Psalm 31

In You, God, I take refuge; refuge from my own shame
Deliver me in Your righteousness
Listen, please, to me, and come quickly to my rescue
Be my rock of refuge, my fortress of salvation
Trusting that You are my rock and fortress
I know You will lead and guide me
You will keep those internal traps from catching me
From destroying my peace and my abilities
Into Your hands I commit my spirit and my life
Deliver me, my faithful God
Deliver me from worthless idols
Let me always say, “I trust in God”
I will be glad and rejoice in Your love
For you saw my affliction and knew the anguish of my soul
You have not abandoned me to darkness
You have lifted my spirits into a spacious place
Please, God, be merciful to me when I am in distress
When I feel weak with sorrow, bowed down in soul and body with grief
When it seems my life is consumed by anguish, my years by groaning
When my own strength of will is not enough, when my resolve weakens
When I feel deserted by friends and neighbors
When I feel dead, broken like discarded pottery
When I feel like my own thoughts conspire against me
Taking everything worthwhile from my life
Then, then, please, let me turn to You, God
Let me say, “I am Yours”
My times are in Your hands, please save me
Let Your face shine on me
Save me through Your unfailing love
Remove my shame, my fear, my self-defeat
Silence the whispers of worthlessness
That destroy my peace with lies
Let me remember this
How abundant are the good things that You have stored up
For those who turn to You, take refuge in You
Shelter in Your presence
Hide in Your dwelling
Safe from darkness and fear
Safe from self-defeat and discouragement
Praise be to You, God,
For You show me the wonders of Your love
When I felt like a city under siege
When I felt entirely cut off from You
When my trust in You, my belief in You, failed
Still You heard my cry, You saw my need, You saved me
Let me always love God, let me always be faithful
God is strong enough to take care of us all
So I can be strong; I can take heart
I can hope in God.
Amen

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Psalm 32

I count myself lucky because my sins are forgiven
Covered, not counted, wiped clean
So my spirit, my soul does not need to hide behind lies
When I lie to myself, when I pretend I can rule my own life
I end up depressed, defeated, feeling downtrodden and deserted
I have no energy, no enthusiasm, no stamina, no hope
Then when I remember to turn to You, God
I find renewal and forgiveness
Therefore, let me pray to You always because You are always with me
Through my stormy times, through my desert times
You are my best refuge
You protect me from my troubles, Your power sings within me
Your power sings that You will stay with me, teach me, counsel me, love me
Help me in my stubbornness. Make me less like a mule and more like a dog.
Help me to remember
That even when I feel overwhelmed by threats to my peace of mind
Overwhelmed by life
Your unfailing love surrounds me, if I just trust in You
So, with that great cloud of witnesses
With all of us redeemed by Your righteousness
I can rejoice and be glad
I can sing and be happy
I can live in Your peace that passes understanding
Amen.

Psalm 33

I read the start of psalm 33 and wondered, why would I sing joyfully
But by the end of the psalm, my heart WAS singing
God is creator and savior
God is my hope and my strength
God’s word is strong and true
God’s promise is faithful and righteous and just
God’s love is unfailing; the earth is full of God’s unfailing love
God created the world: skies, seas, land, every living being
Rulers hold power for a time
God’s power is forever
Might can win some battles
God’s might conquers all
Sometimes we can do what we want; often we fail
God’s plans never fail
God’s purpose never waivers
And God’s plan, God’s purpose, is to love us, to save us
God watches over all of us, forms our hearts
Considers our strengths and weaknesses – with love
And so we can always wait in hope for God
God who is our help and our shield
God whom we trust, God in whom we rejoice
God whose unfailing love is always with us
God who causes us to sing a new song
A song of hope and love and praise and joy.
Amen.

Psalm 34

(one of my favorites)
This is how I want to live my life:
Praising God at all time, for the greater glory of God
When I am afflicted with doubts and despair
Let me remember and rejoice
Let me remember that God answers me when I call
God delivers me from all my fears
God makes me glow with happiness and security
God saves me out of all my troubles
God surrounds me with love and delivers me
Let me taste and see that God is good
Let me be among the blessed who take refuge in God
Let me remember that those who revere God are content
Natural strength and power fail, God’s never fails
Like a child, I need to learn this lesson again and again
(I write the psalms to teach myself this lesson)
Like everyone, I love life and want many good days
I want success and contentment and love
God instructs me, in love, in the right way
The way of truth, the way of goodness, the way of peace
Let me seek peace and pursue it always
God sees the goodness in me; God supports the goodness in me
God turns away my depression, doubts, despair
God delivers me from all my troubles
When I am brokenhearted, when my spirit feels crushed
Even then God is close, God saves me
God lends me God’s own righteousness
God protects my life and my spirit, my soul and my heart
Evil and wickedness, doubt and despair will disappear
God will never disappear
My rescue is assured, my refuge is safe, forever
Amen.

Psalm 35

God, you know my enemies
I do not have to worry about war or life-threatening illness
I do not have to worry about people wanting to kill me
You know what kills my spirit, what threatens my faith and contentment
You know my terrible Ds: doubt, depression, despair, discouragement
You know how often my own thoughts and worries defeat me
How often I say, “This is too much”, “I can’t”, “I’m not good enough”
These are the enemies I need You to contend with for me
Come to my aid with all Your weapons of salvation and love
Turn away my downtrodden thoughts and feelings
Let them blow away on Your mighty wind
Don’t let them overtake me, trip me up, bury me
Let me rejoice in You, let me praise You to the skies
Let me find my confidence and peace in You
Rescue and enrich my poor soul
Rescue me from my own tendencies to rob my confidence
When those thoughts of being unworthy fill me
When I question the value of everything I have done
When I feel unloved, unnoticed, unworthy
When I begin to compare myself, always unfavorably, with others
Rescue me, save me, grant me Your peace that passes understanding
Lift me up so that all can see my great thanksgiving to You
Save me from my own turmoil, doubts and confusion
Do not be far from me, God
Save me through Your righteousness
Save me from my monsters that swallow my possibilities
My friends will join me in praising You, in shouting for joy and gladness
We will say, “God, who ensures our well-being, be exalted”
I will proclaim YOUR righteousness, sing YOUR praises all day long
Amen.