O God, Be Merciful to Me

O God, be merciful to me; I am distressed by enemies

Versifier: Helen Otte (1986)
Published in 2 hymnals

Audio files: MIDI

Versifier: Helen Otte

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Text Information

First Line: O God, be merciful to me; I am distressed by enemies
Title: O God, Be Merciful to Me
Versifier: Helen Otte (1986)
Meter: 8.8.4 D
Language: English
Copyright: © 1987 Faith Alive Christian Resouces


A prayer for deliverance from enemies who conspire to destroy through slander and defamation.

Scripture References:
st. 1 = vv. 1-2
st. 2 = vv. 3-4
st. 3 = vv. 5-7
st. 4 = vv. 8-11
st. 5 = vv. 12-13

The psalmist is under such threats from enemies that he is in mortal danger. But because the enemies' weapons are defamation and slander, there is no human court of appeal to which he can plead his case. So the psalmist appeals to God for deliverance. The psalmist frames this prayer with an appeal to God (st. 1) and a confession of assurance (st. 5). An inner frame confesses confident trust that God will preserve the psalmist against the treachery of mortals (vv. 3-4, 10-11; st. 2,4). And at the prayer's center the psalmist asks God to bring down the enemies and to respond to this lament (st. 3-4). Helen Qtte (PHH 17) versified this psalm in 1986 for the Psalter Hymnal.

Liturgical Use:
When the church is under attack by worldly attempts to discredit its ministry.

--Psalter Hymnal Handbook



James Calvin Ward (b. Belleville, IL, 1950) composed ROSALIE MCMILLAN in 1984 for Psalm 17; the Psalter Hymnal Revision Committee, however, chose it as the setting for Psalm 56, which is versified in the same meter. Ward named the tune for his mother, whose Covenanter heritage in the Reformed Presby…

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Psalms for All Seasons: a complete Psalter for worship #56C
Psalter Hymnal (Gray) #56Text InfoTune InfoAudio