Together in Christ: 'David's Prayer Can Be Our Prayer, Too!' — Psalm 86:15-17

Sunday, December 22, 2024

But you, O Lord, are a God of compassion and mercy, slow to get angry and filled with unfailing love and faithfulness. Look down and have mercy on me. Give your strength to your servant; save me, the [child] of your servant. Send me a sign of your favor. Then those who hate me will be put to shame, for you, O Lord, help and comfort me.
— Psalm 86:15-17 NLT

Key Thought

I love these closing words to David's beautiful prayer from Psalm 86. I believe this is an excellent prayer for any year or season of life. With Christmas coming soon and the year coming to a close, I especially cherish this prayer for this time in our calendar.

David declares the truth of God's self-revealed description of His character. [1] We pray because we know Who God is and how God is. He is present in our lives as our Father, gracious with His compassion and mercy. He is consistent with His patience when He could be angry. Our God faithfully treats us out of His unfailing love. We pray because we know this is the true and living God Who lovingly hears our prayers as our Abba Father. [2]

When we pray, we ask God to treat us with mercy as He looks on us with His love. We ask for strength because our God "is able, through his mighty power at work within us, to accomplish infinitely more than we might ask or think." [3] Salvation, both from immediate problems and our ultimate salvation at the end of time, comes from God and is provided by God. [4]

As we pray, however, we sometimes think we cannot ask God for things we feel are selfish or too demanding. This is when we can "come boldly to the throne of our gracious God. There we will receive his mercy, and we will find grace to help us when we need it most." [5] We live in both with our feet in two worlds: the spiritual reality of the Kingdom of God and the tangible world of the here and now. David reminds us that we can ask God to show himself to us and send us a sign of His presence and favor in our lives to give us spiritual strength as we live in our tangible world. As people of the Spirit, we can also trust that we can pray this bold kind of prayer with confidence, knowing that the "Spirit pleads for us believers in harmony with God's own will." [6] So, we can close our prayer with confidence, knowing that God hears us when we cry to Him, "you, O Lord, help and comfort me."

As we welcome Christ into this season of joy and a new year, I hope you will join me in praying today's verses as our confident prayer, knowing that God is our primary relationship out of Whom all other relationships find their focus. So, let's make David's prayer our prayer, too!

[1] Exodus 34:6-7; Numbers 14:18; Psalm 62:12, 86:5, Psalm 111:4; Nehemiah 9:17; Jonah 4:2 .
[2] Romans 8:15-17, 26-27.
[3] Ephesians 3:20-21.
[4] Micah 7:7; Exodus 15:2; Psalm 38:22, 65:5, 68:19, 79:9; Isaiah 12:2.
[5] Hebrews 4:16.
[6] Romans 8:26-27.

Today's Prayer

Almighty God, my loving Father, thank You for knowing that Jesus is my mediator and the Holy Spirit my intercessor as I pray this prayer of David as my own:

[Y]ou, O Lord, are a God of compassion and mercy, slow to get angry and filled with unfailing love and faithfulness. [So, dear Lord, look] down and have mercy on me. Give your strength to your servant; save me, the [child] of your servant. [Please send] me a sign of your favor. Then those who hate me will be put to shame, for you, O Lord, help and comfort me.

I pray this in the name and authority of Jesus. Amen.

Related Scripture Readings

  • Psalm 86:1-17
  • Ephesians 1:15-20, 3:14-21, 6:23-24

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Illustration

Illustration of Psalm 86:15-17 NLT — But you, O Lord, are a God of compassion and mercy, slow to get angry and filled with unfailing love and faithfulness. Look down and have mercy on me. Give your strength to your servant; save me, the [child] of your servant. Send me a sign of your favor. Then those who hate me will be put to shame, for you, O Lord, help and comfort me.

About This Devotional

Together in Christ is a daily devotional that focuses on what Scripture teaches about godly living in relationships.

'Together in Christ' is written by Phil Ware.

Scripture quotations are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright ©1996, 2004, 2007, 2013, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.