Psalms: Prayers for calm, expectancy, grief

Psalm 4: Here is a prayer for calm in the midst of anxiety, for assurance when there is uncertainty.

Notice David doesn’t say please. There’s desperation in his tone. It sounds a bit demanding. He gets away with talking to God this way?

Psalms like this give us freedom to express our panic to God, yet they always seem to lead to a place beyond the panic. They may begin with the frazzledness of life, but they always end on a note that God can be trusted.

When you pray, even on your worst days, can you still remember that God is good?

Psalm 5: Here is a prayer of expectancy.

With words like groaning and cry, David again is coming from a place of desperate helplessness. Even David, the “Man After God’s Own Heart,” the King of Israel, uniter of the tribes of Israel, leader of the army, experienced extreme vulnerability.

The stanzas of this song alternate between contrasting the wicked and the righteous—those who reject God and those who honor God. Back and forth, David paints vivid pictures of the life that doesn’t please God with pictures of the life that does please God.

Do we find in God a refuge, a safe place, from the threats and pressures of the world?

Psalm 6: Here is a prayer for comfort in grief. Because we find this psalm, we can say that there is a place for grief in our worship.

That David begins talking about anger and wrath, would lead us to believe he’s done something to deserve the anger and wrath of God, and he’s desperately pleading for mercy.

Guilt and shame are powerful agents within our souls. They buckle our knees and exhaust us, bringing us to the state described in verses 2–3 and 6–7. But David doesn’t end there. He brings these emotions to God, and instead of anger and wrath, he finds acceptance.

Do you bring your guilt and shame about sin before God, or hide it away?


About peterjwhite

I am a pastor to college students in Tulsa, OK.
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