When an individual feels overwhelmed and weighed down with relationship challenges, financial difficulties, and/or health struggles, she is often encouraged to pray. Those who are hurting are also encouraged to read from the book of Psalms. And within this book, the most commonly suggested chapter to reflect upon is probably Psalm 23. In this famous passage, David reminds the reader that the Lord is our shepherd. He provides for all of our needs. This short chapter has encouraged countless people across time and place, and it will continue to do so. But what if an individual feels like he is currently in the middle of the "valley of the shadow of death?" What if she is so afraid, she doubts things will get better? What if the sufferer is so exhausted or so depressed that he doesn't even know what to pray anymore?
In such situations, it may be helpful to simply pray out loud those Psalms that request immediate help from the Lord. I call these passages the Psalms of Rescue, because these verses make a direct request for God to save the speaker. In these "rescue" passages, the psalmist takes a bold, personal approach in asking the Lord for deliverance.
My reading of the book of Psalms reveals approximately 30 passages where the psalmist makes a first-person request for the Lord to rescue him. You can explore a visual representation of this list of verses by visiting this webpage: www.mybibledevotions.com/rescue. On this page you will see over two dozen verses from the Psalms. Each snippet asks for God's help. And each passage is displayed next to a photo. The photos present a variety of difficulties, disasters, and desolations symbolizing the many types of troubles that human beings often experience. The idea here is that it's biblical and wise to call out for God's help when we face difficult challenges.
So if you are in a hard place right now, it's okay to simply pray through these verses and ask God to rescue you. You can read these Psalms of Rescue on your smartphone, tablet, or computer by visiting the webpage listed above. Alternatively, you can visit this document, and print out these verses for personal review offline. You can even cut out the verses and clip them together into a small prayer book for later use. However you decide to use these, I hope these verses will bless you and encourage you to pray through the Scriptures. As Psalm 91:14-16 indicates, the Lord has promised to rescue those who love Him. So resolve to love God more by reading His Word and talking to Him on a regular basis.
(Photo credit: Marly van Putten via Unsplash)