THE GOODNESS OF GOD:
Psalm 86 is a prayer mingled with fourteen requests and praise for God. David wrote in a time of overwhelming stress due to great adversity. He overcame his distress when he focused on the excellence of God through praise and worship.
1. Read Psa. 86. What did David request in verse 1? How did he describe his condition? Since he was a king with great wealth, what do you think he really meant by his description?
2. David has another request in verse 2; what is it? How did he describe his devotion to God? (Note: The KJV translates “I am devoted to you” as “I am holy” and the NASB translates it as “I am a godly man.”)
3. Is the answer to question #2 true in your life? Are these qualities what you typically use to evaluate your devotion to God?
4. From verse 3, how did David’s request indicate an intimate relationship with God?
5. In verse 4, what did David request? What does “I lift up my soul” mean? (Note: Soul is the inner being of a person.)
6. From Psa. 86:5, what is God’s reaction to the “all day” prayer requests of David? How does trusting that God is good encourage your prayer life?
7. Do you communicate requests to God all day when you are troubled and stressed? Explain. Have you ever felt like God tires of your repetitive prayer requests for forgiveness of sin or help in times of trouble? What have verses 3 and 5 led you to think about God’s willingness to hear and answer your prayers?
8. Review verses 1-5. What were the qualities in David’s personal life that qualified him to boldly communicate requests in prayer all day long? Explain what devotion to God produced in David’s prayer life.
9. According to verses 6-7, of what was David fully confident?
10. In verse 8, David contrasted His true God with the false gods of the heathen nations. What was his comparison? Write your own comparison. How will the nations eventually respond to the true God?
11. Why does God deserve glory?
12. According to verse 11, what were David’s requests? (Note: “Fear” in this verse means awe or reverent fear.) Explain what walking in truth means. What is an undivided heart?
13. Have you ever prayed using Psa. 86:11 for yourself? Is anything in your life preventing you from making this request?
14. From Psa. 86:12-14, what does David promise? Why?
15. Review verses 14-17. In verse 14, David was more specific about the affliction that was overwhelming him in the beginning verses. David overcame his distress when he focused on the excellence of God through prayer, praise, and worship. List God’s attributes and character qualities that were meaningful to David. What are David’s requests?
16. Why did David desire a sign of God’s goodness?
17. What did David reveal in verse 17 that indicated God’s presence and activity in the midst of his adversity? Have you ever experienced this marvelous blessing of God? How is this an encouragement to you for the future? Explain.
18. David overcame his distress when he focused on the excellence of God through prayer, praise, and worship. Use your list in question #15 to worship and praise God.
“What, then, is the essence of worship? It is the celebration of God! When we worship God, we celebrate Him: We extol Him, we sound His praises, we boast in Him.” —Ronald Allen
Journal your thoughts and insights.
© Copyright 2005 Bonnie Lisech (Permission granted to copy for nonprofit use.) Scriptures are taken from the NIV unless noted. [email protected]
With special thanks to Jan Harris for editorial perspective and Barb Snyder for editorial detail.
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