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LORD, to You My Soul Is Lifted

Scripture References

Thematically related:

Further Reflections on Scripture References

Enfeebled and distracted by illness or some other affliction (vv. 16­-18), the psalmist in his distress recognizes the hand of God. But the affliction has also emboldened enemies to take advantage of the psalmist's weakened condition (v. 19), perhaps seeking to discredit him publicly through mischievous slander. In such  traits, the psalmist encourages us also to humbly ask God for forgiveness and for Instruction and guidance into right ways (st. 1), to appeal to God's covenant faithful­ness toward those who are faithful (st. 2), and to plead for deliverance from affliction and for relief from the opportunistic attacks of enemies (st. 3). Stanley Marvin Wiersma (b. Orange City, IA, 1930; d. Amsterdam, the Netherlands, 1986) versified Psalm 25 in 1980 for the Psalter Hymnal.
 
Bert Polman, Psalter Hymnal Handbook

Confessions and Statements of Faith References

Further Reflections on Confessions and Statements of Faith References

God’s children are not called to come before God’s throne with a list of accomplishments, or merits or goodness; they are called, says Our World Belongs to God, paragraph 26, to come with the humility that “…offers nothing but our need for mercy.” Such a cry for mercy comes from our “dying-away of the old self” (Heidelberg Catechism, Lord’s Day 33, Question and Answer 88) which expresses that we are “genuinely sorry for our sin and more and more…hate and run away from it” (Heidelberg Catechism, Lord’s Day 33, Question and Answer 89).
 

The gifts of renewal and pardon come only “through true faith” (Heidelberg Catechism, Lord’s Day 7, Question and Answer 20) and are “gifts of sheer grace, granted solely by Christ’s merits” (Heidelberg Catechism, Lord’s Day 7, Question and Answer 21). The very act of faith is to plead for his mercy.

Confession

God of compassion,
in Jesus Christ you did not disdain the company of sinners
but welcomed them with love.
Look upon us in mercy, we pray.
Our sins are more than we can bear;
our pasts enslave us; our misdeeds are beyond correcting.
Forgive the wrongs we cannot undo;
free us from a past we cannot change;
heal what we can no longer fix.
Grace our lives with your love and turn the tears of our past
into the joys of new life with you. Amen.
[John Paarlberg in Reformed Worship 34:8]
— Worship Sourcebook Edition Two

Additional Prayers

Loving God,
you teach us, you lead us, you protect us, you forgive us.
Help us to trust you more each day,
Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, now and forever. Amen.

A Prayer for Pardon
From you, gracious God, comes every grace that pardons and lifts. Do pardon our sin through Jesus Christ, our Lord. Do lift our souls to you, great giver of life and health. Remember, good Lord, your love for us, and then inspire in us the answering love of those who have been pardoned and lifted, in Jesus’ name. Amen.
— Cornelius Plantinga, Jr.

Tune Information

Name
GENEVAN 25
Key
G Major or modal
Meter
8.7.8.7.7.8.7.8

Hymn Story/Background

Enfeebled and distracted by illness or some other affliction (Psalm 25:16-18), the psalmist in his distress recognizes the hand of God. But the affliction has also emboldened enemies to take advantage of the psalmist's weakened condition (v. 19), perhaps seeking to discredit him publicly through mischievous slander. In such traits, the psalmist encourages us also to humbly ask God for forgiveness and for Instruction and guidance into right ways (st. 1), to appeal to God's covenant faithfulness toward those who are faithful (st. 2), and to plead for deliverance from affliction and for relief from the opportunistic attacks of enemies (st. 3). Stanley Marvin Wiersma versified Psalm 25 in 1980 for the Psalter Hymnal 1987.
 
Louis Bourgeois's GENEVAN 25 was first published in the 1551 edition of the Genevan Psalter. Howard Slenk harmonized the tune in 1985 for the 1987 Psalter Hymnal. One of the most beautifully constructed Genevan tunes, 25 is noted especially for its rhythmic interest and form (AABC). Like many melodies of its time, the rhythmic units move easily between groupings of two and three quarter-notes. For example, the first phrase is grouped 3+2+3+2+2; the first note of each group carries the stressed syllable of the text. Though set to a reflective text, the music should not be sung too slowly; feel the half note as the basic pulse.
— Bert Polman

Author Information

Stanley Marvin Wiersma (b. Orange City, IA, 1930; d. Amsterdam, the Netherlands, 1986) was a poet and professor of English at Calvin College, Grand Rapids, Michigan, from 1959 until his sudden death in 1986. He attended Calvin as an under­graduate and received a Ph.D. from the University of Wisconsin in 1959. His love for the Genevan psalms is reflected in the two books of poetry for which he is most widely known: Purpaleanie and Other Permutations (1978) and Style and Class (1982), both written under the pseudonym Sietze Buning. He also wrote More Than the Ear Discovers: God in the Plays of Christopher Fry and translated many Dutch poems and hymn texts into English, including the children's hymns published in All Will Be New (1982).
— Bert Polman

Composer Information

Howard J. Slenk (b. Holland, MI, 1931) received his undergraduate education from Calvin College and his Ph.D. from Ohio State University in Columbus; his dissertation was entitled The Huguenot Psalter in the Low Countries. He taught at Trinity Christian College in Palos Heights, Illinois, and at Calvin College from 1967 until retiring in 1995. From 1970 to 1993 Slenk served as organist and director of music at Woodlawn Christian Reformed Church in Grand Rapids. His published works include A Well-Appointed Church Music (1960) and A Christian Perspective on the Teaching of Music History (2013).
— Bert Polman
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