Prayer: Is Your Heart ’Joy-Full’?

David sings a song of rejoicing and supplication in his prayer Psalm 86. We can learn so very much about how to live daily within the perfect realm of God’s will from this psalm.

David has a wonderful way of supplication and reasons for his requests all through his songs and prayers, and here, he asks for God to hear him because he is needy and poor. There is only one person in all the universe who can fulfill all our needs. Humans are needy to the point of desperation. David is completely open about his deep need. Are you? We humans have a tendency to hope others will fill our needs, yet we get disappointed all the time. Sometimes the disappoint comes from a minor thing like forgetting a date, other times it is a major infraction like betrayal or even adultery. When people we trust and have faith in prove to have feet made of clay, it is difficult to put a lot of trust in Someone you can’t see or taste.

I found it so difficult early in my adult years to fully trust God with all my needs. He never failed me, but as each situation arose, I found myself in constant fear that God would “forget me” or that He would find someone else or something else much more worthy of His attention. There were times when I prayed that I gave God a list of ways He could solve the current problem without realizing that I was only asking for a salad at a prime rib restaurant. When I finally realized that God wanted me to have the prime rib, fully loaded baked potato, salad, iced tea with flaming cherries jubilee and coffee for desert it was much better than a “Wow! I coulda had a V-8 moment”. Trusting that God has His best reserved for the obedient child is hard to do especially when days and weeks go by and we do not see any solution to a problem. God’s perfect timing is wondrous; and we can rest on His promises for He never breaks even one. David knew this, and God had strengthened his faith before his troubles began with Saul.

Because David was completely honest with God, we can be sure that he truly did call upon the Lord all through the day and night. Dining at God’s table everyday is a must. How can we know the voice of God, be sure that it is Him and not our own fleshly desire or Satan’s misguidance if we do not make time for God every day? When we do, our heart instantly recognizes God’s voice because He is a very personal God who desire a deeply personal relationship. If Jesus had not used Lazarus’ name when He said, “Come out!” I believe all the graves would have opened and all the people would have walked out. This illustrates how efficient God is with His voice and how individual He is with His answers and His will.

David calls himself “holy” in verse two. We have been taught the Greek word translated holy means to be set apart, sanctified. But here the Hebrew word is חסיד châ̂yd (khaw-seed') which means properly kind, that is, (religiously) pious (a saint): – godly (man), good, holy (one), perhaps more practically: merciful. David lived a godly and merciful life leaning upon Jehovah from the time he was a boy. Just as Jesus said in His sermon on the mount, “Blessed are the merciful for they shall obtain mercy,” David was extremely merciful to Saul—and innocent of the charges laid against him—showing he lived by the principle before Jesus taught it, and that could only come from God Himself. This is one reason why God called him the apple of His eye and a man after His own heart. David bent his knee and his neck to Jehovah.

He was no stranger to confessing his sin. Several psalms are devoted to that very subject which gives us an excellent basis to understand that while David called upon the Father daily, he also expressed his deep desire for alignment to God’s will. His life, except for about a year of disobedience with Bathsheba, was built upon obedience to God. We know that David confessed his sins because his psalms indicate that clearly, but that he wasn’t using confession as a reason for God to help him.

David easily falls back upon, or rests in the power of God because he knows in the day of his trouble that God will answer him. God had done it before beginning with giving him strength to kill a bear and a lion with bare hands when he was watching his father’s sheep. He discussed his needs openly with the LORD and he trusted God would fill those needs, for only God could fill his needs. That is such a wonderful testimony for us today.

Then he asks something extraordinary. He asks God to “Rejoice my soul…” That Hebrew word שׂמח śâmach (saw-makh') which is a primitive root and most likely means to brighten up, or to make joyful, make merry or gleesome. David recognizes that it is through God Almighty that joy comes, being right with Him, and he trusts God by committing his life, soul, heart to Him. He knows joy is not a destination but a state of being that is outside of any situations or circumstances. He asserts his recognition that God is the one who bestows this gift upon His children. We can choose to be happy and content, but God is the one who gives us joy.

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