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  • William T. Howe Ph.D.

June 30, 2024

Rēad to Read …Again

Daily Reading: Psalm 86-89


Psalm 86:1

Bow down thine ear, O LORD, hear me: for I am poor and needy.


What if your prayer was written down? What would the words be? Would there even be a song for the nation to sing? Would it contain wonderful truths of God as contained in this prayer of David? Would embarrassment ensue from having one of your prayers written down and repeated by others? What kind of song would it be? Whom would it glorify, the prayer hearing God, or the one praying?


The above paragraph has seven questions about prayer, each one should be considered by everyone who prays. David’s prayer is a model of prayer. It’s one to emulate, to use as a pattern for prayer. Of course, the pattern Jesus gave in that which we commonly call “the Lord’s prayer” is the divine pattern. But here, in this psalm, a human prayed a prayer from which much can be learned. One lesson is found in its outline.


He starts by getting to the point verse one. He verbalized his lowly situation. Remember, he was a king. He was not poor or needy in material things. According to the Reese Chronological Bible this psalm was written in 985 BC which was the year David died. At the end of his life the king understood that in comparison to the Lord God he was poor and needy though he was very rich, and power was vested in his position as king.


David then asked for three things in verses 2-4: preserve my soul, save thy servant, be merciful to me, and rejoice the soul.  No amount of money or power on earth can obtain these things. These things David desired are solely the domain of God.


He continues by adoring the Lord with some requests mentioned, vs. 5-10. He comments that God is good, he is ready to forgive, plenteous in mercy, he answers prayers, that no other god is like unto Him, and that no works anywhere by anyone are like His works. He continues, saying that the Lord made all nations, and all nations of the world will worship and glorify His name, for He is great, He performs wondrous things, and He is God alone. Adoration is perhaps the greatest omission in most prayers. Yes, God knows all these things, but David is worshipping Him, adoring Him, glorifying Him, and praising Him. This probably helped David greatly in this last season of his life.


In verses 11-16 David asks the Lord for six distinct things. Teach me, unite my heart to fear your name, turn to me, have mercy on me, give strength, and save. Between vs. 10-11 and 16-17 more praise and adoration is added. He even makes vows to walk in His truth, praise Him, and glorify His name. Then right there in the middle, three verses down from vs 11 and three verses up from vs 16 the king makes a vitally important veiled request. He framed this request in the form of a declarative statement. O God, the proud are risen against me, and the assemblies of violent men have sought after my soul: and have not set thee before them. He offhandedly and humbly reminds his God that the ungodly are after him, the violent men desire him harm, even to the point of seeking his soul. He knew that only God that gave him the victory over the bear, the lion, Goliath and countless enemies, could save David from those heathen enemies. This may be the main purpose of this entire prayer, just to bring this care of a king to the Lord God who cared for him.


Lastly David asked for a token, for him, and his enemies to see. This would bring comfort to him and shame to the enemy.


Again, what if your prayers were written down for all to read?


Dr. William T. Howe

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