The Psalms and Prayers expressed in this liturgy imitate the feelings of the nation and their emotions, for times of peace and war, health and sickness, triumphs and disasters.
Where the devout individuals move ever closer towards God who is close and dear to them.
There are Psalms and Prayers for times of peace and war, where we can read how some Psalms burst out in anger, while others express a quiet and calming confidence.
Reflecting here upon our thoughts and how we can express our feelings – even of anger and disappointment – toward experiences we may encounter in life.
Through them we can find words to pray in similar situations in our own life.
Praying with the Psalms.
Prayer is the work of the Holy Spirit.
We do not know what to ask for or how to do it, so the Spirit aids us in expressing the yearnings of our heart (Rom 8:26).
But, prayer is not just asking – it is also adoring, contemplating, desiring, listening. It can be formulated in words or can unfold in silence.
Prayer, however, needs an orientation. We need to be guided in the thoughts and ways of God himself, and be schooled in responses that are befitting the children of God.
Prayers and Psalms have fulfilled this purpose for centuries before Christ and after Christ. Jesus himself prayed the Psalms, specially the night before he died (Mt 26:30).
Moreover, the life of Jesus and the New Covenant that he sealed in his blood, bring a new dimension and enrichment to these traditional Psalms/prayers that express the Old Covenant.
A Prayer when surrounded by enemies.
When David was fleeing from his son Absalom.
“Lord, how my foes increase! There are many who attack me. Many say about me, “There is no help for him in God.”Selah But you, Lord, are a shield around me, my glory, and the one who lifts up my head.
I cry aloud to the Lord, and he answers me from his holy mountain.Selah I lie down and sleep; I wake again because the Lord sustains me.
I will not be afraid of thousands of people who have taken their stand against me on every side. Rise up, Lord! Save me, my God! You strike all my enemies on the cheek; you break the teeth of the wicked. Salvation belongs to the Lord; may your blessing be on your people”.
An Evening Prayer of Confidence.
“Answer me when I call, God, who vindicates me. You freed me from affliction; be gracious to me and hear my prayer.
How long, exalted ones, will my honor be insulted? How long will you love what is worthless and pursue a lie? Selah Know that the Lord has set apart the faithful for himself; the Lord will hear when I call to him. Be angry and do not sin; reflect in your heart while on your bed and be silent.
Selah Offer sacrifices in righteousness and trust in the Lord. Many are asking, “Who can show us anything good?” Let the light of your face shine on us, Lord.
You have put more joy in my heart than they have when their grain and new wine abound. I will both lie down and sleep in peace, for you alone, Lord, make me live in safety”.
Prayer at Daybreak.
“Listen to my words, Lord; consider my sighing. Pay attention to the sound of my cry, my King and my God, for I pray to you. In the morning, Lord, you hear my voice; in the morning I plead my case to you and watch expectantly.
For you are not a God who delights in wickedness; evil cannot dwell with you. The boastful cannot stand in your sight; you hate all evildoers.
You destroy those who tell lies; the Lord abhors violent and treacherous people. But I enter your house by the abundance of your faithful love; I bow down toward your holy temple in reverential awe of you.
Lord, lead me in your righteousness because of my adversaries; make your way straight before me. For there is nothing reliable in what they say; destruction is within them; their throat is an open grave; they flatter with their tongues.
Punish them, God; let them fall by their own schemes. Drive them out because of their many crimes, for they rebel against you.
But let all who take refuge in you rejoice; let them shout for joy forever. May you shelter them, and may those who love your name boast about you. For you, Lord, bless the righteous one; you surround him with favor like a shield”.
Pslam 21 – Thanks giving for Victory.
“Lord, the king finds joy in your strength. How greatly he rejoices in your victory! You have given him his heart’s desire and have not denied the request of his lips.
Selah For you meet him with rich blessings; you place a crown of pure gold on his head. He asked you for life, and you gave it to him — length of days forever and ever.
His glory is great through your victory; you confer majesty and splendor on him. You give him blessings forever; you cheer him with joy in your presence.
For the king relies on the Lord; through the faithful love of the Most High he is not shaken. Your hand will capture all your enemies; your right hand will seize those who hate you.
You will make them burn like a fiery furnace when you appear; the Lord will engulf them in his wrath, and fire will devour them.
You will wipe their progeny from the earth and their offspring from the human race. Though they intend to harm you and devise a wicked plan, they will not prevail.
Instead, you will put them to flight when you ready your bowstrings to shoot at them. Be exalted, Lord, in your strength; we will sing and praise your might”.
Prayer for Guidance and help.
Lord, I appeal to you. My God, I trust in you. Do not let me be disgraced; do not let my enemies gloat over me.
No one who waits for you will be disgraced; those who act treacherously without cause will be disgraced. Make your ways known to me, Lord; teach me your paths.
Guide me in your truth and teach me, for you are the God of my salvation; I wait for you all day long. Remember, Lord, your compassion and your faithful love, for they have existed from antiquity.
Do not remember the sins of my youth or my acts of rebellion; in keeping with your faithful love, remember me because of your goodness, Lord.
The Lord is good and upright; therefore he shows sinners the way. He leads the humble in what is right and teaches them his way.
All the Lord’s ways show faithful love and truth to those who keep his covenant and decrees. Lord, for the sake of your name, forgive my iniquity, for it is immense.
Who is this person who fears the Lord? He will show him the way he should choose. He will live a good life, and his descendants will inherit the land. The secret counsel of the Lord is for those who fear him, and he reveals his covenant to them.
My eyes are always on the Lord, for he will pull my feet out of the net. Turn to me and be gracious to me, for I am alone and afflicted.
The distresses of my heart increase; bring me out of my sufferings. Consider my affliction and trouble, and forgive all my sins.
Consider my enemies; they are numerous, and they hate me violently. Guard me and rescue me; do not let me be disgraced, for I take refuge in you.
May integrity and what is right watch over me, for I wait for you. God, redeem Israel, from all its distresses.
Prayer and Thanksgiving for Help.
Lord, I call to you; my rock, do not be deaf to me. If you remain silent to me, I will be like those going down to the Pit. Listen to the sound of my pleading when I cry to you for help, when I lift up my hands toward your holy sanctuary.
Do not drag me away with the wicked, with the evildoers, who speak in friendly ways with their neighbors while malice is in their hearts.
Repay them according to what they have done — according to the evil of their deeds. Repay them according to the work of their hands; give them back what they deserve.
Because they do not consider what the Lord has done or the work of his hands, he will tear them down and not rebuild them. Blessed be the Lord, for he has heard the sound of my pleading.
The Lord is my strength and my shield; my heart trusts in him, and I am helped. Therefore my heart celebrates, and I give thanks to him with my song.
The Lord is the strength of his people; he is a stronghold of salvation for his anointed. Save your people, bless your possession, shepherd them, and carry them forever.
Psalm 29 – The Lord of the Storm.
Ascribe to the Lord, you heavenly beings, ascribe to the Lord glory and strength. Ascribe to the Lord the glory due his name; worship the Lord in the splendor of his holiness.
The voice of the Lord is above the waters. The God of glory thunders — the Lord, above the vast water, the voice of the Lord in power, the voice of the Lord in splendor.
The voice of the Lord breaks the cedars; the Lord shatters the cedars of Lebanon. He makes Lebanon skip like a calf, and Sirion, like a young wild ox.
The voice of the Lord flashes flames of fire. The voice of the Lord shakes the wilderness; the Lord shakes the wilderness of Kadesh.
The voice of the Lord makes the deer give birth and strips the woodlands bare. In his temple all cry, “Glory!” The Lord sits enthroned over the flood; the Lord sits enthroned, King forever.
The Lord gives his people strength; the Lord blesses his people with peace.
Prayer and Praise of Deliverance.
Lord, I seek refuge in you; let me never be disgraced.
Save me by your righteousness. Listen closely to me; rescue me quickly. Be a rock of refuge for me, a mountain fortress to save me.
For you are my rock and my fortress; you lead and guide me for your name’s sake. You will free me from the net that is secretly set for me, for you are my refuge.
Into your hand I entrust my spirit; you have redeemed me, Lord, God of truth. I hate those who are devoted to worthless idols, but I trust in the Lord. I will rejoice and be glad in your faithful love because you have seen my affliction.
You know the troubles of my soul and have not handed me over to the enemy. You have set my feet in a spacious place.
Be gracious to me, Lord, because I am in distress; my eyes are worn out from frustration — my whole being as well. Indeed, my life is consumed with grief and my years with groaning; my strength has failed because of my iniquity, and my bones waste away.
I am ridiculed by all my adversaries and even by my neighbors. I am dreaded by my acquaintances; those who see me in the street run from me.
I am forgotten: gone from memory like a dead person — like broken pottery. I have heard the gossip of many; terror is on every side.
When they conspired against me, they plotted to take my life. But I trust in you, Lord; I say, “You are my God.”
The course of my life is in your power; rescue me from the power of my enemies and from my persecutors. Make your face shine on your servant; save me by your faithful love. Lord, do not let me be disgraced when I call on you.
Let the wicked be disgraced; let them be quiet in Sheol. Let lying lips that arrogantly speak against the righteous in proud contempt be silenced.
How great is your goodness, which you have stored up for those who fear you. In the presence of everyone you have acted for those who take refuge in you.
You hide them in the protection of your presence; you conceal them in a shelter from human schemes, from quarrelsome tongues.
Blessed be the Lord, for he has wondrously shown his faithful love to me in a city under siege. In my alarm I said, “I am cut off from your sight.”
But you heard the sound of my pleading when I cried to you for help. Love the Lord, all his faithful ones.
The Lord protects the loyal, but fully repays the arrogant. Be strong, and let your heart be courageous, all you who put your hope in the Lord.
Confession of Sin.
How joyful is the one whose transgression is forgiven, whose sin is covered!
How joyful is a person whom the Lord does not charge with iniquity and in whose spirit is no deceit! When I kept silent, my bones became brittle from my groaning all day long.
For day and night your hand was heavy on me; my strength was drained as in the summer’s heat.
Selah Then I acknowledged my sin to you and did not conceal my iniquity.
I said, “I will confess my transgressions to the Lord,” and you forgave the guilt of my sin.Selah Therefore let everyone who is faithful pray to you immediately.
When great floodwaters come, they will not reach him. You are my hiding place; you protect me from trouble.
You surround me with joyful shouts of deliverance.
Selah I will instruct you and show you the way to go; with my eye on you, I will give counsel. Do not be like a horse or mule, without understanding, that must be controlled with bit and bridle or else it will not come near you.
Many pains come to the wicked, but the one who trusts in the Lord will have faithful love surrounding him. Be glad in the Lord and rejoice, you righteous ones; shout for joy, all you upright in heart.
Thanksgiving after a struggle.
Let the whole earth shout joyfully to God! Sing about the glory of his name; make his praise glorious. Say to God, “How awe-inspiring are your works!
Your enemies will cringe before you because of your great strength. The whole earth will worship you and sing praise to you.
They will sing praise to your name.”Selah Come and see the wonders of God; his acts for humanity are awe-inspiring. He turned the sea into dry land, and they crossed the river on foot.
There we rejoiced in him. He rules forever by his might; he keeps his eye on the nations.
The rebellious should not exalt themselves.
Selah Bless our God, you peoples; let the sound of his praise be heard. He keeps us alive and does not allow our feet to slip. For you, God, tested us; you refined us as silver is refined.
You lured us into a trap; you placed burdens on our backs. You let men ride over our heads; we went through fire and water, but you brought us out to abundance.
I will enter your house with burnt offerings; I will pay you my vows that my lips promised and my mouth spoke during my distress.
I will offer you fattened sheep as burnt offerings, with the fragrant smoke of rams; I will sacrifice bulls with goats.Selah Come and listen, all who fear God, and I will tell what he has done for me.
I cried out to him with my mouth, and praise was on my tongue. However, God has listened; he has paid attention to the sound of my prayer.
Blessed be God! He has not turned away my prayer or turned his faithful love from me.
A Cry of Distress.
God, hurry to rescue me.
Lord, hurry to help me! Let those who seek to kill me be disgraced and confounded; let those who wish me harm be turned back and humiliated.
Let those who say, “Aha, aha!” retreat because of their shame.
Let all who seek you rejoice and be glad in you; let those who love your salvation continually say, “God is great!” I am oppressed and needy; hurry to me, God.
You are my help and my deliverer; Lord, do not delay.
A Night Prayer.
The one who lives under the protection of the Most High dwells in the shadow of the Almighty.
I will say concerning the Lord, who is my refuge and my fortress, my God in whom I trust: He himself will rescue you from the bird trap, from the destructive plague. He will cover you with his feathers; you will take refuge under his wings.
His faithfulness will be a protective shield. You will not fear the terror of the night, the arrow that flies by day, the plague that stalks in darkness, or the pestilence that ravages at noon.
Though a thousand fall at your side and ten thousand at your right hand, the pestilence will not reach you. You will only see it with your eyes and witness the punishment of the wicked.
Because you have made the Lord — my refuge, the Most High — your dwelling place, no harm will come to you; no plague will come near your tent.
For he will give his angels orders concerning you, to protect you in all your ways. They will support you with their hands so that you will not strike your foot against a stone.
You will tread on the lion and the cobra; you will trample the young lion and the serpent. Because he has his heart set on me, I will deliver him; I will protect him because he knows my name. When he calls out to me, I will answer him; I will be with him in trouble.
I will rescue him and give him honor. I will satisfy him with a long life and show him my salvation.
Give Thanks to the Lord.
Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good. His faithful love endures forever.
Give thanks to the God of gods. His faithful love endures forever. Give thanks to the Lord of Lords. His faithful love endures forever.
He alone does great wonders. His faithful love endures forever. He made the heavens skillfully. His faithful love endures forever.
He spread the land on the waters. His faithful love endures forever. He made the great lights: His faithful love endures forever. the sun to rule by day, His faithful love endures forever.
the moon and stars to rule by night. His faithful love endures forever. He struck the firstborn of the Egyptians His faithful love endures forever. and brought Israel out from among them His faithful love endures forever.
with a strong hand and outstretched arm. His faithful love endures forever. He divided the Red Sea His faithful love endures forever. and led Israel through, His faithful love endures forever. but hurled Pharaoh and his army into the Red Sea. His faithful love endures forever.
He led his people in the wilderness. His faithful love endures forever. He struck down great kings His faithful love endures forever. and slaughtered famous kings — His faithful love endures forever.
Sihon king of the Amorites His faithful love endures forever. and Og king of Bashan — His faithful love endures forever. and gave their land as an inheritance, His faithful love endures forever. an inheritance to Israel his servant. His faithful love endures forever.
He remembered us in our humiliation His faithful love endures forever. and rescued us from our foes. His faithful love endures forever.
He gives food to every creature. His faithful love endures forever. Give thanks to the God of heaven! His faithful love endures forever.