Psalms

psalmsThere are 150 psalms whose authorship is attributed to King David (10th century B.C.E.) and they are the most famous of all religious poetry, beseeching God’s mercy and protection.The recitation of psalms in times of distress, uncertainty and thanksgiving provide comfort because they reflect a personal relationship with God.

There are psalms that are recited every day as well as psalms particularly relevant in a time of mourning.

Psalm 4

Answer me when I call to you, O my righteous God.
Give me relief from my distress; be merciful to me and hear my prayer.

Many are asking, “Who can show us any good?”
Let the light of your face shine upon us, O LORD.
You have filled my heart with greater joy
than when their grain and new wine abound.
I will lie down and sleep in peace,
for you alone, O LORD, make me dwell in safety.
Psalm 4:1, 6-8 NIV

Prayer:

Oh Righteous God,
Bring relief from the pain and suffering of my life.
Help us to look to you to show us good in the midst of bad.
Let your face shine on us. Bring hope and joy to my heart once again.
Allow my sleep to one again be peaceful.
Let me dwell with you in safety. Amen.

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Psalm 6

Be merciful to me, LORD, for I am faint;
O LORD, heal me, for my bones are in agony. My soul is in anguish.
How long, O LORD, how long? Turn, O LORD, and deliver me;
save me because of your unfailing love. No one remembers you when he is dead.
Who praises you from the grave? I am worn out from groaning;
all night long I flood my bed with weeping and drench my couch with tears.
My eyes grow weak with sorrow; they fail because of all my foes.
Away from me, all you who do evil, for the LORD has heard my weeping.
The LORD has heard my cry for mercy; the LORD accepts my prayer.
Psalm 6:2-9 NIV

Prayer:

Heavenly Father, I pray for your mercy for I am weak.
My sorrow has left me physically and spiritually in agony.
How long will I have to suffer? Deliver me I pray.
Give me the strength to not give up.
I know you have heard my cries and seen my tears.
I know you will answer my prayers. Amen.

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Psalm 18

You, O LORD, keep my lamp burning;
my God turns my darkness into light.
Psalm 18:28 NIV

Prayer:

Oh God our Father, I am surrounded by the darkness of death and grief.
I am unsure of my steps; the path is hidden and unknown; the journey seems endless.
But You have promised to be a lamp for my feet, a light for my path.
Give me the strength to keep my lamp burning.
Turn my darkness into light.
Today. Tomorow. Til the end of the age. Amen.

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Psalm 23

The Lord is my Shepherd, I shall not be in want.
He makes me lie down in green pastures,
he leads me beside quiet waters, he restores my soul.
He guides me in paths of righteousness for his name’s sake.
Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,
I will fear no evil, for you are with me;
your rod and your staff, they comfort me.
You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies.
You anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows.
Surely goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life,
and I will dwell in the house of the LORD forever.
Psalm 23 NIV

Prayer:

Good Shepherd, I am caught in the valley.
Thorns of turmoil and thistles of torment surround my steps.
Lead me through this valley where shadows and evil reign.
Bring me instead to green pastures, to rivers that flow with clear, sparkling water.
Comfort me with your presence. Strengthen me with your goodness.
Restore my soul.
Let me dwell in your house forever and ever. Amen.

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Psalm 25

My eyes are ever on the Lord,
for only he will release my feet from the snare.
Turn to me and be gracious to me, for I am lonely and afflicted.
The troubles of my heart have multiplied; free me from my anguish.
Psalm 25:15-17 NIV

Prayer:

Oh gracious God,
The pain in my heart multiply each day as I try to cope with my loss.
I feel alone and burdened. No one understands; at times it seems as if no one cares.
Help me to keep my eyes focused on you.
Only you can release me from this prison of grief.
Only you can free me from the chains of mourning.
Grant my heart peace. Amen.

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Psalm 27

The Lord is my light and my salvation;
whom shall I fear? The LORD is the stronghold of my life —
of whom shall I be afraid?

One thing I ask of the LORD, this is what I seek:
that I may dwell in the house of the LORD all the days of my life,
to gaze upon the beauty of the LORD and to seek him in his temple.
For in the day of trouble he will keep me safe in his dwelling;
he will hide me in the shelter of his tabernacle and set me high upon a rock.
Psalm 27:1, 4-5 NIV

Prayer:

Oh God the Father of lights,
When I am surrounded by the darkness of death and grief,
You are my light and my salvation.
May I find peace and security in your presence.
May I find refuge and safety in your house.
Keep me safe from the trouble and pain of grief.
Turn my darkness into light.
Hide me in the shelter of your mighty love. Amen.

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Psalm 31

For I said in my haste,
“I am cut off from before Your eyes”;
Nevertheless, you heard the voice of my supplications
When I cried out to You.
Psalm 31:22

Prayer:

Oh Lord, My grief consumes both my night and my day.
There are times that I feel cut off, separated even from you.
But you are always there for me.
Only you can understand the depths of what I am feeling.
Thank you for hearing me when I pray.
I am yours, Oh Lord God.
Give me strength for this day. Amen.

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Psalm 32

You are my hiding place;
You shall preserve me from trouble;
You shall surround me with songs of deliverance. Selah
Psalm 32:7 NIV

Prayer:

Heavenly Father,
I come to you as the place I can hide.
Everywhere I go are people who remind me of my loss,
places that bring back memories,
events that should bring joy, but instead bring loss and grief.
Let me truly find rest in you. Amen

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Psalm 33

But the eyes of the Lord are on those who fear him,
on those whose hope is in his unfailing love,
to deliver them from death and keep them alive in famine.
We wait in hope for the LORD; he is our help and our shield.
In him our hearts rejoice, for we trust in his holy name.
May your unfailing love rest upon us,
O LORD, even as we put our hope in you.
Psalm 33:18-22 NIV

Prayer:

O Lord whose love never fails,
I ask that you deliver me from the duress of death and the grip of grief.
I am trying so hard to wait, to rest my hope in you.
You are my help and my shield,
my shelter from the storm.
May you grant me peace as I put my trust in you. Amen

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Psalm 34

A righteous man may have many troubles,
but the LORD delivers him from them all.
Psalm 34:19 NIV

Prayer:

Oh God our Creator, I am burdened with sorrow and trouble.
Death is a relentless enemy; I feel the sting of grief every moment of every day.
You have promised to deliver me from trouble.
Be present in my dark times.
Deliver me, I pray. Amen.

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Psalm 40

I waited patiently for the LORD,
he turned to me and heard my cry.
He lifted me out of the slimy pit, out of the mud and mire;
he set my feet on a rock and gave me a firm place to stand.
He put a new song in my mouth, a hymn of praise to our God.
Many will see and fear and put their trust in the LORD.
Blessed is the man who makes the LORD his trust,
who does not look to the proud, to those who turn aside to false gods.
Psalm 40:1-4 NIV

Prayer:

Heavenly Father,
I have waited for you to hear my cries of anguish and pain.
In patience, I turn to you, making my pain and fears known to you.
Turn your attention to me as you did to David.
Lift me up from the mire of sorrow.
Take me out of the pit of despair.
Set my feet on a higher ground of peace and security.
Put a new song of praise and hope in my mouth.
Help me make you my trust, my strength, my hope. Amen.

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Psalm 41

Blessed is he who has regard for the weak;
the LORD delivers him in times of trouble.
Psalm 41:1 NIV

Prayer:

Merciful Lord, I am weak but you are strong.
I am burdened with grief; my heart is heavy, my spirit is crushed.
Be my strength in times of weakness,
Be my shelter from the storm.
Deliver me from my troubles. Amen.

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Psalm 42

My soul thirsts for God, for the living God.
When can I go and meet with God?
My tears have been my food day and night,
while men say to me all day long, “Where is your God?”
These things I remember as I pour out my soul:
how I used to go with the multitude,
leading the procession to the house of God,
with shouts of joy and thanksgiving among the festive throng.
Why are you downcast, O my soul? Why so disturbed within me?
Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise him,
my Savior and my God.
My soul is downcast within me;
therefore I will remember you
from the land of the Jordan,
the heights of Hermon–from Mount Mizar.
Psalm 42:2-6 NIV

Prayer:

Living God, grief and loss has left my soul
parched and thirsty for your presence.
Help me to always know you are here.
Let me remember your faithfulness.
As you were to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob; be so to me.
Thank you for hearing my prayers, my tears, my cries.
My hope is in you. I will praise you forever. Amen.

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Psalm 44

For our soul is bowed down to the dust;
Our body clings to the ground.
Arise for our help,
And redeem us for Your mercies’ sake.
Psalm 44:25-26

Prayer:

Our most gracious Lord,
Life has me beaten down today. Lift me to see You in moments of my day.
Let me feel Your presence in my pain. Amen.

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Psalm 45

Because He is your Lord, worship Him.
Psalm 45:11b

Prayer:

My Lord,
At your name my knees bow, my tongue will lift word to worship you.
Help me to see reasons to praise you
in the midst of my sorrow. Amen

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Psalm 46

God is our refuge and strength,
A very present help in trouble.
Therefore we will not fear,
Even though the earth be removed,
And though the mountains be carried
into the midst of the sea;
Psalm 46:1-2

Prayer:

Great and Wonderful God,
Thank you for being my refuge and my strength, my shelter in this terrible storm.
You are present. I rely on your strength. I need your peace. Amen.

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Psalm 54

Behold, God is my helper;
The Lord is with those who uphold my life.
Psalm 54:4

Prayer:

Oh Lord who helps,
The pain and sorrow of my loss weighs heavily on my heart.
I am aware that you hold me up,
by the people who call with a word of encouragement,
by the Scriptures I read through the day,
by the music that soothes my soul.
The Lord bless those who lift me up. Amen.

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Psalm 55

My heart is severely pained within me,
And the terrors of death have fallen upon me.
Fearfulness and trembling have come upon me,
and horror has overwhelmed me.
Psalm 55:4-5

Prayer:

Father,
I am consumed by the pain of death and loss.
Fear has replaced faith; concern has ousted my confidence.
Help me to learn again to trust you. Amen.

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Psalm 56

Whenever I am afraid, I will trust in You.
Psalm 56:3

Prayer:

My God and my strength,
I am afraid. I live in fear
that I will hurt like this forever,
that I should have done something differently,
that I am being punished,
that life shouldn’t go on when there is such loss.
Even when I fear, I will trust you. Amen.

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Psalm 57

My heart is steadfast, O God, my heart is steadfast;
I will sing and give praise.
Psalm 56:7

Prayer:

Steadfast Lord,
May my resolve be as faithful and resolved as you.
No matter what the day brings, no matter how my heart hurts,
Yet will I sing your praise. From everlasting to everlasting. Amen.

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Psalm 58

“Surely there is a reward for the righteous;
Surely He is God who judges in the earth.”
Psalm 58:11

Prayer:

Heavenly Father,
The sorrow of my loss is overwhelming.
Is there no justice?
Is there no reward for the righteous?
Work in me – to heal my wounds, to make things right. Amen

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Psalm 59

But I will sing of Your power;
Yes, I will sing aloud of Your mercy in the morning;
For You have been my defense
And refuge in the day of my trouble.
Psalm 59:16 NIV

Prayer:

Almighty God,
I will start my day with your name on my lips.
I will close my eyes with praise for you in my heart.
You are my defense in times of trouble.
You are my refuge and shelter from the storms of life. Amen.

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Psalm 62

Find rest, O my soul, in God alone;
My hope comes from him. He alone is my rock and my salvation;
He is my fortress, I will not be shaken.
My salvation and my honor depend on God;
He is my mighty rock, my refuge.
Trust in him at all times, O people;
Pour out your hearts to him, for God is our refuge.
Psalm 62:5-8 NIV

Prayer:

Heavenly Father,
Help my soul to find rest. The loss of a loved one has left me
troubled, shaken and confused. Be my rock and my refuge.
Provide for me a fortress that cannot be shaken.
Help me to know that you will save me
from the uncertainty and pain. Let me find hope in you. Amen.

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Psalm 77

Has God forgotten to be merciful?
Has he in anger withheld his compassion?”
Then I thought, “To this I will appeal: the years of the right hand of the Most High.”
I will remember the deeds of the LORD; yes, I will remember your miracles of long ago.
I will meditate on all your works and consider all your mighty deeds.
Your ways, O God, are holy. What god is so great as our God?
You are the God who performs miracles; you display your power among the peoples.
Psalm 77:9-14

Prayer:

Father,
The troubles of my life sometime cloud my sight
of who you are and how you care for me.
Help me to recognize your mercy.
Help me to remember your faithfulness through the ages.
You have the power to sustain and comfort.
Display your power in my life and the lives of others. Amen.

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Psalm 90

Teach us to number our days aright,
that we may gain a heart of wisdom.
Psalm 90:12

Prayer:

Lord,
We pray for wisdom and understanding as
we try to gain insight into the sorrows and pain of this life.
You know our future. Help us to trust you with our present. Amen.

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Psalm 91

He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High
will rest in the shadow of the Almighty.
I will say of the LORD, “He is my refuge
and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust.”
Surely he will save you from the fowler’s snare and from the deadly pestilence.
He will cover you with his feathers, and under his wings you will find refuge;
his faithfulness will be your shield and rampart.
Psalm 91:1-4

Prayer:

God Almighty,
You have been my shelter all of my days.
I have found rest and peace in your presence before.
In my times of distress, may you be my fortress, my refuge, my strength.
When I cannot see what is before me,
when I have no hope for escape,
when I am unable to find my way out,
may I trust your path, your comfort and your guidance. Amen.

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Psalm 97

For you, O LORD, are the Most High over all the earth;
you are exalted far above all gods. Let those who love the LORD hate evil,
for he guards the lives of his faithful ones and delivers them from the hand of the wicked.
Light is shed upon the righteous and joy on the upright in heart.
Rejoice in the LORD, you who are righteous, and praise his holy name.
Psalm 97:9-12 NIV

Prayer:

Most High Lord,
You are exalted above all things –
above other gods, above all possessions, above all problems.
You triumph over mourning and grief and death.
Shine your light of joy on the darkness of my grief.
Lift my spirits. Grant me hope. Amen.

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Psalm 103

As a father has compassion on his children,
so the LORD has compassion on those who fear him;
for he knows how we are formed, he remembers that we are dust.
As for man, his days are like grass, he flourishes like a flower of the field;
the wind blows over it and it is gone, and its place remembers it no more.
But from everlasting to everlasting the LORD’s love is with those who fear him,
and his righteousness with their children’s children—
Psalm 103:13-17 NIV

Prayer:

Gracious Father,
you know the weaknesses of our spirits and the limited days of our lives.
We are no more than dust to be blown about, grass to wither away.
But you are everlasting and you promise that life for those who fear you.
As we mourn the loss of our loved one,
comfort us with the peace that
you hold life and death in the palm of your hand. Amen.

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Psalm 116

Precious
in the sight of the Lord
is the death of his saints.
Psalm 116:15 NIV

Prayer:

God of wonders,
My heart is heavy beyond belief.
My soul is broken in grief over the loss of a loved one.
I look each day for comfort and hope only to see
more despair, more turmoil, more pain.
Help me find peace in this.
The death of our loved ones are not away from your sight.
You look upon death, not as an end, but as a beginning.
You usher them into your presence.
You see the reunion as precious.
My hope is in you. Amen.

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Psalm 118

In my anguish I cried to the LORD,
and he answered by setting me free.
The LORD is with me; I will not be afraid.
What can man do to me?
The LORD is with me; he is my helper.
I will look in triumph on my enemies.
Psalm 118:5-7 NIV

Prayer:

Loving Father,
My heart is broken beyond belief.
In my anguish I had no place else to turn but to you.
I emptied my soul in front of you with my cries and my tears.
You answered by assuring me of your presence,
by comforting my heart with your peace.
I will not be afraid.
You are my helper and my strength. Amen.

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Psalm 119

My comfort in my suffering is this:
Your promise preserves my life.
Psalm 119:50 NIV

Prayer:

God of comfort and hope,
May I find peace and relief from my suffering in your promises.
You assure me of your presence in the darkest night.
You present me hope in times of despair.
You promise me life beyond death.
Be still my soul and know that you are my God. Amen.

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Psalm 121

I lift up my eyes to the hills,
where does my help come from?
My help comes from the LORD, the Maker of heaven and earth.
He will not let your foot slip– he who watches over you will not slumber;
indeed, he who watches over Israel will neither slumber nor sleep.
The LORD watches over you– the LORD is your shade at your right hand;
the sun will not harm you by day, nor the moon by night.
The LORD will keep you from all harm– he will watch over your life;
the LORD will watch over your coming and going both now and forevermore.
Psalm 121:1-8 NIV

Prayer:

Creator and Guide,
As you crafted earth from nothing and hung stars in the heavens,
so carve my path through the dark times of mourning and grief.
Watch over my steps, steady my walk,
make straight my roads.
Be close to me in my time of need,
Both now and forevermore. Amen.

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Psalm 130

Out of the depths I cry to you, O LORD;
O Lord, hear my voice. Let your ears be attentive to my cry for mercy.
If you, O LORD, kept a record of sins, O Lord, who could stand?
But with you there is forgiveness; therefore you are feared.
I wait for the LORD, my soul waits, and in his word I put my hope.
My soul waits for the Lord more than watchmen wait for the morning,
more than watchmen wait for the morning.
O Israel, put your hope in the LORD,
for with the LORD is unfailing love and with him is full redemption.
Psalm 130:1-8 NIV

Prayer:

Merciful Father,
In the despair of my agony and grief,
I cry out to you. I beg you to hear my prayers.
The most difficult thing that I do is wait.
I wait for the hurt to go away.
I wait for my heart to feel better.
I wait for my sorrow to be gone.
Instead, O LORD, let me wait on you.
Help me put my hope in you and your promises. Amen.

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Psalm 139

O LORD, you have searched me and you know me.
You know when I sit and when I rise;
you perceive my thoughts from afar.
You discern my going out and my lying down;
you are familiar with all my ways.
Before a word is on my tongue you know it completely, O LORD.
Psalm 139:1-4 NIV

Prayer:

O LORD who knows all,
You know my thoughts and my words.
You know the sadness of my days.
You know the struggles of my soul.
You have searched me through and through.
Strengthen me in my time of sorrow.
Give comfort to my moments of turmoil.
Restore my peace. Amen.

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