Editor's note: Join disciples around the world in January as we devote ourselves to prayer and action. Each day, Disciples Today will publish a devotional from 31 Days of Prayer by Daniel Berk. Follow along on Facebook with your comments and prayer requests. We look forward to an amazing year as we seek God together!
Arrogant foes are attacking me, O God;
ruthless people are trying to kill me—
they have no regard for you.
But you, Lord, are a compassionate and gracious God,
slow to anger, abounding in love and faithfulness.
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.
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.
v.14. Though you may not be getting attacked (or maybe you are in serious danger of this happening), there are people that surround us every day who do not regard the Lord. We are automatically set apart from the majority of the world if we confess like Christ is the Messiah and that God is the creator. Those who have no regard for him are those whom we reach out for and find.
v.15. God is compassionate and gracious. This is something I've learned sevenfold this week. As I wrote a few days ago, different layers of my heart have been peeled back this week, revealing some parts of me that I can become more aware of and work towards transforming into a reflection of Christ. Because of God's character, I am calm and at peace as I become more like him. It is not a burden, but rather a joy and a privilege, an opportunity.
v.16. This verse says a lot. My mother (and father) both served God before me. There is so much to be said about this, more than I can get into for now. God's mercy is tremendous, and his strength overwhelming. I believe God shows his strength to us in the way he loves us and forgives us. Few things take greater strength than to forgive someone when they've personally wronged you. The amount of times I've personally wronged God in heaven is innumerable, yet he continues to forgive, because he is great and awesome, and he is gracious and perfect.
v. 17. When we pray this prayer, we often wait until "the perfect sign" has been shown us. However, God has already answered this prayer in a way. God's goodness has been shown to us for ages, since before we were born and since before Earth was created. The signs of his goodness are all around us, in the trees, oceans, air, grass, universe. All we need to do is look through the lens of creation, and we will see infinite signs from the Almighty. His creation is what can comfort us. We must only have the right perspective.
This is the last day of Psalm 86 during the 31 Days of Prayer. Go back through the last four days if you are just now joining. Pray through the entire thing, focusing on the parts that change your personal perspective. Allow David's perspective to become your own. Pay attention to the way he approaches God intimately and emotionally. From now on, decide to pray in a way as to reveal your heart to God so he can change you from the inside out.