NOTHING IS OFF-LIMITS

Opening Prayer

I praise you, God, for the amazing promise that Jesus is the way, the truth and the life (John 14:6).

Read PSALM 86

Psalm 86

A prayer of David.

Hear me, Lord, and answer me,
    for I am poor and needy.
Guard my life, for I am faithful to you;
    save your servant who trusts in you.
You are my God; have mercy on me, Lord,
    for I call to you all day long.
Bring joy to your servant, Lord,
    for I put my trust in you.

You, Lord, are forgiving and good,
    abounding in love to all who call to you.
Hear my prayer, Lord;
    listen to my cry for mercy.
When I am in distress, I call to you,
    because you answer me.

Among the gods there is none like you, Lord;
    no deeds can compare with yours.
All the nations you have made
    will come and worship before you, Lord;
    they will bring glory to your name.
10 For you are great and do marvelous deeds;
    you alone are God.

11 Teach me your way, Lord,
    that I may rely on your faithfulness;
give me an undivided heart,
    that I may fear your name.
12 I will praise you, Lord my God, with all my heart;
    I will glorify your name forever.
13 For great is your love toward me;
    you have delivered me from the depths,
    from the realm of the dead.

14 Arrogant foes are attacking me, O God;
    ruthless people are trying to kill me—
    they have no regard for you.
15 But you, Lord, are a compassionate and gracious God,
    slow to anger, abounding in love and faithfulness.
16 Turn to me and have mercy on me;
    show your strength in behalf of your servant;
save me, because I serve you
    just as my mother did.
17 Give me a sign of your goodness,
    that my enemies may see it and be put to shame,
    for you, Lord, have helped me and comforted me.

New International Version (NIV)Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

Meditate

‘Know that the Lord is God. It is he who made us, and we are his; we are his people, the sheep of his pasture.’1 Rejoice in being a sheep!

Think Further

The psalms demonstrate that the Israelites clearly felt there was nothing off-limits with God in terms of expressing their feelings. In our psalm today, we can capture something of the desperation of the writer in the plea for rescue and the cry to God for help.

As verse 14 indicates, the psalmist is being attacked by people who arrogantly dismiss God as an irrelevance. However, the psalmist is confident that God will act precisely because of who he is— the incomparably great God before whom even the pagan nations will one day worship (vv. 8–10). It is God’s nature that motivates the psalmist’s prayer (v. 5). In times of trouble the psalmist finds comfort in God’s nature and so commits to God and his service (vv. 11–17), despite circumstances. Even as the psalmist pleads with God, commitment to him is renewed with the request for single-minded devotion to God (v. 11). Despite challenging circumstances, the writer is confident in God, even if those circumstances challenge that confidence.

At the beginning of 2020, very few could have predicted the challenging circumstances of the Covid-19 pandemic. The ‘arrogant foes’ (v. 14) we faced were not human but they were no less a threat to life and I am sure we all cried out to God for his mercy. The emotions we felt and might still feel are not inappropriate for the faithful follower of God. This psalm illustrates that. Perhaps you need to pour out your emotions to God. After all, he is ‘abounding in love to all who call to him’ (v. 5).

Apply

What emotions do you need to pour out to God? Nothing is off-limits. There is nothing you can say that will surprise him. Give him your honesty.

Closing prayer

Thank you, Jesus, that you have not only told me how to please God; you have shown me. Help me to be more like you—doing what you have told me to do and following in your footsteps.

Last Updated on March 17, 2024 by kingstar

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