin another week.
A prayer for Psalm 86 – God of mercy, when Christ called out to you in torment, you heard him and gave him victory over death. Fill us with the Love of your name and help us to proclaim you before the world, that all peoples may celebrate your glory in Jesus Christ our Lord.
For All the Saints A Prayer Book For and By the Church Vol. 2 The American Lutheran Publicity Bureau © 1995 Delhi, NY