Daily Family Worship

Psalm 86: David’s Prayer

by | May 31, 2024

psalm 86

This Psalm is a supplication; and as the title shows, it is “a prayer of David.” Here we may see that prayer is the highest exercise of faith, and the highest worship of God. Everyone knows the destroying calamities that surrounded that great man David – the “man after God’s own heart.” And yet we may see – from the historical narratives of his life – that he called upon God with all the ardor of his heart when he found himself in the deepest difficulties and the most terrible afflictions. When he was beset all around by his enemies, such as Saul, Ahithophel, or Absalom – those instruments of the devil – he took himself to the throne of grace at once, and poured out his heart before the Lord.

Behold the beautiful example of prayer which this great and spiritually-minded man of God has given us to follow. See how fixedly he has before his eyes the uniqueness and superiority of Jehovah above all idols! “O God,” says he, “who is like unto thee among the gods? who doeth works like unto thy works? Thou art great and doest wonderful works; thou art God alone. Thou, O Lord, art a God full of compassion and gracious, longsuffering and plenteous in mercy and in truth, unto all that call upon thee.” Observe how he sharpens his faith, so to speak, by a view of the mercy of God! By looking long and hard at His mercy and His promise, he goes forth on the assurance that God is not only powerful, great, and invincible against all the assaults of the devil and the world; but also that He is always present for His people, and always merciful to those who call upon Him and believe in Him. We, too, may grasp the Word of the Divine promise of mercy; and then we shall be enabled to cast all doubt out of our hearts, so that we may call upon our God without any misgivings.

At the end of the Psalm, David prays, “Show me a token for good!” God sometimes permits the wicked to triumph for a while, as if they will certainly soon devour those who fear Him. But God never truly forsakes His people; for here, in the Church below, He often delivers His children out of the greatest perils – yes, even out of the very jaws of death! This fact plainly proves that He is always present and near His own; their deliverances plainly show His hand to be at work on their behalf. It is for such a token as this that David here prays. Let us pray likewise.

O Lord, we praise You as the one and only God, Who is above all others; for there is no idol that can even begin to compare to You, nor is there any Who can work the works that You do. We beseech You to show us some token for good, and to let the light of Your blessed face shine upon us! We pray that the whole world may know that the One Who was once the Man of sorrows is now our risen and exalted Savior, Who can and will send down every token of good, as the necessities of His people require! Amen.

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