Prayer in Time of Distress

1A prayer of David.


Incline your ear, LORD, and answer me,

for I am poor and oppressed.

2Preserve my life, for I am devoted;

save your servant who trusts in you.

You are my God; 3be gracious to me, Lord;

to you I call all the day.

4Gladden the soul of your servant;

to you, Lord, I lift up my soul.a

5Lord, you are good and forgiving,

most merciful to all who call on you.b

6LORD, hear my prayer;

listen to my cry for help.c

7On the day of my distress I call to you,

for you will answer me.


8None among the gods can equal you, O Lord;

nor can their deeds compare to yours.d

9All the nations you have made shall come

to bow before you, Lord,

and give honor to your name.e

10For you are great and do wondrous deeds;

and you alone are God.


11Teach me, LORD, your way

that I may walk in your truth,f

single-hearted and revering your name.

12I will praise you with all my heart,

glorify your name forever, Lord my God.

13Your mercy to me is great;

you have rescued me from the depths of Sheol.g

14O God, the arrogant have risen against me;

a ruthless band has sought my life;

to you they pay no heed.

15But you, Lord, are a compassionate and gracious God,

slow to anger, abounding in mercy and truth.h

16Turn to me, be gracious to me;

give your strength to your servant;

save the son of your handmaid.i

17Give me a sign of your favor:

make my enemies see, to their confusion,

that you, LORD, help and comfort me.

* [Psalm 86] An individual lament. The psalmist, “poor and oppressed” (Ps 86:1), “devoted” (Ps 86:2), “your servant” (Ps 86:2, 4, 16), “rescued…from the depths of Sheol” (Ps 86:13), attacked by the ruthless (Ps 86:14), desires only God’s protection (Ps 86:17, 1117).

a. [86:4] Ps 25:1; 143:8.

b. [86:5] Jl 2:13.

c. [86:6] Ps 5:2; 130:12.

d. [86:8] Ps 35:10; 89:9; Ex 15:11; Dt 3:24; Jer 10:6.

e. [86:9] Ps 22:28; Zec 14:16; Rev 15:4.

f. [86:11] Ps 25:4; 26:3; 27:11; 119:12, 35; 143:8, 10.

g. [86:13] Ps 30:4; 40:3; Jon 2:7.

h. [86:15] Ps 103:8; 130:7; 145:8; Ex 34:6.

i. [86:16] Ps 25:16; 116:16; Wis 9:5.

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