Day 9

A Prayer for Mercy

from the Psalms for Prayer reading plan


Psalm 6:1-10

Mercy is one of the foremost attributes of God and one of the most highly sought after blessings in Scripture. Sadly, it is not highly valued in a society that praises strength, confidence, assertiveness, and independence. Crying out to God for mercy involves acknowledging our sinfulness and our absolute dependence upon Him to freely offer His forgiveness and sustaining grace. One of the fascinating truths in Scripture is that everyone who ever cried out to God for mercy was heard. But today’s psalm is not just an example of how we can pray—-it is an encouragement to all who call on the God of mercy.

The psalmist was often crying out to God in the midst of exceedingly difficult situations in which he found himself—situations that were sometimes caused by his own sin, and others that were brought about by the attacks of his enemies. Whenever he felt overwhelmed by the pressures of life or by the danger of a particular circumstance, the psalmist looked upward to the God who rules and reigns over all to deliver and rescue.

What is most interesting about David’s prayers for mercy is that there is a mysterious conjunction of his sense of desperation and his confidence in God’s deliverance. Taken at face value, these two realities seem antithetical. However, we must remember that David knew God’s covenant promises and pleaded with Him for mercy on the basis of those promises. David knew that everyone who cried out to God on the basis of His mercy would receive the mercy for which he cried out. He knew the Lord heard his plea for help, that He accepted it, and would be faithful to answer him (Psalm 6:9).

We, too, must turn to God whenever we recognize that we have sinned against Him, as well as at those times when we feel overwhelmed by the difficult circumstances of life. We must acknowledge our weakness, fears, struggles, and doubts while hoping in the God who reveals Himself as being “merciful and gracious, slow to anger and abounding in loving-kindness” (Psalm 103:8).

We can rest assured that God will be merciful to those who cry out to Him for mercy, because He withheld that mercy from His Son as Jesus cried out on the cross, in our place, “My God, My God, Why have You forsaken Me?” (Matthew 27:46; Psalm 22:1). It is only in Christ that all of the mercy of God is extended to us. If we are looking to Him alone for mercy, we can be confident that He “is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness” (1 John 1:19).

Written by Nick Batzig

Post Comments (4)

4 thoughts on "A Prayer for Mercy"

  1. Jonathan Generous says:

    Thank you for listening to my concerns dad, even when I’ve heaped them onto myself. Protect me from my tendency to think I must do everything in my own strength, from valuing my limited strength over your unlimited strength. Dependence on you brings life. Shape my heart with this truth and lead me towards full surrender. Thank you for your endless mercy in the midst of life. Your Love is undeniable and shown in even the smallest details throughout the day to day. It’s hard to fathom that the creator of the universe cares so much for his creation that he listens to their every grumbling and delights in offering mercy. Thank you dad. You love me so well.

  2. Tyler Dunkley says:

    The Lord is faithful even when I don’t deserve it because he withheld his mercy while Jesus was on the cross so that I could be freely forgiven and covered by grace… so good. Thank you Jesus.

  3. Kevin says:

    Day 9: What a good reminder. I often times in tough situations try and do it on my own, simply because I think I can an am strong enough. God wants us to cry to him for mercy. Why should I be selfish and try to do it on my own? What does that prove to anyone? Maybe lack of faith in our God. I want to reach out to the king of kings more in my times of despair, but equally in my times of thriveness(new word by Kev)

  4. William Rector says:

    I phrasing “to cry out” really says it all. In the movie Hostiles, the widow in retrieving and burying her family has a powerful moment of angst and surrender of loved ones to death. She cries out and the men there can barely watch her visible pain explode in moans and weeps.
    God cares about our heart condition. The sincerity of our confessions, cries and beliefs are all tied to our heart. We know if we have eternal security because God is the savior and only one able to keep us in His promises, by Jesus work for us.
    The heart, with which we love God and fellowship with his children, is the thermometer of the soul revealing our true and deepest affections.

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