“Incline your ear, O LORD, and answer me, for I am poor and needy. Preserve my life, for I am godly; save your servant, who trusts in you—you are my God” (Psalm 86:1-2).
This is the sort of prayer I want to pray.
It is humble: he recognizes his poverty and need for God in the midst of his circumstances. He is not looking for any salvation other than the divine sort.
It is bold: he asks for God’s grace, because he is godly (86:2). But he isn’t waving the fact that he taught Sunday school this week or that he always tithes his 10%. The second line of that verse explains what the first means: “save your servant, who trusts in you—you are my God.” Being godly means putting his trust in God. He comes boldly to God because his trust is in God. He comes boldly, because the Lord is his God.
It is God-filled: he knows his God and prays in light of his character. God is “good and forgiving, abounding in steadfast love” (v. 5); “there is none like” him (v.8); “you are great and do wondrous things” (v.10); God is a God “merciful and gracious, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love and faithfulness” (v.15).
He knows God. He knows his Word. And because of this, he can pray both humbly and boldly. He can lay it all out in the open before his mighty and gracious Lord.
We know God better. We’ve seen Jesus. How much better ought our prayers be?