In Psalm 86, David appeals to God. He insists that God answer his prayers for several reasons. Boice agrees with Spurgeon’s insistence that any prayer to God should be buttressed by reasonable arguments. He even suggests that if we don’t have good reasons why God should say “Yes” to our prayers, our prayers are probably inappropriate. David gives God four reasons that He should give him his requests.

First, “For I am poor and needy” (v. 1). What he wants is something he has no power to produce himself. It’s one thing to pray for straight A’s and another thing to pray for the healing of a sick child. Straight As can be achieved through my own hard work, but the healing of a child is out of our hands. God wants to hear that we need him! God has promised to help the “needy.” Second, David says, “For I am devoted to you” (v. 2). He sees himself as God’s servant, thus, God has responsibilities towards those who serve Him. David uses the term “Adonai” seven times, which might be rendered, master or boss. Just as an employee and employer share responsibilities towards each other so too do those who serve God. Third,
David says, “For I call to you all day long” (v. 3). It’s not a demand or an ultimatum. It’s simply a request. He knows God is a “prayer-answering” God so David takes his need directly to Him. The fourth reason is, “For to you, O Lord, I lift up my soul” (v. 4). David is emphasizing the fact that God is his only hope. He’s not going to mediums, or horoscopes, or witch doctors! He’s looking only to God. He knows that only the one true God can truly give the help he needs.

But there is one more reason, and it’s the best in my opinion. It’s in verse 13, “For great is your love toward me.” God’s steadfast love is the theme of this Psalm. It shows up 3 times. In Hebrew the word translated “love” is “Hesed,” which refers to covenanted love, love that is promised in a covenant relationship. God had established a covenant like this with David. As His children through faith in His son, He has established that covenant with us as well. As part of the family, we have family privileges. Jesus said, “Which of you, if his son asks for bread, will give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a snake? If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him!”

“Help us, O God of our salvation! Help us for the glory of your name. Save us and forgive our sins for the honor of your name.” (Psalm 79:9)