God be merciful

Full Text

1 O God, show mercy to us, and bless us with your grace;
and cause to shine upon us the brightness of your face,
so that your way most holy on earth may soon be known,
and unto every people your saving grace be shown.
Let all the peoples praise you; let all the nations sing;
in every land let praises and songs of gladness ring.

2 For you will judge the peoples in truth and righteousness,
and on the earth all nations will your just rule confess.
Let all the peoples praise you; let all the nations sing.
Then earth in rich abundance to us its fruit will bring.
The Lord our God will bless us; our God will blessing send,
and all the earth will worship to its remotest end.

Source: Glory to God: the Presbyterian Hymnal #341

Text Information

First Line: O God, to us show mercy and bless us in thy grace
Title: God be merciful
Meter: D
Language: English
Refrain First Line: O God, show mercy and bless us in thy grace


A communal prayer for God’s promised blessing on his people; a call to all nations to join in God's praise.

Scripture References:
st. 1 = vv. 1-2
st. 2 = vv. 3-4
st. 3 = vv. 5-6

This short communal prayer for God's blessing may have served as a liturgical prayer of the people at the close of worship. Its echoes of the priestly benediction (Num. 6:22-27) suggest that it may have been used just prior to that divinely authorized blessing. The prayer begins with an allusion to the priestly blessing and asks that God will fulfill the purpose of that blessing-to bring "salvation among the nations" (v. 2; st. 1). In its request that all earth's people may join in praise to God, whose universal rule is just and good (st. 2), this prayer anticipates God's blessings upon the earth for such praise. And it anticipates as well the whole world's recognition that the LORD is the one true God (st. 3). The versification of this psalm was altered from The Book of Psalms (1871), a text-only psalter that was later published with music in 1887.

Liturgical Use:
The combination of blessing from God and praise to God in this psalm makes it most useful at the end of worship. It can also be used for Pentecost and whenever the church reflects on its evangelistic mission, since the psalmist calls all nations to acknowledge and praise God.

--Psalter Hymnal Handbook, 1987



William Lloyd (b. Rhos Goch, Llaniestyn, Caernarvonshire, Wales, 1786; d. Caernarvonshire, 1852) composed MEIRIONYDD, which was first published in manuscript form with the name BERTH in Caniadau Seion (Songs of Zion, 1840, ed. R. Mills). The tune is named after the Welsh county Meirionydd in which L…

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Composed by Samuel S. Wesley (PHH 206), AURELIA (meaning "golden") was published as a setting for “Jerusalem the Golden” in Selection of Psalms and Hymns, which was compiled by Charles Kemble and Wesley in 1864. Though opinions vary concerning the tune's merits (Henry J. Gauntlett once condemned…

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The Cyber Hymnal #4884
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Psalter Hymnal (Gray) #67


Instances (1 - 4 of 4)Text InfoTune InfoTextScoreFlexScoreAudioPage Scan
Glory to God: the Presbyterian Hymnal #341Text InfoTextFlexScoreAudioPage Scan
Psalter Hymnal (Gray) #67Text InfoTune InfoTextScoreAudioPage Scan
The Cyber Hymnal #4884TextScoreAudio
Trinity Hymnal (Rev. ed.) #437TextPage Scan
Include 9 pre-1979 instances