Prayerbook

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Prayers for all Occasions, Needs, and Intentions


THE PSALMS

God Himself teaches us, How to Pray


What Is A Psalm?

The Psalms are prayers in which God Himself teaches us how to pray; for they were written under the direct inspiration of the Holy Spirit. Here we have the answer to the question: "What prayers shall I say?" Why the prayers of the Holy Scripture itself!" 

The 150 Psalms are the Prayer Book of the Church. When Christians pray the Psalms, they often see images of Jesus and the Church in them. Christians must remember, however, that first of all, the Psalms are the prayers of the Jewish people, and the Christian interpretation of a given Psalm is not the first or only interpretation.

Of the 150 Psalms, one hundred of them are thought to be written by the following authors: David (73); Asaph (12); Sons of Korah (10); Moses (1); Heman the Ezrahite (1); Ethan the Ezrahite (1); and one or two by Solomon. The rest of the Psalms have no recorded author.

Because the Psalms are written by so many people, from different time periods, and they show such a variety of emotions they have had a world-wide appeal and are familiar and loved by many people.

Hebrew poetry often uses pairs of lines. The second line either repeats the thought of the first or gives an opposite. Look for these pairs as you read the Psalms.

The Psalter (CCC #2585-2589)
The Five Books of Psalms
Notable Psalms
Psalm Numbering
Psalm Classification
Psalm Categories

The Seven Penitential Psalms

During times when we wish to express repentance and especially during Lent, it is customary to pray the seven penitential psalms. The penitential designation of these psalms dates from the seventh century. Prayerfully reciting these psalms will help us to recognize our sinfulness, express our sorrow and ask for God's forgiveness. 

Psalm 6

 

O Lord, rebuke me not in your anger, nor chastise me in your wrath.

Have mercy on me, O Lord, for I am weak; heal me, O Lord, for my bones are trembling.

My soul also is sorely troubled: but Lord, how long will you punish me?

Turn, O Lord, deliver my soul; in your mercy save me.

Who among the dead remembers you? Who will praise you in hell?

I am wearied with sighing; all night long tears drench my bed; my couch is soaked with weeping.

My eyes are dimmed with sorrow, worn out because of all my enemies.

Away from me, all who do evil!  For the Lord has heard my weeping.

The Lord has heard my petition; the Lord will receive my prayer.

My enemies will be terrified and disgraced; they will fall back in sudden shame.

 

Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Ghost. As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end. Amen.

Alleluia.

Psalm 32

 

Blessed is the sinner whose fault is removed, whose sin is forgiven. 

Blessed are those to whom the Lord imputes no guilt, in whose spirit is no deceit. 

As long as I kept silent, my bones wasted away; I complained all the day. 

For day and night your hand was heavy upon me; my strength withered as in dry summer heat. 

Then I acknowledged my sin to you; my guilt I did not hide. 

I said, I confess my sins to the Lord, and you took away the guilt of my sin. 

Thus all your faithful should pray in time of distress. Though flood waters threaten, they will never reach them. 

You are my shelter; from trouble you keep me; with safety you ring me round. 

I will instruct you and show you the way you should walk, give you counsel and watch over you. 

Do not be like horses or mules who have no understanding; with bit and bridle their temper is curbed, else they will not obey you. 

Many are the sorrows of the wicked, but love surrounds those who trust in the Lord.

Be glad, O you just, and rejoice in the Lord; exult, all you upright of heart.

 

Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Ghost. As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end. Amen.

Alleluia.

Psalm 38

 

Punish me no more in your anger, O Lord; do not chastise me in your wrath! 

Your arrows have struck deep in me; your hand has come down upon me. 

My flesh is afflicted because of your anger; my bones ache because of my sin. 

My iniquities overwhelm me, a burden too heavy for me to bear. 

My wounds smell foul and fester, because of my folly. 

I am brought into great trouble and misery;  I go about mourning all day. 

My loins burn with fever; my flesh is afflicted. 

I am feeble and sore smitten; I wail with anguish of heart. 

Lord, you know all my desires; my groaning is not hidden from you. 

My heart shudders, my strength has failed me; the very light of my eyes is gone. 

My friends and my companions shun my pain; my neighbors stand far off. 

Those who seek after my life lay snares for me; they seek my misfortune, they speak of ruin; they plot treachery all the day long. 

As for me, I am like the deaf, hearing nothing, like the dumb, who says nothing, 

Like someone who does not hear, who has no answer ready. 

For in you, O Lord, I have put my trust; answer me, O Lord, my God. 

For I fear my enemies will triumph over me, rejoice over me if I stumble. 

I am very near to falling; my pain is with me always. 

For I will confess my guilt and be sorry for my sin. 

But many are my enemies without cause, so many enemies without reason, 

They repay me evil for good, harassing me for following the thing that good is. 

Forsake me not, O Lord my God; be not far from me! 

Come quickly to help me, O Lord God of my salvation!

 

Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Ghost. As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end. Amen.

Alleluia.

Psalm 51

 

Have mercy on me, O God, in your goodness; in your abundant compassion blot out my offense.

Wash away all my guilt; and from my sin cleanse me.

For I know my offense; my sin is always before me.

Against you alone have I sinned; I have done such evil in your sight That you are just in your sentence, blameless when you condemn.

True, I was born guilty, a sinner, even as my mother conceived me.

Still, you insist on sincerity of heart; in my inmost being teach me wisdom.

Cleanse me with hyssop, that I may be pure; wash me, make me whiter than snow.

Let me hear sounds of joy and gladness; let the bones you have crushed rejoice.

Turn away your face from my sins; blot out all my guilt.

A clean heart create for me, God; renew in me a steadfast spirit.

Do not drive me from your presence, nor take from me your holy spirit.

Restore my joy in your salvation; sustain in me a willing spirit.

I will teach the wicked your ways, that sinners may return to you.

Rescue me from death, God, my saving God, that my tongue may praise your healing power.

Lord, open my lips; my mouth will proclaim your praise.

For you do not desire sacrifice; a burnt offering you would not accept.

My sacrifice, God, is a broken spirit; God, do not spurn a broken, humbled heart.

Make Zion prosper in your good pleasure; rebuild the walls of Jerusalem.

Then you will be pleased with proper sacrifice, burnt offerings and holocausts; then bullocks will be offered on your altar.

 

Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Ghost. As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end. Amen.

Alleluia.

Psalm 102

 

Lord, hear my prayer; let my cry come to you.

Do not hide your face from me now that I am in distress. Turn your ear to me; when I call, answer me quickly.

For my days vanish like smoke; my bones burn away as in a furnace.

I am withered, dried up like grass, too wasted to eat my food. 

From my loud groaning I become just skin and bones. 

I am like a desert owl, like an owl among the ruins.

I lie awake and moan, like a lone sparrow on the roof.

All day long my enemies taunt me; in their rage, they make my name a curse.

I eat ashes like bread, mingle my drink with tears.

Because of your furious wrath, you lifted me up just to cast me down.

My days are like a lengthening shadow; I wither like the grass.

But you, Lord, are enthroned forever; your renown is for all generations.

You will again show mercy to Zion; now is the time for pity; the appointed time has come. 

Its stones are dear to your servants; its dust moves them to pity.

The nations shall revere your name, Lord, all the kings of the earth, your glory,

Once the Lord has rebuilt Zion and appeared in glory,

Heeding the plea of the lowly, not scorning their prayer.

Let this be written for the next generation, for a people not yet born, that they may praise the Lord:

The Lord looked down from the holy heights, viewed the earth from heaven,

To attend to the groaning of the prisoners, to release those doomed to die.

Then the Lord's name will be declared on Zion, the praise of God in Jerusalem,

When all peoples and kingdoms gather to worship the Lord.

God has shattered my strength in mid-course, has cut short my days.

I plead, O my God, do not take me in the midst of my days. Your years last through all generations.

Of old you laid the earth's foundations; the heavens are the work of your hands.

They perish, but you remain; they all wear out like a garment; Like clothing you change them and they are changed,

but you are the same, your years have no end.

May the children of your servants live on; may their descendants live in your presence.

 

Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Ghost. As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end. Amen.

Alleluia.

Psalm 130

 

Out of the depths I call to you, Lord;

Lord, hear my cry! May your ears be attentive to my cry for mercy.

If you, Lord, mark our sins, Lord, who can stand?

But with you is forgiveness and so you are revered.

I wait with longing for the Lord, my soul waits for his word.

My soul looks for the Lord more than sentinels for daybreak. More than sentinels for daybreak,

Let Israel look for the Lord, For with the Lord is kindness, with him is full redemption,

And God will redeem Israel from all their sins.

 

Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Ghost. As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end. Amen.

Alleluia.

Psalm 143

 

O Lord, hear my prayer; in your faithfulness listen to my pleading; answer me in your justice.

Do not enter into judgment with your servant; before you no living being can be just.

The enemy has pursued me; they have crushed my life to the ground. They have left me in darkness like those long dead.

My spirit is faint within me; my heart is dismayed.

I remember the days of old; I ponder all your deeds; the works of your hands I recall.

I stretch out my hands to you; I thirst for you like a parched land. 

Hasten to answer me, Lord; for my spirit fails me. Do not hide your face from me, lest I become like those descending to the pit.

At dawn let me hear of your kindness, for in you I trust. Show me the path I should walk, for to you I entrust my life.

Rescue me, Lord, from my foes, for in you I hope.

Teach me to do your will, for you are my God. May your kind spirit guide me on ground that is level.

For your name's sake, Lord, give me life; in your justice lead me out of distress.

In your kindness put an end to my foes; destroy all who attack me, for I am your servant. 

 

Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Ghost. As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end. Amen.

Alleluia.

 

 
 

Prayerbook

A Catholic Religious Site

"A Collage of Catholic Information"

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