Reading: Psalm 86:1-7
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 (NIV).*
What posture or position do you take when you pray? Do you kneel, stand or lie prostrate? Do you bow your head, or raise your head and look heavenward? Do you fold your hands or raise them to God?
The Bible describes people taking various positions or postures in prayer. We cannot be certain of the physical position that David took when he prayed the words of Psalm 86. But we can be sure of this. In his heart David assumed a position of humility. His opening statement reveals a man with a humble heart. Hear me, LORD, and answer me, for I am poor and needy.
David spent about forty years as the King of Israel. Though his early years were a struggle for survival against the murderous schemes of King Saul, David’s later years were blessed by victory and prosperity. But here in this psalm David calls himself poor and needy. He exemplifies for us the first of Jesus’ Beatitudes. “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven” (Matthew 5:3).
In God’s eyes we are always poor and needy. Though I may have billions of dollars, what is my piddling prosperity in the sight of the owner and Creator of the universe? Can that money buy me an hour in heaven? Can it buy me immortality? Of course it can’t. Despite his vast wealth, Apple founder Steve Jobs was unable to buy a longer life. In the end, like King David, Jobs found he was helpless, poor and needy.
In light of this truth—in the light of eternity—let us come—poor beggars that we are to the mercy seat of God. There we can lay our burdens down. There we can humbly bring our petitions. There we can meet with Jesus. For you know that it was not with perishable things such as silver or gold that you were redeemed from the empty way of life handed down to you from your ancestors, but with the precious blood of Christ, a lamb without blemish or defect (1 Peter 1:18-19).
Response: LORD God, I confess I am poor and needy. My future, my whole life is in your hands. I do not own my next breath. When I am in distress, I call to you, because you answer me. Amen.
Your Turn: Pride and prayer don’t fit well together. What positions do you take when you pray?
* NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION, COPYRIGHT ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 BY BIBLICA
Please pray for the people of Ukraine!
Volume I of Psalms 365: Develop a Life of Worship and Prayer has won the 2021 Best Book of the Year Award and for those who love God’s word, it’s an ideal way to daily meet with the Lord. For a closer look at Volumes II and III click here.
Alan Kearns said:
On a practical note my knees and balance are dodgy, getting on the floor could become a prolonged visit until someone helped me up 😂
I love how you point out it is about the posture of the heart more than the body, after all God searches a man’s heart. I generally pray at our dining table bowed before Him, and pain free with no distractions. He is an amazing God, providing for our every need…even in prayer.
I need to daily thank the Lord for my mobility. He is good and always worthy of praise and adoration.
The Devotional Guy™ said:
Intriguing post. A long time ago, I used to believe that in order to pray you had to kneel and your eyes had to be closed or it didn’t count. As I grew in my spiritual understanding, I recognized that the posture of my heart is what matters most. Am I humble? Am I in reverent awe? Am I contrite and ready to confess my sins?
Great post with lots to think about. Thanks.
Thanks Devotional Guy. To your excellent questions I would add, “In my daily walk am I in conversation with God?” We should set aside times for prayer, but in our mind, also engage with God throughout our day. That’s how we pray continually (without ceasing) 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18.
How true, it is the attitude of the heart, the sincerity when we ask, and how quick we need an answer. Example: when Peter walked on the water and took his eyes off Jesus, his attitude, sincerity and need all came together quickly. He prayed standing up, quickly, and sincerely. He needed help and he needed it right now. And Jesus answered. Praise the Lord!!
“…call on me in the day of trouble;
I will deliver you, and you will honor me” (Psalm 50:15, NIV).