There are times in a person’s life when we don’t just need a hand — we need a full-scale rescue. Perhaps this has been your experience. You feel like you’re floundering in the water, your head barely able to stay above the waves, and one swift crash will take you down into the depths. You’re drowning, and there’s only one source for strength and assistance: God Himself.
In times like this, praying the psalms can bring comfort and help steer your prayers toward the One who answers them.
In past articles, I’ve offered verses from psalms 1-25 and 26-50 to help us seek comfort and peace, verses from psalms 51-75 to help us express the sorrow and suffering in our hearts that we might have trouble articulating, and verses from psalms 76-100 on the immense relief we can find in acknowledging God as sovereign and pleading to Him for help.
Here, I offer a collection of verses to pray from psalms 101-125, when life is downright terrifying and you’re desperate for help.
Please Hear Me, Lord!
One of the deepest comforts we have is that God is not only there, watching and handling it all, but that He hears us. The Bible contains so many examples of times God has intervened to help when all seemed lost. Certainly the prophet Daniel’s friends— Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego—were beyond terrified when they were thrown into a furnace because they refused to bow to the Babylonian king. But they cried to the Lord, and He saved them (Daniel 3).
God hears, and God answers prayers. Sometimes He answers with a yes and sometimes a no, but we can trust that He is listening when we call to Him:
“Hear my prayer, Lord; let my cry for help come to you. Do not hide your face from me when I am in distress. Turn your ear to me; when I call, answer me quickly. For my days vanish like smoke; my bones burn like glowing embers. My heart is blighted and withered like grass; I forget to eat my food. In my distress I groan aloud and am reduced to skin and bones” (Psalms 102:1-5).
“But you, Sovereign Lord, help me for your name’s sake; out of the goodness of your love, deliver me. For I am poor and needy, and my heart is wounded within me” (Psalms 109:21-22).
“May my cry come before you, Lord; give me understanding according to your word. May my supplication come before you; deliver me according to your promise” (Psalms 119:169-170).
God Is Awesome
We also can take comfort that God not only does hear and does act, but His is fully capable of anything. One of God’s special names is YHWH, spoken as Yahweh, which means “I Am” or “I Am Who I Am.” Another is El Shaddai, which means “God Almighty.” He is majestic and mighty, all-powerful and all-knowing. Indeed, He is the only God, the true God, now and forever.
When we are terrified and need God’s help, it can bring much comfort to pray some of the psalms that emphasize the awesome and amazing nature of the Lord, such as these:
“The Lord wraps himself in light as with a garment; he stretches out the heavens like a tent and lays the beams of his upper chambers on their waters. He makes the clouds his chariot and rides on the wings of the wind” (Psalms 104:2-3).
“Great are the works of the Lord; they are pondered by all who delight in them. Glorious and majestic are his deeds, and his righteousness endures forever. He has caused his wonders to be remembered” (Psalms 111:2-4a).
“From the rising of the sun to the place where it sets, the name of the Lord is to be praised. The Lord is exalted over all the nations, his glory above the heavens. Who is like the Lord our God, the One who sits enthroned on high, who stoops down to look on the heavens and the earth? He raises the poor from the dust and lifts the needy from the ash heap; he seats them with princes, with the princes of his people” (Psalms 113:3-8).
“The Lord is with me; I will not be afraid. What can mere mortals do to me?” (Psalms 118:6).
“Your word, Lord, is eternal; it stands firm in the heavens. Your faithfulness continues through all generations; you established the earth, and it endures. Your laws endure to this day, for all things serve you” (Psalms 119:89-91).
And not only is He awesome, present, and fully capable, but He’s also a caring, compassionate, generous, and loving God who tends to all His children. Here are some verses that emphasize this:
“The Lord is compassionate and gracious, slow to anger, abounding in love. He will not always accuse, nor will he harbor his anger forever; he does not treat us as our sins deserve or repay us according to our iniquities. For as high as the heavens are above the earth, so great is his love for those who fear him; as far as the east is from the west, so far has he removed our transgressions from us” (Psalms 103:8-12).
“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. The life of mortals is like grass, they flourish 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—” (Psalms 103:13-17).
“All creatures look to you to give them their food at the proper time. When you give it to them, they gather it up; when you open your hand, they are satisfied with good things” (Psalms 104:27-28).
“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” (Psalms 121:5-7).
“Our help is in the name of the Lord, the Maker of heaven and earth” (Psalms 124:8).
“Those who trust in the Lord are like Mount Zion, which cannot be shaken but endures forever. As the mountains surround Jerusalem, so the Lord surrounds his people both now and forevermore” (Psalms 125:1-2).
All Praise the Lord
Finally, after we have spent some empowering and comforting time praying psalms that uplift and underscore God’s caring, always-present, and awesome nature, it seems fitting to close by praying psalms that express the deep adoration we have for our Heavenly Father:
“Praise the Lord, my soul; all my inmost being, praise his holy name. Praise the Lord, my soul, and forget not all his benefits— who forgives all your sins and heals all your diseases, who redeems your life from the pit and crowns you with love and compassion” (Psalms 103:1-4).
“Praise the Lord, you his angels, you mighty ones who do his bidding, who obey his word. Praise the Lord, all his heavenly hosts, you his servants who do his will. Praise the Lord, all his works everywhere in his dominion. Praise the Lord, my soul” (Psalms 103:20-22).
“I lift up my eyes to the mountains— 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” (Psalms 121:1-3).
God is with us in the fire and in the storm. He can and He does step in to help. If you are experiencing a time of anguish, desperation, and pain, praying these psalms can help you focus on this and keep your faith high above your fears.
Photo credit: Unsplash/Anthony Tran
Jessica Brodie is an award-winning Christian novelist, journalist, editor, blogger, and writing coach and the recipient of the 2018 American Christian Fiction Writers Genesis Award for her novel, The Memory Garden. She is also the editor of the South Carolina United Methodist Advocate, the oldest newspaper in Methodism. Learn more about her fiction and read her faith blog at jessicabrodie.com. She has a weekly YouTube devotional, too. You can also connect with her on Facebook, Twitter, and more. She’s also produced a free eBook, A God-Centered Life: 10 Faith-Based Practices When You’re Feeling Anxious, Grumpy, or Stressed.