Deliver Me From Evil

Scripture References

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.

Additional Prayers

Lord, you taught us to pray,
“Save us from the time of trial, and deliver us from evil.”
By the power of your Holy Spirit enable us to turn to you
and find our strong Deliverer. Amen.

A Prayer for Help
O God, champion of the wronged, deliver me from evil. I am a part of your worldwide church, and in so many places my brothers and sisters are under threat—their churches burned, their schools attacked, their lives imperiled. O God, defender of the vulnerable, “proclaim your name and grace” so that “the upright will live safely within your sure embrace,” in Jesus’ strong name. Amen.
— Cornelius Plantinga, Jr.

Tune Information

C Major
Meter D

Hymn Story/Background

This prayer for deliverance recalls Psalms 58 and 64. As in those psalms, the enemies' chief weapon is the tongue, which cannot be countered with sword and shield. Only God can protect from the deadly mischief the tongue can cause. The psalmist prays for protection from those who plot against him (st. 1), asking God to foil their plans (st. 2). But the God to whom the psalmist prays is no mere bodyguard on call. He is the heavenly Ruler and Judge, who "secures justice for the poor and upholds the cause of the needy" (v. 12) and punishes wrongdoers. The psalmist asks God to sentence the plotters with the same measures they would have inflicted upon him; he declares that such justice will bring God praise among the righteous (st. 3). The versification of Psalm 140 is a 1985 revision by Bert Witvoet of the text in the 1912 Psalter.
The tune HERZLICH TUT MICH VERLANGEN has been associated with Gerhardt's text since they were first published together in 1656. The tune's first association with a sacred text was its attachment in 1613 to Christoph Knoll's funeral text "Herzlich tut mich verlangen" (hence the tune name). It was originally a court song by the great Renaissance composer Hans Leo Hassler, published in his Lustgarten neuer teutscher Gesäng (1601).
HERZLICH TUT MICH VERLANGEN (also known as ACH HERR, MICH ARMEN SUNDER, and PASSION CHORALE) is a bar form tune (AAB) with a glorious melody whose beauty has done much to fit the private devotional text onto the lips of congregations. Sing stanzas 1 and 3 in unison and stanza 2 in harmony (possibly unaccompanied with a confident congregation or choir). Keep a subdued registration on the organ and always accompany at a sustained pace.
— Bert Polman

Author Information

The 1912 Psalter was the first ecumenical psalter published in the United States and the most widely used metrical psalter of the twentieth century in North America.  The United Presbyterian Church invited all other Reformed and Presbyterian denominations to join them in the effort to provide a new versifications of the psalms; six Presbyterian denominations, as well as the Christian Reformed Church and the Reformed Church in America joined in the effort in revising the 1887 Psalter (whose texts actually dated back to the 1871 Book of Psalms; the 1887 edition had added music to the texts.).  The 1912 Psalter included all the psalms in 413 settings, eight doxologies, and the three Lukan canticles (Song of Mary, Song of Zechariah, and Song of Simeon).
— Bert Polman and Jack Reiffer

Albertus (Bert) Witvoet (b. Joure, Friesland, the Netherlands, 1934) wrote the versification in 1983 for the 1987 Psalter Hymnal. Witvoet spent his childhood and youth in the Netherlands, where he developed a love for music and singing. Currently a Canadian citizen, he is a member of a Christian Reformed church in St. Catharines, Ontario. Educated at Calvin College, Grand Rapids, Michigan, and the University of Toronto, Witvoet taught English at Hamilton Christian High School, Toronto District Christian High School, and Harbord Collegiate Institute in Toronto. From 1982-1999 he was editor of the weekly Christian Courier (previously known as The Calvinist Contact). He has written poetry and translated poems from Dutch into English.
— Bert Polman

Composer Information

Hans Leo Hassler (b. Nuremberg, Germany, 1564; d. Frankfurt, Germany, 1612) came from a family of famous musicians. He received his early education from his father in Nuremberg, then studied in Venice with Andrea Gabrieli and became friends with Giovanni Gabrieli. In Venice he learned the polychoral style, for which the Gabrielis were justly famous, and brought this practice back with him to Germany. Hassler served as organist and composer for Octavian Fugger, the princely art patron of Augsburg (1585-1601), as director of town music and organist in the Frauenkirche in Nuremberg (1601-1608), and finally as court musician for the Elector of Saxony in Dresden (1608-1612). A Lutheran, Hassler composed for both the Roman Catholic liturgy and for Lutheran churches. Among his many works are two volumes of motets (1591, 1601), a famous collection of court songs, Lustgarten neuer Deutscher Gesang (1601), chorale motets, Psalmen und christliche Gesänge (1607), and a volume of simpler hymn settings, Kirchengesänge, Psalmen und geistliche Lieder (1608).
— Bert Polman

Alfred Fedak (b. 1953), is a well-known organist, composer, and Minister of Music at Westminster Presbyterian Church on Capitol Hill in Albany, New York. He graduated from Hope College in 1975 with degrees in organ performance and music history. He obtained a Master’s degree in organ performance from Montclair State University, and has also studied at Westminster Choir College, Eastman School of Music, the Institute for European Studies in Vienna, and at the first Cambridge Choral Studies Seminar at Clare College, Cambridge.
As a composer, he has over 200 choral and organ works in print, and has three published anthologies of his work (Selah Publishing). In 1995, he was named a Visiting Fellow in Church Music at Episcopal Seminary of the Soutwest in Austin, Texas. He is also a Fellow of the American Guild of Organists, and was awarded the AGO’s prestigious S. Lewis Elmer Award. Fedak is a Life Member of the Hymn Society, and writes for The American Organist, The Hymn, Reformed Worship, and Music and Worship. He was a member of the Presbyterian Committee on Congregational Song that prepared Glory to God, the 2013 hymnal of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.)
— Laura de Jong
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