David’s written prayers in Psalms can help us keep a Prayer Journal

Psalm 86 is one of the first prayers listed in the book of Psalms. The other four are found in Psalm 17, Psalm 90, Psalm 102 and Psalm 142. David wrote these prayers or you can letters to God.

A good movie about writing prayers is Letters to God. is about a young boy with cancer who writes to God on how he is feeling and going through.

Psalm 86 can help us learn to improve our prayer life.

Psalm 86:1-7

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.

David’s expressions

David here express his need for God. He started with his greatest need. David often followed with a request by a reason to respond. He asked God to hear him first. He was poor and needy. He asked God to help him with what he needed. He also asked him to preserve his soul. To seek forgiveness and have mercy on him. Everyone is a sinner and none is perfect, but David admitted to God. David always trusted God.

Our prayer should express our needs but also expectation that God will respond. We can always expect God to forgive our sins when we ask him and turn from the wrongdoing.

God also thought his disciples how to pray, the Lord’s Prayer. Matthew 6:9-13.

Written prayers

You can write your prayers to keep a journal per say. To write your needs, answered prayers, reasons for God to answer and more to help us guide our prayers and worship. It help us remember our recent prayers.

Screen shot of image search on Prayer Journals.
Screen shot of image search on Prayer Journals.

Psalm 86:8-13

Among the gods there is none like you, Lord;
no deeds can compare with yours.
All the nations you have made
will come and worship before you, Lord;
they will bring glory to your name.
10 For you are great and do marvelous deeds;
you alone are God.

11 Teach me your way, Lord,
that I may rely on your faithfulness;
give me an undivided heart,
that I may fear your name.
12 I will praise you, Lord my God, with all my heart;
I will glorify your name forever.
13 For great is your love toward me;
you have delivered me from the depths,
from the realm of the dead.

David’s focus on prayer

Now David puts his focus on God to help and teach him. To do God’s will. He did say before he asked to teach him, that God is one of a kind. He also declared that you God are the creator of all. David gave God the credit that God should get from us. Back in David’s time God’s word came in other methods than in our time now. Mostly then in written law, prophets, dreams and visions. Today His word is spoken through Jesus Christ, His son, our Savior. The Bible gives us today’s written Word of God.

Verse 11, 11 Teach me your way, Lord, that I may rely on your faithfulness; give me an undivided heart, that I may fear your name. Is a good verse to keep in mind and learn.

Word hell in this case was meaning to deliver him from dead. That is where the wicked received punishment. To be of One heart is an expression of deep desire for God to act. Even with death, God give us life with him.

A quote

W. Graham Scroggie, a British pastor quoted saying …

“Consecration makes us saints: Concentration makes us strong.”

That’s Unusual

Check out this blog post, I read just a few days ago. That’s Unusual. At the end of that blog post it shows about the symbol of a heart. It is also a must read about gifts and how people often don’t take them, when Jesus Christ gave us the greatest gift, yet not many accept that gift.

 Psalm 86:15-16

15 But you, Lord, are a compassionate and gracious God,
slow to anger, abounding in love and faithfulness.
16 Turn to me and have mercy on me;
show your strength in behalf of your servant;
save me, because I serve you
just as my mother did.

David’s life wasn’t easy

David life wasn’t that easy. As verse 14 says … “Arrogant foes are attacking me, O God; ruthless people are trying to kill me they have no regard for you. Even his own family was out kill him. But he still knew God was compassionate and gracious. David was also confident in God and that God will provide.

David also ask for strength, a Godly strength. We know that the devil will tempt us like crazy, but with God we can over come the devil. We can rebuke the devil in Jesus name. Prayer is strong. When we have a need, we go to our Heavenly Father and ask for that need. God will give us what he desires us to have. Remember it’s all in His will, not our own or will of others. Only the will of God.

Ask God to have His will done in your life so that the unbelievers will see and want to come to the Lord too. We should pray and pray often. Pray without ceasing, as 1 Thessalonians 5:17 tells us.

We always are in a need for God. God is our provider, our Heavenly Father, our Savior. He is are everything.

Hear and respond

God will hear and respond. It may not be today or tomorrow. God will respond. So trust in God! When we pray, we show we are in the presence of God. We show we have a personal relationship with God. When we are in presence of God, we see our need to talk to him and worship Him.

Prayer shouldn’t be routine. We should thank God and ask for help! Allow the Holy Spirit to lead your prayer.

Prayer Journal

Keep a prayer journal. Write down what you pray for. Write down the answered prayers. Maybe how you felt God answered that prayer of yours. Prayer journals can be made of anything and look like different things. The picture with this post is a screen shot of me doing an image search on google for prayer journals.

I had this verse written in my notes too:  Better is one day in your courts than a thousand elsewhere; I would rather be a doorkeeper in the house of my God than dwell in the tents of the wicked. This verse is found in Psalm 84:10. It reminds me of the Song Better is One Day by Charlie Hall.

Read more about having a Prayer Journal

Other blog post on Prayer

Or click here to see an achieve of prayer blog post.

Response time

Do you keep a prayer journal? If so please share about that experience. Do you feel you have something to share on this blog post? Feel free to share that too.


  • These are my notes from a Sunday School lesson from March 11, 2012 at Piedmont Baptist Church. It came from LifeWords Bible Studies for Life lesson book from Lifeway. Found on pages 16-23 of that lesson book of the Spring 2012 issue.

First published March 6, 2013. Republishing September 14, 2015.

About the Author

Author: Steve Patterson

A Christian Blogger that enjoys blogging about the Bible, Theology, God, Jesus Christ, Christian Music, Family, Cats, Odd Holidays, sewing and much more. I have been blogging since 2004, however, I have been blogging on Courageous Christian Father since 2012. I enjoy listening to Christian Music. I am married with 1 daughter, 2 step-sons and a step daughter.

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