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Psalm 86[a]

Prayer in Time of Distress

A prayer of David.


Incline your ear, Lord, and answer me,
    for I am poor and oppressed.
Preserve my life, for I am devoted;
    save your servant who trusts in you.
You are my God; be gracious to me, Lord;
    to you I call all the day.
Gladden the soul of your servant;
    to you, Lord, I lift up my soul.(A)
Lord, you are good and forgiving,
    most merciful to all who call on you.(B)
Lord, hear my prayer;
    listen to my cry for help.(C)
On the day of my distress I call to you,
    for you will answer me.


None among the gods can equal you, O Lord;
    nor can their deeds compare to yours.(D)
All the nations you have made shall come
    to bow before you, Lord,
    and give honor to your name.(E)
10 For you are great and do wondrous deeds;
    and you alone are God.


11 Teach me, Lord, your way
    that I may walk in your truth,(F)
    single-hearted and revering your name.
12 I will praise you with all my heart,
    glorify your name forever, Lord my God.
13 Your mercy to me is great;
    you have rescued me from the depths of Sheol.(G)
14 O God, the arrogant have risen against me;
    a ruthless band has sought my life;
    to you they pay no heed.
15 But you, Lord, are a compassionate and gracious God,
    slow to anger, abounding in mercy and truth.(H)
16 Turn to me, be gracious to me;
    give your strength to your servant;
    save the son of your handmaid.(I)
17 Give me a sign of your favor:
    make my enemies see, to their confusion,
    that you, Lord, help and comfort me.


  1. 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 86:1–7, 11–17).