Psalm 42 “My Soul Longs for You”

Begin your prayer with Psalm 42, a traditional song of lament. In the lament, the psalmist cries out to God with grief and longing, complaining about an injustice and pleading with God for help.  Throughout the collection of laments in the Psalter, the speaker never despairs for long–the poem always ends with reassurance that God is present.

My soul thirst for the living God


As a deer longs for flowing streams,

so my soul longs for you, my God.

My soul thirsts for God, for the living God.

When shall I come and behold

the face of God?

My tears have been my food day and night,

while people constantly taunt me,

“Where is your God?”

These things I remember, as I pour out my soul:

How I went with the throng,

and led them in procession to the house of God

with glad shouts and songs of thanksgiving,

a multitude keeping festival.

Why are you cast down, O my soul,

and why are you disquieted within me?

Hope in God for I shall again praise

my help and my God.

My soul is cast down within me,

therefore I remember you

from the land of Jordan.

Deep calls to deep

at the thunder of your cataracts;

all your waves and billows

have gone over me.

By day the Lord shows forth steadfast love,

and at night God’s song is with me,

a prayer to the God of my life.

Why are you cast down, O my soul,

 and why are you disquieted within me?

Hope in God, for I shall again sing praises to

my help and my God.


A companion prayer for reassurance this week . . .

Lord, I hunger for you.

I thirst for you

like the deer for living water.

Show me you are with me,

even when I feel far removed

from your presence.

Teach me patience

and to trust in your love.

from You Shall Not Want: The Psalms.

Ave Maria Press, 2009.

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