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psalms 86


"Incline your ear, O Lord, and answer me, for I am poor and needy. 2 Preserve my life, for I am godly; save your servant, who trusts in you—you are my God. 3 Be gracious to me, O Lord, for to you do I cry all the day. 4 Gladden the soul of your servant, for to you, O Lord, do I lift up my soul. 5 For you, O Lord, are good and  forgiving

abounding in steadfast love to all who call upon you. 6 Give ear, O Lord, to my prayer; listen to my plea for grace. 7 In the day of my trouble I call upon you, for you answer me. 8 There is none like you among the gods, O Lord, nor are there any works like yours. 9 All the nations you have made shall come and worship before you, O Lord,

and shall glorify your name. 10 For you are great and do wondrous things; you alone are God. 11 Teach me your way, O Lord, that I may walk in your truth; unite my heart to fear your name. 12 I give thanks to you, O Lord my God, with my whole heart, and I will glorify your name forever. 13 For great is your steadfast love toward me; 

you have delivered my soul from the depths of Sheol. 14 O God, insolent men have risen up against me; a

band of ruthless men seeks my life, and they do not set you before them. 15 But you, O Lord, are a God 

merciful and gracious, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love and faithfulness. 16 Turn to me and be gracious to me; give your strength to your servant, and save the son of your maidservant. 17 Show me a sign of your favor, that those who hate me may see and be put to shame because you, Lord, have helped me and comforted me."

vs. 1 - incline (natah) - "coming down, to stretch out, to extend, to bow, "

vs. 2 - preserve (shamar) - "to keep, to watch, to guard, to keep safe, to hedge about as with thorns, to protect"

vs. 2 - trusts (batach) - "to confide in anyone, to set one's hope and confidence upon anyone, to be secure, to fear nothing for oneself, to hie for refuge, to have confidence, to feel safe"

vs. 3 - be gracious (chanan) - "to be inclined towards, to be favorably inclined, to pity, to be compassionate, to bend or stoop in kindness to an inferior, to move to favor by petition"

vs. 3 - cry (qara') - "to address by name, to cry, to utter a loud sound, to call unto God, to be chosen"

vs. 3 - all the day (yowm) - "daily, continually, perpetually, every day"

vs. 5 - good (towb) - "kind, upright, beautiful, valuable in estimation, excellent"

vs. 5 - forgiving (callach) - "ready to forgive"

vs. 5 - abounding (rab) - "vast, great, large, plenteous, exceedingly, full, enough"

vs. 5 - steadfast love (checed) - "desire, ardour, zeal toward anyone, benevolence, mercy, pity, grace, mercy of God toward men, faithfulness"

vs. 5 - call (qara') - same meaning as verse 3 above

vs. 7 - answer ('anah) - "to reply, to hear and answer a petitioner, to answer anyone in anything, to be bountiful to him, to bestow the thing asked for, to respond"

vs. 10 - great (gadowl) - "great of magnitude and extent, magnitude of thy arm, great actions, God Himself"

vs. 10 - wondrous things (pala') - "to separate by a distinguishing action, to be extraordinary, to exert one's strength, to show oneself distinguished or strong, to be difficult to understand, to be beyond one's power"


vs. 11 - unite (yachad) - "to join, to become one, to be united"

vs. 11 - my heart (lebab) - "inner man, mind, will heart, soul, understanding, resolution, mind, memory, inclination, determination of the will, seat of appetites, seat of emotions and passions, seat of courage, the soul, a mode of thinking and acting, the faculty of thinking"

vs. 12 - glorify (kabad) - "to honor, to increase with honors, to render illustrious, to make weighty, to boast"

vs. 16 - turn to me (panah) - "to turn oneself to look at anything, to put a house in order, to clear from things in confusion, to clear a way, to prepare it, to direct one's course, personal presence, in the presence of Jehovah"

vs. 16 - give (nathan) - "to cause to receive, to place or set, to bestow, to be put upon"

vs. 16 - your strength ('oz) - "might, power, fence, protection, refuge, boldness, security"

vs .17 - helped ('azar) - "to aid, to protect, to support"

vs. 17 - comforted (nacham) - "to console, to pity, to have compassion"

What does this reveal about God's character?

God is good, ready to forgive us when we ask, and overflowing with love and faithfulness to those who believe in Him.  God hears and responds when we cry out to Him and call Him by name.  He answers our prayers, although sometimes not in the ways we hope or imagine, but He always answers with His best for us.  God is strong, powerful and mighty.  He displays His strength and great majesty through wondrous works and miracles, as a testimony of His glory and truth.  God directs our course and prepares the way for us.  Moreover than that, His presence accompanies us on our journey.  God comes to our aid and rescues us.  God comforts us in our sorrows.


1) Do I believe in the goodness of God?  Do I create a case against God by using the endless examples of evil present in the world?  Ask God to open your eyes to see His goodness and love.  He will prove Himself true to you when you earnestly seek Him with your heart (Jeremiah 29:13).


2) Calling someone by name implies a relationship and familiarity exists.  Do I have a relationship with God through Jesus Christ?  If not, please visit our Resources page for a prayer of repentance and acceptance of Jesus as your Savior.

3) Do I pray with expectation and anticipation of results?  God assures us in His Word that He hears us and responds to us.  He will answer our prayers in accordance with His Will (1 John 5:14).

4) How would others say I paint the name and character of God?  Do I talk out of both sides of my mouth?  Do my actions line up with my words?  Am I leading others to God or away from God with my portrayal of God and His love?

5) God is always with us, whether we feel it or not.  In what ways can I see the presence of God in my life and/or in my situation? 

6) Is my heart, mind, will, thoughts, actions and emotions unified in Christ (James 1:6-8)?  

7) Do I allow myself to receive the compassion and pity of the Lord?  In our culture today, pity is perceived as negative because humans are flawed and sinful in their execution of compassion.  But, to receive the pity of the Lord is a great thing.  It is through the pity He has for us that He rescues us; bestows kindness, love and mercy on us; forgives us and saves us from our sins.  


Father God, thank you for this wonderful and uplifting Psalm of David.  I praise your name, for you are great. You are abounding and overflowing with steadfast love, mercy and faithfulness to me.  You hear me and answer me always.  You perform great miracles.  You display your strength and might in my life, and place your power on me. Thank you for who you are and all you've done. Lord, I pray that you would reveal your goodness to me. In this world where sin and Satan run free, it can be overwhelming and difficult to see your goodness and your presence.  Show yourself to me in a tangible way.  When I doubt your goodness, be kind and gracious to me and let me see you in the situation.  I choose to believe you are good, no matter what my feelings may entice me to believe.  Lord, I pray for unification of mind, will and emotions.  I pray you would make me whole in Jesus, and that I would honor and praise you with my words, actions, decisions, and life.  May I always bring you glory and reflect your character with truth and accuracy.  Lord, I ask you to forgive my pride when I refuse the comfort, compassion and pity you offer with open hands.  I have been wounded by the world, which entangles pity with condescension.  Heal my wounded heart and soul.  I allow your compassion and mercy to wash over me and fill me with your love.  I allow you to restore and refresh my soul.  Thank you for hearing and answering the cry of my heart.  I love you.  In Jesus' name I pray, Amen!  

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