Bible Society of South Africa

Comfort from the Word – Day 41

Despair

Bible text(s)

A Prayer for Protection

1Hear my cry, O God;

listen to my prayer!

2In despair and far from home

I call to you!

Take me to a safe refuge,

3for you are my protector,

my strong defence against my enemies.

4Let me live in your sanctuary all my life;

let me find safety under your wings.

5You have heard my promises, O God,

and you have given me what belongs to those who honour you.

Psalms 61:1-5GNBOpen in Bible reader

A Cry for Help

1Save me, O God!

The water is up to my neck;

2I am sinking in deep mud,

and there is no solid ground;

I am out in deep water,

and the waves are about to drown me.

3I am worn out from calling for help,

and my throat is aching.

I have strained my eyes,

looking for your help.

4Those who hate me for no reason

are more numerous than the hairs of my head.

My enemies tell lies against me;

they are strong and want to kill me.

They made me give back things I did not steal.

5My sins, O God, are not hidden from you;

you know how foolish I have been.

6Don't let me bring shame on those who trust in you,

Sovereign LORD Almighty!

Don't let me bring disgrace to those who worship you,

O God of Israel!

7It is for your sake that I have been insulted

and that I am covered with shame.

8I am like a stranger to my relatives,

like a foreigner to my family.

9My devotion to your Temple burns in me like a fire;

the insults which are hurled at you fall on me.

10I humble myself by fasting,

and people insult me;

11I dress myself in clothes of mourning,

and they laugh at me.

12They talk about me in the streets,

and drunkards make up songs about me.

13But as for me, I will pray to you, LORD;

answer me, God, at a time you choose.

Answer me because of your great love,

because you keep your promise to save.

14Save me from sinking in the mud;

keep me safe from my enemies,

safe from the deep water.

15Don't let the flood come over me;

don't let me drown in the depths

or sink into the grave.

16Answer me, LORD, in the goodness of your constant love;

in your great compassion turn to me!

17Don't hide yourself from your servant;

I am in great trouble — answer me now!

18Come to me and save me;

rescue me from my enemies.

19You know how I am insulted,

how I am disgraced and dishonoured;

you see all my enemies.

20Insults have broken my heart,

and I am in despair.

I had hoped for sympathy, but there was none;

for comfort, but I found none.

21When I was hungry, they gave me poison;

when I was thirsty, they offered me vinegar.

22May their banquets cause their ruin;

may their sacred feasts cause their downfall.

23Strike them with blindness!

Make their backs always weak!

24Pour out your anger on them;

let your indignation overtake them.

25May their camps be left deserted;

may no one be left alive in their tents.

26They persecute those whom you have punished;

they talk about the sufferings of those you have wounded.

27Keep a record of all their sins;

don't let them have any part in your salvation.

28May their names be erased from the book of the living;

may they not be included in the list of your people.

29But I am in pain and despair;

lift me up, O God, and save me!

30I will praise God with a song;

I will proclaim his greatness by giving him thanks.

31This will please the LORD more than offering him cattle,

more than sacrificing a full-grown bull.

32When the oppressed see this, they will be glad;

those who worship God will be encouraged.

33The LORD listens to those in need

and does not forget his people in prison.

34Praise God, O heaven and earth,

seas and all creatures in them.

35He will save Jerusalem

and rebuild the towns of Judah.

His people will live there and possess the land;

36the descendants of his servants will inherit it,

and those who love him will live there.

Comfort in Time of Distress

1I cry aloud to God;

I cry aloud, and he hears me.

2In times of trouble I pray to the Lord;

all night long I lift my hands in prayer,

but I cannot find comfort.

3When I think of God, I sigh;

when I meditate, I feel discouraged.

4He keeps me awake all night;

I am so worried that I cannot speak.

5I think of days gone by

and remember years of long ago.

6I spend the night in deep thought;

I meditate, and this is what I ask myself:

7“Will the Lord always reject us?

Will he never again be pleased with us?

8Has he stopped loving us?

Does his promise no longer stand?

9Has God forgotten to be merciful?

Has anger taken the place of his compassion?”

10Then I said, “What hurts me most is this —

that God is no longer powerful.”

11I will remember your great deeds, LORD;

I will recall the wonders you did in the past.

12I will think about all that you have done;

I will meditate on all your mighty acts.

13Everything you do, O God, is holy.

No god is as great as you.

14You are the God who works miracles;

you showed your might among the nations.

15By your power you saved your people,

the descendants of Jacob and of Joseph.

16When the waters saw you, O God, they were afraid,

and the depths of the sea trembled.

17The clouds poured down rain;

thunder crashed from the sky,

and lightning flashed in all directions.

18The crash of your thunder rolled out,

and flashes of lightning lit up the world;

the earth trembled and shook.

19You walked through the waves;

you crossed the deep sea,

but your footprints could not be seen.

20You led your people like a shepherd,

with Moses and Aaron in charge.

A Prayer for Help

1Listen to me, LORD, and answer me,

for I am helpless and weak.

2Save me from death, because I am loyal to you;

save me, for I am your servant and I trust in you.

3You are my God, so be merciful to me;

I pray to you all day long.

4Make your servant glad, O Lord,

because my prayers go up to you.

5You are good to us and forgiving,

full of constant love for all who pray to you.

6Listen, LORD, to my prayer;

hear my cries for help.

7I call to you in times of trouble,

because you answer my prayers.

8There is no god like you, O Lord,

not one has done what you have done.

9All the nations that you have created

will come and bow down to you;

they will praise your greatness.

10You are mighty and do wonderful things;

you alone are God.

11Teach me, LORD, what you want me to do,

and I will obey you faithfully;

teach me to serve you with complete devotion.

12I will praise you with all my heart, O Lord my God;

I will proclaim your greatness for ever.

13How great is your constant love for me!

You have saved me from the grave itself.

14The proud are coming against me, O God;

a cruel gang is trying to kill me —

people who pay no attention to you.

15But you, O Lord, are a merciful and loving God,

always patient, always kind and faithful.

16Turn to me and have mercy on me;

strengthen me and save me,

because I serve you, just as my mother did.

17Show me proof of your goodness, LORD;

those who hate me will be ashamed

when they see that you have given me comfort and help.

When one is in distress and in need of the power and comfort of the Lord, one often feels rather helpless. These Scripture portions from the Psalms have been grouped together under headings to help you find verses of Scripture appropriate to your particular circumstances.

Bible Society of South Africav.4.20.14
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