Depths that Rescue
I thank You, Lord, for Your encircling vigilance. You are always watching over me, marking me with Your presence.
Read Psalm 86:1-17
A prayer of David.
Scripture taken from the THE HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION, NIV Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
“This is…a lonely prayer” (Derek Kidner, 1913-2008). We need lonely prayers for those difficulties we have to meet on our own. But even when lonely, we are not alone. Prayer claims the company and care of God.
Imagine a trout making its way up-river during a summer drought. There is hardly enough water to swim in. The sun is strong, and the fish’s back feels the dry heat. Then a pool appears ahead, where the water is deeper and cooler. The trout plunges eagerly forward and dives down. This will give refreshment and renewal for the hard journey of the day. So it is when a believer takes up God’s promises. Though life is arduous and tough, there is refreshment and restoration in the deep waters of truth, for the next stage of the way.
That picture is very like Psalm 86. The lines of the psalm tell of tribulation and threat. The situation is harsh, and circumstances are bearing heavily on the writer’s spirit. He holds before God a sense of poverty and helplessness (1), of trouble and crisis (7), of attack and opposition (14,17). He is in a tight spot and needs God’s help. The psalm reaches for the deep resources of faith.
The word “servant” (2,4) is a high claim. A servant in Israel was more than an employee, but part of the household, living under the protection of his or her lord. To serve the Lord God is a life of belonging in which it is right and proper to call for help. God’s love and compassion can be counted upon (5,13,15), and God’s power too (8-10). This is a Lord who surely wants to show mercy, and who is able to make a difference.
The psalm’s title does not mention any specific circumstance, and perhaps this makes the prayer more versatile. It offers itself to us in troubles of many kinds, that we too may face them refreshed and restored.
The psalmist gives God four reasons why he should answer his prayer (1-4). What are they? What is the biggest reason you would say why God should answer your prayer?
Lord, in the face of stress and troubles, I need to be refreshed and restored. Thank You that I am never alone.