Message: ‘God’s goodness shows up in our lives everyday’ Text: Psalm 86
Introduction: I recently read an article in Psychology Today called ‘The Digital Psychological Disconnect’ written by Shoba Sreenivasan and Linda Weinberger. The general idea is this: Quote
It seems to be saying that the more we use social media to ‘share our thoughts,’ rather than in person, the less connected we become to the people around us.
Now, this article was not a religious one, but I can see its connection.
The strangest thing is this: more often than not, our ‘friends’ on social media can’t actually help us.
With great regularity, I see this on social media, it leads me to be concerned that we’re developing a ‘spiritual disconnect’ with God.
And the result is that we feel just like the people in the Psychology Today article who are connecting to devices more than to people. Let me remind you of what they found out:
When we fail to regularly ‘connect’ with God through prayer, and instead try to ‘connect’ with people, through social media, it’ll draw us away from God because we’ll begin to doubt His presence, His power and His love in our lives.
Psalm 86 is a prayer of David.
As I read it, it’s almost as if David is saying
Christian, prayer is not justrepeating to God your spiritual wish list. Prayer, is one of the ways we nurture, deepen our relationship with God.
Over the next few weeks or so, we’ll be looking at prayers in the Bible and how those prayers can
Transition: Open your Bibles to Psalm 86
1. Psalm 86:1-7 David’s need pt.1
1 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. 3Be 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. 6Give 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.
First notice David is asking God for things he needs:
From these verses we can feel David’s loneliness, his sense of isolation. He feels pressured, like he’s backed into a corner with no where to turn.
We see that David cries out to God from a place of need. Let’s remember something: who is David?
You see, David first and foremost approaches God from a place of humility. He knows he can not get through this difficult situation, w/o God.
Every line of this Psalm, every word of David’s prayer, acknowledges that God alone is David’s only source of help.
To help us get that picture, David describes himself as:
But notice that in the midst of David pouring out his need to God, David takes the time to acknowledge his relationship with God.
5 For you, O Lord, are good and forgiving, abounding in steadfast love to all who call upon you.
David who is one of the all who call upon you, could only have known those things about God, because he had a deep, ongoing relationship with Him.
Natalie Grant has a song called ‘More Than Anything.’ I love it! The chorus goes like this:
Help me want the healer more than the healing.
Help me want the savior more than the saving.
Help me want the giver more than the giving.
Oh help me want you Jesus more than anything.
That’s where David is in this Psalm.
Christian, in the midst of your despair, of your struggle, in humility, seek the face of God, tell Him all your needs.
But… also take the time to remember who God is to you and spend time nurturing your relationship, your fellowship with Him.
2. Psalm 86:8-10 David’s praise pt.1
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.
Here David shouts out in praise, God’s awe-inspiring character.
Do you see it again?
David reminds God; really reminding himself, that God has in the past, done wonderful, great things for him. With the idea that He will continue to do them…
David cries out There is none like You among the gods, O Lord.Gods here refers to idols.
Here David reminds us that in all the world, yes, even in all of social media, there is no one like our God, no one who can do these great and wonderous things.
3. Psalm 86:11 David’s desire
11 Teach me Your way, O Lord, that I may walk in Your truth; unite my heart to fear Your name.
It’s here I believe, that we get to the heart of David’s prayer. He has 2 very important requests of God: Teach me Your way. Unite my heart.
Teach me Your way, O Lord. Lord, here is Jehovah, the relationship keeping God. David, in great humility, is asking Jehovah for a teachable heart.
Unite my heart to fear Your name. David’s heart is torn between looking to the world and being obedient to His God.
David, with some honest reflection, can see this and asks God to give him a single heart for Him. An undivided heart loyal only to his Lord.
David was asking his Lord to gather the fragmented pieces of his heart and hold it together by His sovereign and loving hands.
One of the greatest things we can ask God for dear Christian, is an undivided, teachable heart.
4. Psalm 86:12-13 David’spraise pt.2
12 I give thanks to You, O Lord my God, with my whole heart, and I will glorify Your name forever. 13For great is Your steadfast love toward me; You have delivered my soul from the depths of Sheol.
This is David’s 2nd shout of praise to God. Note David’s praise is for the future work of God in his life.
David can say this because it won’t be the first time God has done this for him.
For David, because God has heard his past prayers, this assures him God will hear to his current prayers as well.
But remember, he also asks God to give him a teachable heart. Why? Because God may not answer him in the same way, in the same time,as He did before.
And that challenges us to look back and see how God has heard our prayers and praise Him today that He will hear our cries during our current time of trouble surrounding the Coronavirus, or whatever your current trouble might be.
5. Psalm 86:14-17 David’s need pt.2
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.
David’s enemies are confident that they will bring him down. But,they don’t have a relationship with God.
But praise God,
God will not give him what he deserves, instead
All of that because David has a relationship with God through faith.
Finally David ends his prayer with asking God for a sign of His favor.
The text makes it very clear what David is asking. He saying God, do something, anything that shows You and I are in a relationship.
I know it doesn’t say that, but it implies it when he says that those who hate me may see and be put to shame. Follow me on this:
Conclusion: Pastor Ray Steadman tells the following story: President Lincoln came to know Christ personally through the burdens that he faced during the Civil War. He later said, “I have been driven many times to my knees by the overwhelming conviction that I had absolutely no other place to go.
That was a man who understood that he needed God in his life. That w/o him, he could do nothing. So he was a man who was committed to prayer.
Are you committed to prayer? Have the challenges of the past month or so, driven you to your knees?