Psalm 86, Praying With Arguments

The theme of this psalm is the mercy and compassion of God. We are not given the details of the circumstance from which David is motivated to pray. But the situation is grim and appears to even be life threatening. Rather than simply make his pleas to God, David prays with arguments. David presents arguments for why God should answer his prayers.

The first thing that is interesting about this psalm is that David does not address exactly what he needs. David does not describe his circumstances. David does not describe the type of deliverance he needs. We have seen in many of the psalms David explain how he needs deliverance from his enemies or to have his life saved. In verse 1 David asks the Lord to listen and to answer him. David asks for his life to be protected in verse 2 and asks for mercy in verse 3 and verse 6. Graciousness is requested again in verse 16. So we are left in the dark as to what is going on. However, it is important to consider that we can go to God and pray without knowing what we want God to do. It seems that all David knows to ask for is mercy and protection. He does not know how that mercy may come about but seems to be entrusting his life to God to take of that. We need to remember to pray to God not only when we think we know what we need but also when we do not know what we need. You and I do not have to know what we need. We can just know that we need God and leave the rest in his hands to provide for us.

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