Psalms 86

What I Need.

“But you, O Lord, are a merciful and gracious God, slow to get angry, full of unfailing love and truth. Look down and have mercy on me. Give strength to your servant; yes, save me, for I am your servant.” ­– Psalms 86:15-16 NLT

This Psalm is titled, “A Prayer of David,” but it could just as easily have been titled, “A Prayer of Ken.” This prayer expresses my greatest need: For my God to hear my cry and answer me in His mercy and grace. David cries out, “Bend down, O LORD, and hear my prayer; answer me, for I need your help” (Psalms 86:1 NLT). He knew He was asking the God of the universe to lower Himself and interact with mere men, but he also knew that God would. He was counting on it. You see in this prayer David’s understanding of the transcendence of God and the sinfulness of men. God is holy, righteous, and just. Man is sinful, unrighteous and incapable of earning the favor of God. Even as king of Israel, David knew his position when compared with God. He knew he was asking the creator-God to condescend and enter into his world to save him from his problems. Which is exactly what Jesus did when He took on human flesh and entered into our world to save us from our sin.

David looked to God for salvation, protection, mercy, happiness, life, forgiveness, mercy, love, wisdom, and even vengeance against his enemies. In other words, he looked to God for everything. His God was not some disembodied entity that was impossible to see and even harder to find. His God was great, awesome, majestic, mighty, and other-worldly, but also nearby, intimate, caring, attentive, loving, involved, responsive, and quick to answer his prayers. David was blown away that this great God would involve Himself in the daily affairs of his life. He had seen it happen before. And he knew it would happen again. So to NOT call out to God in times of need would have been ludicrous to David. It would have been idiotic to attempt to solve his own problems when he had God Almighty available to call upon. David said, “I will call to you whenever trouble strikes, and you will answer me” (Psalms 86:11 NLT). What confidence. What faith. He knew his God. He had seen Him work. He knew he could trust Him. So he did. Why don’t we?

Father, maybe it’s because I don’t fully comprehend Your greatness that I don’t call out to You more. I don’t fully appreciate just how mighty, marvelous, and holy You are. I know it theoritically and academically, but I don’t know it experientially. I have not recognized Your greatness in my own life. I have read about it in the lives of others, but I have failed to experience it first-hand. So instead of calling out to You, I try to solve all my own problems. And the outcome is always the same. Father, I want to learn to trust You more. I want to learn to call out to You and no one else. I want to learn to lean on You. I want to be able to say, “I will call to You whenever trouble strikes, and You will answer me!” And believe it. Amen

Ken Miller
Grow Pastor & Minister to Men