Psalm 86: Lessons On What God Offers When You Turn to Him

Introduction: Here, David turned to God when one of his many enemies sought to kill him. When you are attacked, God wants you to follow David’s example. From David’s prayer, God reveals seven things that He offers you when you turn to Him. These include: (1) compassion, (2) mercy, (3) answered prayers, (4) sovereignty, (5) guidance, (6) salvation, and (7) deliverance.

First, when David was under attack, he cried out in humility for God to lift up his soul and restore his joy. When you humble yourself and depend upon Him, God also offers you comfort. Second, because David knew that he was a sinner who did not deserve to be saved, he thanked God for His mercy. When you repent, God also offers you mercy and forgiveness. Third, David cried out for God to answer his prayers. When you pray in faith and according to His will, God will also answer your prayers. Fourth, David declared that there is no other divine being like God. You can trust God because He is sovereign, and He is faithful. Fifth, David cried out for God to teach him His ways to keep him on the right path. God also offers to guide you through the Word and the Holy Spirit. Sixth, David gave thanks for his salvation. Today, God offers you salvation through faith in Jesus’ atonement. Finally, David cried out for God to deliver him from his enemies. God also will deliver you from those who seek to harm you when you turn to Him.

1. Comfort: God Offers You Comfort When You Depend on Him. Ps. 86:1-4.

  • God offers you comfort and peace when you cry out to Him. When he was attacked, David cried out for God to listen to his cries for comfort, protection, and peace: “A Prayer of David. 1 Incline Your ear, Lord, and answer me; for I am afflicted and needy. Protect my soul, for I am godly; You my God, save Your servant who trusts in You. Be gracious to me, Lord, for I call upon You all day long. Make the soul of Your servant joyful, for to You, Lord, I lift up my soul.” (Ps. 86:1-4). “This psalm is entitled ‘a prayer of David;’ probably it was not penned upon any particular occasion, but was a prayer he often used himself, and recommended to others for their use, especially in a day of affliction. Many think that David penned this prayer as a type of Christ, ‘who in the days of his flesh offered up strong cries,’ (Heb.5:7) (Matthew Henry on Ps. 86).1 

  • Cry out to God when you are in need. Here, David cried out: “Incline Your ear, Lord, and answer me;” (Ps. 86:1). The psalmists began many of their psalms with similar requests for God to “hear” his prayers:  “A Psalm of David.  1 Answer me when I call, God of my righteousness!  You have relieved me in my distress; be gracious to me and hear my prayer.”  (Ps. 4:1).  “I have called upon You, for You will answer me, God; incline Your ear to me, hear my speech.” (Ps. 17:6). “Hear, LORD, when I cry with my voice, and be gracious to me and answer me.”  (Ps. 27:7).  “Incline Your ear to me, rescue me quickly; be a rock of strength for me, a stronghold to save me.” (Ps. 31:2). “Listen to my prayer, God; and do not hide Yourself from my pleading.” (Ps. 55:1). “A Psalm of David. Hear my cry, God; give Your attention to my prayer.”  (Ps. 61:1; 142:6).  “Let my prayer come before You; incline Your ear to my cry!” (Ps. 88:2).

시편 86편 [새번역] Psalm 86 [Great Is Your Steadfast Love A Prayer of David.] Eng.Sub - YouTube

When you are drowning in sorrow, give thanks that Jesus is there to comfort you2

  • Humble yourself and depend upon God, and He will comfort you.  David confessed: “I am afflicted and needy.” (Ps. 86:1). The psalmists frequently confessed their dependance on God: “But I am afflicted and needy; may the Lord be mindful of me. You are my help and my savior; do not delay, my God.” (Ps. 40:17). “But I am afflicted and needy; hurry to me, God! You are my help and my savior; LORD, do not delay.” (Ps. 70:5). David knew that God lifts up the humble:  “Arise, LORD; God, lift up Your hand.  Do not forget the humble.”  (Ps. 10:12).  God wants believers to humble themselves before Him, like David did, so that He can exalt them:  “He has brought down rulers from their thrones, and has exalted those who were humble.”  (Lk. 1:52).  God will also humble you before He exalts you:  “Humble yourselves in the presence of the Lord, and He will exalt you.”  (Jam. 4:10).  “So that He sets on high those who are lowly, and those who mourn are lifted to safety.”  (Job 5:11).  God can also lift up a nation when it humbles itself (2 Chr. 7:14).  Are you praying in humility for God’s deliverance?

  • God answers you because He loves you. God repeatedly responded to the cries of His people when they were oppressed.  In addition to hearing the cries of His people in Egypt (Ex. 3:7), He also repeatedly responded to their cries of oppression in the Promised Land (Jdgs. 2:18).  “Many times He would deliver them; they, however, were rebellious in their counsel, and so sank down in their iniquity.  Nevertheless He looked upon their distress when He heard their cry; and He remembered His covenant for their sake, and relented according to the greatness of His lovingkindness.”  (Ps. 106:43-45).  This same love caused Jesus to come to Earth and allow Himself to be killed so that undeserving sinners might be delivered  (Jo. 3:16). Thus, David laid out his desperation to God because He knew that God loved him: “This was the first of several reasons why God should answer the request of the first line. David here appealed to God’s sympathy, to His compassion. A hard-hearted God wouldn’t care for a poor and needy man, or worse yet might despise him. Yet David knew that God was full of love and compassion and would be moved by the fact that David was, and knew himself to be, poor and needy. It is significant that David began his plea with this. His understanding of the love and compassion of God was foundational.” (David Guzik on Ps. 86) (emphasis original).3

  • Show the same compassion and comfort that God offers you to others.  God offers you His comfort when you are feeling pain or sadness:  “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our affliction so that we will be able to comfort those who are in any affliction with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God.”  (2 Cor. 1:3-4; 7:6).  God in turn asks you to be kind and compassionate toward others:  “So, as those who have been chosen of God, holy and beloved, put on a heart of compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience;”  (Col. 3:12; Eph. 4:32).  If a believer sees another person in need and closes his or her heart to that person, the Bible asks: “how does the love of God remain in him?” (1 Jo. 3:17; Jam. 2:16; Dt. 15:7).  When someone around you is hurting, offer them the same compassion and comfort that God offers you.

2. Mercy: God Offers Mercy and Forgiveness When You Repent. Ps. 86:5.

  • Through Jesus, God offers to forgive your sins when you repent. David praised God for His abundant mercy and for forgiving sins: “For You, Lord, are good, and ready to forgive, and abundant in mercy to all who call upon You.” (Ps. 86:5). “Up to this time the psalmist has only put forward his needs in various aspects as a plea for God’s compassion. Now, not without art, he clenches his petition by an appeal to the nature itself of the Divine Being.” (Ellicott’s Commentary on Ps. 86:5).4

Verse of the Day - Psalm 86:5 - iDisciple

Give thanks that God wants to pour out His mercy and grace upon you5

  • Praise God for His mercy and forgiveness.  Believers can give thanks that God is slow to anger and quick to forgive sinners:  “Then the LORD passed by in front of him and proclaimed, ‘The LORD, the LORD God, compassionate and gracious, slow to anger, and abounding in lovingkindness and truth;”’  (Ex. 34:6; 33:19; Nu. 19:18).  “For the LORD your God is a compassionate God; He will not fail you nor destroy you nor forget the covenant with your fathers which He swore to them.” (Dt. 4:31).  “You are a God of forgiveness, gracious and compassionate, slow to anger and abounding in mercy; and You did not abandon them.”  (Neh. 9:17). “The LORD is compassionate and gracious, slow to anger and abounding in mercy.” (Ps. 103:8; 116:5; 145:8).

  • Give thanks that God’s faithfulness is not dependent on your faithfulness.  God could have revoked His blessings upon the Jews for their rebellions.  But God remained faithful, even when the Jews rebelled against Him (Neh. 9:18-19).  He remained faithful to His promise to never forsake the Jews:  “Be strong and courageous, do not be afraid or tremble at them, for the LORD your God is the one who goes with you.  He will not fail you or forsake you.”  (Dt. 31:6; 4:31; Heb. 13:5).  ‘“I, even I, am the one who wipes out your transgressions for My own sake, and I will not remember your sins.”’  (Is. 43:25). You can also give thanks that His faithfulness is not conditioned upon your faithfulness: “If we are faithless, He remains faithful, for He cannot deny Himself.”  (2 Tim. 2:13). Have you given thanks that God will not use your sins to revoke His promises to you?

3. Answered Prayers: God Answers Prayers When You Pray in Faith. Ps. 86:6-7

  • God hears and answers your prayers according to His will. David cried out for God to hear his prayers and answer him in his hour of need: “Listen, Lord, to my prayer; and give Your attention to the sound of my pleading! On the day of my trouble I will call upon You, for You will answer me.” (Ps. 86:6-7). Through Jeremiah, God declared that He will answer your prayers when you call upon Him: “Call to Me and I will answer you, and I will tell you great and mighty things, which you do not know.” (Jer. 33:3).

  • David had the faith to know that God would answer his prayers.  As a sign of his faith, David praised God in advance for answering his prayer and protecting him: “I was crying out to the LORD with my voice, and He answered me from His holy mountain.” (Ps. 3:4).  “A Psalm of David. Answer me when I call, God of my righteousness! You have relieved me in my distress; be gracious to me and hear my prayer.” (Ps. 4:1). “I have called upon You, for You will answer me, God; incline Your ear to me, hear my speech.”  (Ps. 17:6).  “In my distress I called upon the LORD, and cried to my God for help; He heard my voice from His temple, and my cry for help before Him came into His ears.”  (Ps. 18:6).  “For I wait for You, LORD; You will answer, Lord my God.”  (Ps. 38:15).  If you fail to believe in the power of prayer, God is less likely to answer you.

  • Thank God when He answers your prayers. David also made a habit of thanking God when He answered David’s prayers: “I was crying out to the LORD with my voice, and He answered me from His holy mountain.  Selah”  (Ps. 3:4).  “But know that the LORD has set apart the godly person for Himself; the LORD hears when I call to Him.”  (Ps. 4:3).  “Leave me, all you who practice injustice, for the LORD has heard the sound of my weeping.”  (Ps. 6:8).  “In my distress I called upon the LORD, and cried to my God for help; He heard my voice from His temple, and my cry for help before Him came into His ears.”  (Ps. 18:6).  “Blessed be the LORD, because He has heard the sound of my pleading.”  (Ps. 28:6). Thus, David always praised God:  “Give thanks to the LORD, for He is good; for His faithfulness is everlasting.”  (1 Chr. 16:34).  If you fail to make a habit of thanking Him, you may take Him for granted.  Even in times when he was jailed and persecuted, Paul worshiped God and gave thanks: “always giving thanks for all things in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ to our God and Father;”  (Eph. 5:20). Are you thanking God for the prayers that He has already answered and the future ones?

  • Unrepentant sin can “hinder” your prayers to God.  David knew that he was unlikely to have his prayers answered if he failed to repent of his sins. Unrepentant sin separates mankind from God:  “But your iniquities have made a separation between you and your God . . .” (Isaiah 59:2(a)).  As a consequence of the separation caused by sin, God warned that He would not hear the prayers of sinners:  “So when you spread out your hands in prayer, I will hide My eyes from you; yes, even though you multiply prayers, I will not listen. Your hands are covered with blood.”  (Is. 1:15).  “And your sins have hidden His face from you so that He does not hear.  For your hands are defiled with blood and your fingers with iniquity; your lips have spoken falsehood, your tongue mutters wickedness.” (Is. 59:2-3(b)).  “We know that God doesn’t listen to sinners, but He does listen to anyone who worships Him and does His will.”  (Jo. 9:31; Prov. 15:29; 8:9; Ps. 66:18).  In the New Testament, He warns that sin can “hinder” a believer’s prayers  (1 Pet. 3:7). Thus, you should always repent of your sins.  When you repent and pray in humility, God will hear your prayers:  “He has regarded the prayer of the destitute and has not despised their prayer.”  (Ps. 102:17).  Is there unrepentant sin in your life?

  • The effective fervent prayer of the righteous can accomplish great things.  Once you cleanse your heart of sin, God promises that those who pray fervently and in faith can accomplish much:  “Therefore, confess your sins to one another, and pray for one another so that you may be healed. The effective prayer of a righteous man can accomplish much.”  (Ja. 5:16).  As an example of this, God heard Elijah’s prayers to both stop and later restart the rain in Israel:  “17 Elijah was a man with a nature like ours, and he prayed earnestly that it would not rain, and it did not rain on the earth for three years and six months.  18 Then he prayed again, and the sky poured rain and the earth produced its fruit.”  (Ja. 5:17-18).  As another example, Nehemiah prayed continually for God to see and hear the prayers of His sinful people:  ‘“ 6a let Your ear now be attentive and Your eyes open, to hear the prayer of Your servant which I am praying before You now, day and night, on behalf of the sons of Israel Your servants,”’  (Neh. 1:6 a).  God also wants you to pray fervently to Him to intervene when you need deliverance.

  • Regardless of God’s answer, David swore to be satisfied and grateful to God.  As our example, David professed that he would be satisfied with God’s answer to his prayers: “15 As for me, I shall behold Your face in righteousness; I shall be satisfied with Your likeness when I awake.”  (Ps. 17:15).  If David were driven by the flesh, he might have only been satisfied with the death of his enemies.  Instead, he trusted in God’s solution. God also may not answer your prayers in the way you desire.  Regardless of His answer, you should be grateful and praise God for doing what is best (Ro. 8:28).

4. Sovereignty: Trust God Because He is Sovereign and Faithful. Ps. 86:8-10.

  • God is supreme, sovereign, and trustworthy. David praised God because He is unique with no divine rival or other force that can surpass His omnipotent power: “There is no one like You among the gods, Lord, nor are there any works like Yours. All nations whom You have made will come and worship before You, Lord, and they will glorify Your name. 10 For You are great, and you do wondrous deeds; You alone are God.” (Ps. 86:8-10). “The psalmist, in respect to prayer, and to help to be obtained by prayer, compares his own condition with that of those who worshiped false gods. He had a God who could hear; they had none. A true child of God now in trouble may properly compare his condition in this respect with that of those who make no profession of religion; who do not profess to worship God, or to have a God. To him there is a throne of grace which is always accessible; to them there is none.” (Barnes Notes on the Bible, Ps. 86:8-10).6

Psalm 86:8 Among The Gods There Is None Like You O Lord (orange)

God is sovereign, faithful, and motivated out of love to help you7

  • No one is like God or comparable to His sovereign power. David proclaimed, “There is no one like.” (Ps. 86:8). Moses and others made similar declarations: “Who is like You among the gods, LORD? Who is like You, majestic in holiness, awesome in praises, working wonders?” (Ex. 15:11). “You were shown these things so that you might know that the LORD, He is God; there is no other besides Him.” (Dt. 4:35). “‘See now that I, I am He, and there is no god besides Me; it is I who put to death and give life. I have wounded and it is I who heal, and there is no one who can save anyone from My hand.” (Dt. 32:39). “There is no one holy like the LORD, indeed, there is no one besides You, nor is there any rock like our God.” (1 Sam. 2:2). “For this reason You are great, Lord GOD; for there is no one like You, and there is no God except You, according to all that we have heard with our ears.” (2 Sam. 7:22). Neither Satan nor any other being comes close to God’s power. You can trust in God’s power because He loves you (Jo. 3:16).

  • You can trust in God’s sovereign power.  Moses celebrated that God used His power to keep His Word:  “Know therefore that the LORD your God, He is God, the faithful God, who keeps His covenant and His lovingkindness to a thousandth generation with those who love Him and keep His commandments;”  (Dt. 7:9).  “ . . . I, the LORD your God, am a jealous God, . . . showing lovingkindness to thousands, to those who love Me and keep My commandments.”  (Ex. 20:5-6).  “and I will remember My covenant, . . .”  (Gen. 9:15).  Nehemiah, another prayer warrior, also praised God’s faithfulness when he prayed (Neh. 1:5).  Do your prayers also praise God for His faithfulness?  

  • Jesus is also faithful.  As part of the triune God, Jesus is also faithful to keep His promises to you:  “God is faithful, through whom you were called into fellowship with His Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.”  (1 Cor. 1:9).  He is faithful, even when we are not:  “If we are faithless, He remains faithful, for He cannot deny Himself.”  (2 Tim. 2:13).   This means that you can trust His many promises to you.  But you cannot have faith in His many promises if you don’t know them.  How many of Jesus’ promises can you name?

  • God will be glorified for His faithfulness. David proclaimed that: “All nations whom You have made will come and worship before You, Lord, and they will glorify Your name.” (Ps. 86:9). The Bible repeatedly states that God’s enemies will one day concede His sovereign power and bow down before Him: “All the ends of the earth will remember and turn to the LORD, and all the families of the nations will worship before You.” (Ps. 22:27). “All the earth will worship You, and will sing praises to You; they will sing praises to Your name. Selah” (Ps. 66:4). “Who will not fear You, Lord, and glorify Your name? For You alone are holy; for all the nations will come and worship before You, for Your righteous acts have been revealed.” (Rev. 15:4).

5. Guidance: God Guides You Through the Word and the Spirit. Ps. 86:11.

  • God teaches and guides through His Word and the Holy Spirit. Out of a desire to draw closer, David urged God to teach him to walk in truth and integrity with His Creator: “11 Teach me Your way, Lord; I will walk in Your truth; unite my heart to fear Your name.” (Ps. 86:11). “Thy way; wherein thou wouldst have me to walk. As thou hast taught me by thy word, so also by thy Spirit enlighten my mind, that I may clearly discern thy will and my duty in all conditions and circumstances. In thy truth; in the way of thy precepts, which are true and right in all things, as he saith, Psalm 119:128, and the only true rule of thy worship, and the only true way to man’s happiness. Unite my heart, engage and knit my whole heart to thyself and service, and deliver me from inconstancy and wavering, that I may not at any time, nor in the least degree, be withdrawn from thee, either to any corrupt worship, or to the love and pursuit of the lusts or vanities of this present evil world.” (Matthew Poole’s Commentary, Ps. 86:11).8

Psalm 86:11 (NIV) Teach me your way, LORD, that I may rely on your faithfulness; give me an ...

Turn to God to keep your mind, your heart, and your flesh on the right path9

  • David trusted God to direct and guide him.  David made similar requests for God to guide him: “Make me know Your ways, LORD; teach me Your paths. Lead me in Your truth and teach me, for You are the God of my salvation; or You I wait all the day.” (Ps. 25:4-5). “Teach me Your way, LORD, and lead me on a level path because of my enemies.” (Ps. 27:11). Because David knew that he would have chosen a path leading to his destruction, he praised God for guiding his every step:  “My steps have held to Your paths.  My feet have not slipped.”  (Ps. 17:5). “LORD, lead me in Your righteousness because of my enemies; make Your way straight before me.”  (Ps. 5:8).  “Establish my footsteps in Your word, and do not let any wrongdoing have power over me.”  (Ps. 119:133).  Solomon made a similar prayer: “then hear in heaven and forgive the sin of Your servants and Your people Israel; indeed, teach them the good way in which they are to walk.  And provide rain on Your land, which You have given to Your people as an inheritance.”  (1 Kgs. 8:36).  God also wants you to turn to Him to guide your every step.  Trusting in your own wisdom allows your flesh to be at war with the Spirit.

  • Seek the Holy Spirit’s guidance through the Word and prayer. David would turn to God’s Word to guide his path: “Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path.” (Ps. 119:105; 2 Pet. 1:19). The Holy Spirit will help you to remember the Word and apply it in your life. “But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all that I said to you.” (Jo. 14:26; 14:16; 15:26; 16:13). The Holy Spirit will also give you wisdom: “But if any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all generously and without reproach, and it will be given to him.” (Jam. 1:5). “Behold, You desire truth in the innermost being, and in the hidden part You will make me know wisdom.” (Ps. 51:6). “For the LORD gives wisdom; from His mouth come knowledge and understanding.” (Prov. 2:6). Are you reading the Word and praying for the Spirit to guide you?

  • Don’t rely on your own understanding.  God freely gives wisdom when you ask for it:  “But if any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all generously and without reproach, and it will be given to him.”  (Jam. 1:5).  “For the LORD gives wisdom; from His mouth come knowledge and understanding.”  (Prov. 2:6).  “Behold, You desire truth in the innermost being, and in secret You will make wisdom known to me.”  (Ps. 51:6).  If you reject God’s wisdom and instead rely upon your own understanding the result is frequently disastrous:  “There is a way which seems right to a person, but its end is the way of death.”  (Prov. 14:12; 16:25).

6. Salvation: God Offers Salvation Through Jesus’ Atonement. Ps. 86:12-13.

  • Through faith in Jesus’ atoning death, God offers salvation to all. David praised God for His mercy and grace, which included eternal salvation for his soul: “12 I will give thanks to You, Lord my God, with all my heart, and I will glorify Your name forever. 13 For Your graciousness toward me is great, and You have saved my soul from the depths of Sheol.” (Ps. 86:12-13). In reference to David’s second use of term, “my God”, the famous British preacher Charles Spurgeon observes: “This is the second time in the Psalm that David calls the Lord ‘my God,’ the first time he was in an agony of prayer (verse 2), and now he is in an ecstasy of praise.” (Charles Spurgeon on Ps. 86:12).10

  • David professed his faith that God would make his eternal salvation possible. David gave thanks for his salvation: “You have saved my soul from the depths of Sheol.” (Ps. 86:13). David repeatedly proclaimed his faith that God would save his soul from eternal death: “For You will not abandon my soul to Sheol; You will not allow Your Holy One to undergo decay. You will make known to me the way of life; In Your presence is fullness of joy; In Your right hand there are pleasures forever.” (Ps. 16:10-11). “To rescue their soul from death and to keep them alive in famine. Our soul waits for the LORD; He is our help and our shield.” (Ps. 33:19-20). “But God will redeem my soul from the power of Sheol, for He will receive me. Selah” (Ps. 49:15). “For You have saved my soul from death, indeed my feet from stumbling, so that I may walk before God in the light of the living.” (Ps. 56:13). “God is to us a God of salvation; and to GOD the Lord belong ways of escape from death.” (Ps. 68:20).

  • David’s confidence in his salvation pointed to Jesus. Salvation was a mystery in David’s time. But you can rely upon Jesus’ promises. All who make Jesus their Lord and repent are promised salvation (Ro. 10:9). “David’s confidence in God’s power to deliver from Sheol (86:13) anticipates the firstfruits of the resurrection from the dead (1 Cor. 15:20, 23), the man who knew God’s character and work and entrusted himself to the one who judges justly (1 Pet. 2:23), enabling those who follow Him to entrust themselves to the faithful creator (1 Pet. 4:19). (James M. Hamilton Jr., Evangelical Bible Theology Commentary Psalms (Vol. II: Psalms 73-150) (Lexham Academic 2021) pgs. 117).

  • Give thanks for your salvation. David proclaimed: “12 I will give thanks to You, Lord my God, with all my heart, and I will glorify Your name forever.” (Ps. 86:12). The Psalms remind believers to give thanks for all God’s blessings: “A Psalm of David. I will give thanks to the LORD with all my heart; I will tell of all Your wonders.” (Ps. 9:1). “That I may proclaim with the voice of thanksgiving and declare all Your wonders.” (Ps. 26:7). “God, You have taught me from my youth, and I still declare Your wondrous deeds.” (Ps. 71:17). “A Psalm of Asaph, a Song. We give thanks to You, God, we give thanks, for Your name is near; people declare Your wondrous works.” (Ps. 75:1). Jesus also deserves your praise and thanks for your salvation.

7. Deliverance: God Will Deliver from Evil When Turn to Him. Ps. 86:14-17.

  • When you cry out to God, He can deliver you from evil. David concluded his psalm by praising God for His mercy and grace and crying out to Him to deliver him from the evil people who sought to kill him: “14 God, arrogant men have risen up against me, and a gang of violent men have sought my life, and they have not set You before them. 15 But You, Lord, are a compassionate and gracious God, slow to anger and abundant in mercy and truth. 16 Turn to me, and be gracious to me; grant Your strength to Your servant, and save the son of Your maidservant. 17 Show me a sign of good, that those who hate me may see it and be ashamed, because You, Lord, have helped me and comforted me.” (Ps. 86:14-17). “The expository idea may be written this way: Believers may pray with confidence for deliverance from arrogant, malicious enemies – even asking for a sign of good things to come – because God has compassion on the afflicted and is able to do amazing things. The more the psalmist reiterated the creedal expressions about God, the greater his faith grew in his difficult straits.” (Allen Ross, A Commentary of the Psalms: Volume 2 (42-89), Kregel Academic (2013) p. 793) (italics original).

  • Cry out to God when you need deliverance.  David complained “arrogant men have risen up against me, and a gang of violent men have sought my life,” (Ps. 86:14). David repeatedly called to God when his enemies tried to kill him: “For strangers have risen against me and violent men have sought my life; they have not set God before them. Selah” (Ps. 54:3). “A Psalm of David. Rescue me, LORD, from evil people; protect me from violent men” (Ps. 140:1). “Guard my soul and save me; do not let me be ashamed, for I take refuge in You.” (Ps. 25:20). If you are in need of deliverance, cry out to God.

  • Jesus’ model prayer included a petition for deliverance.  In His model prayer for believers, Jesus also urged believers to include a daily request for deliverance:  ‘“And do not lead us into temptation, but deliver us from evil.’”  (Matt. 6:13).  This is also His prayer for believers:  “I am not asking You to take them out of the world, but to keep them away from the evil one.”  (Jo. 17:15).  Are you praying for God’s daily protection?

  • Pray also for others in need of deliverance.  God also wants you to pray for others.  In response to Moses’ prayers, God repeatedly spared the Jews (e.g., Ex. 32:11-14; Nu. 14:18-22; 16:21-24).  The apostles also continually prayed for others.  “. . . I constantly remember you in my prayers night and day,”  (2 Tim. 1:3).  “. . . we have not ceased to pray for you and to ask that you may be filled with the knowledge of His will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding,”  (Col. 1:9).  “do not cease giving thanks for you, while making mention of you in my prayers;”  (Eph. 1:16).  “as we night and day keep praying most earnestly that we may see your face,  . . .” (1 Thess. 3:10).  You are part of Jesus’ holy priesthood  (1 Pet. 2:5, 9; Rev. 1:6).  As His appointed priest, you too have the power of intercessory prayer.  But it is unlikely to work if you lack faith.  “But he must ask in faith without any doubting, . . .”  (Jam. 1:6).  If you know someone who is under physical or spiritual attack, are you earnestly praying for their deliverance?

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