1 Hear me, Lord, and answer me,
for I am poor and needy.
2 Guard my life, for I am faithful to you;
save your servant who trusts in you.
You are my God; 3 have mercy on me, Lord,
for I call to you all day long.
4 Bring joy to your servant, Lord,
for I put my trust in you.
5 You, Lord, are forgiving and good,
abounding in love to all who call to you.
6 Hear my prayer, Lord;
listen to my cry for mercy.
7 When I am in distress, I call to you,
because you answer me.
8 Among the gods there is none like you, Lord;
no deeds can compare with yours.
9 All the nations you have made
will come and worship before you, Lord;
they will bring glory to your name.
10 For you are great and do marvelous deeds;
you alone are God.
11 Teach me your way, Lord,
that I may rely on your faithfulness;
give me an undivided heart,
that I may fear your name.
12 I will praise you, Lord my God, with all my heart;
I will glorify your name forever.
13 For great is your love toward me;
you have delivered me from the depths,
from the realm of the dead.
14 Arrogant foes are attacking me, O God;
ruthless people are trying to kill me—
they have no regard for you.
15 But you, Lord, are a compassionate and gracious God,
slow to anger, abounding in love and faithfulness.
16 Turn to me and have mercy on me;
show your strength in behalf of your servant;
save me, because I serve you
just as my mother did.
17 Give me a sign of your goodness,
that my enemies may see it and be put to shame,
for you, Lord, have helped me and comforted me.
Our first lesson in prayer comes from Jesus in Matthew 6:9. Most of us call it, “The Lord’s Prayer,” while a few call it “The Our Father.” Obviously, you can’t get any better example than from the Son of God himself. Unfortunately, many of us still feel like our prayers fall short. If so, the Psalms offer a tremendous secondary education in prayer.
David amplifies one of my favorite aspects. Even in the midst of his worst day, this man with a heart that resembled his Creator offered praise. As he cried out to God, the king reminds himself of God’s forgiving nature, His sovereignty, and the goodness of His Name.
I believe the Almighty must be pleased when we continually ask Him to teach us His ways. David knows when we begin to understand the ways of God, our hearts become undivided. Of the seventeen verses in Psalm 86, only two offer specifics about the bad stuff David needs taken care of. Every other plea asks God to listen or introduces a phrase of worship. And one-third of the verses simply praise our Heavenly Father for who He is and what He can do.
When our prayers start to sound like a shopping list or every sentence begins with “I need” or “I want,” we probably need to dig into the Psalms and study David’s conversations with God. By patterning our prayers after David, and of course, Jesus, we can build a deeper relationship with God and watch Him fight our battles, rescue us from our enemies, and give us a peace that the worship will never understand!
Before you go, check out my Children’s Curriculum
that features The Lord’s Prayer
I’m updated it now (in the fall of 2022)
and hope to have it completely overhauled in 2023