The Way to Pray (Psalm 86)

Teach me your way, LORD,
that I may rely on your faithfulness;
give me an undivided heart,
that I may fear your name (PSALM 86:11).

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We often want God to act in sudden moves to change our circumstances, but here David is asking to be taught, to be changed, and to create habits of reliance and reverence. This will require faithfulness from David, but, gratefully, he’s following the example of an immeasurably faithful God.

We often mistake our own faithlessness with what we perceive to be God’s. Do we pray without ceasing? Do we own our sin and confess it? Do we pray for God’s will rather than our own? Is it really God’s faithlessness we think we experience or just the reflection of ours? God is not unfaithful, and we think too highly of ourselves if we believe that we are not. Someone said it well: God writes with a pen that never blots, speaks with a tongue that never slips, and acts with a hand that never fails. God is more reliable than the sun rising in the east and setting in the west. Our God is faithful to hear, act, and move on our behalf.

52 Weeks Through the Psalms

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Isn’t it interesting that David knew he (and we) must be taught to rely on God’s faithfulness? Why is that? Perhaps it’s because—as David also noted we too often have a divided heart. We want to rely on God’s faithfulness, but something happens that causes us to look at our circumstances in order to determine the level of God’s care. If, however, we keep our eyes on God, we can believe in his faithfulness throughout our momentarily adverse circumstances.

Let’s pray: God, forgive me for my divided heart.
Create in me a single heart and a single eye to see all circumstances through the lens of your faithfulness.

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James Merritt. 52 Weeks Through The Psalms Devotional. Harvest House Publishers. Eugene, Oregon, 2018.