The aim of this devotional is to reflect on God’s loving nature, which makes him “ready to forgive”.
Psalms 86:1-7 [A Prayer of David]
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.
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 ready to forgive, 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.
Note: In this Psalm David give a reason for every petition he prays or every phrase of praise – it is meant as an encouragement and a teaching.
- Complete this Table by filling in the reasons or motivation (in your own words) why David petitions God for help in his troubles:
|86:1 For audience with the LORD.|
|86:2a For preservation.|
|86:2b For temporal salvation.|
|86:3 For gracious consideration.|
|86:4 For joy and gladness.|
|86:5 [following the previous petitions]|
|86:6 For audience with the Lord.|
|86:7 For help in the day of his trouble.|
(table from the Believer’s Bible Commentary)
- Focus on verse 5: “For you, O Lord, are good and ready to forgive, abounding in steadfast love to all who call upon you.”
- What do you learn about God’s character and nature in this line?
- Consider the Lord’s “steadfast love”, “goodness” and “readiness to forgive”
- What do you understand under each of these phrases?
- How does the Psalmist see the link between these characteristics?
- David wrote this Psalm. Can you think of a particular time in his life when He relied on God’s “steadfast love… ready to forgive”?
Personal reflection and prayer
- When you become aware of your character failures or your tendency to sin, do you tend to
- Shy away from God or godly people?
- Go confidently to God in prayer alone?
- Pray with a godly friend or small group/ Bible study group?
- What do you think the Psalmist did when he became aware of his sinfulness? And why?
- Mediate prayerfully on verse 5: “For you, O Lord, are good and ready to forgive, abounding in steadfast love to all who call upon you.”
- Are there sins you need to confess to God? He is “ready to forgive!”
- Ask that the Lord to reveal afresh his “steadfast love” to you!