Protect Me, God: I Trust in You

Full Text

1 Protect me God: I trust in you.
I tell you now, "You are my Lord;
on you my happiness depends."

Protect me, God: I trust in you.

2 Your people are a chosen race,
and I delight in faithful friends,
but pagan ways I will not share. Refrain

3 LORD God, you are my food and drink;
my work for you is joy indeed;
glad is the heritage that's mine. Refrain

4 Thank you, my LORD, for warning me;
by night and day you guide my thoughts.
With you before me, I stand firm. Refrain

5 So now I'm glad in heart and soul,
for I have found security
among the dead I shall not rot. Refrain

6 Not death, but life, shall be my path;
abundant joy your presence grants,
an honored place, and happiness. Refrain

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Versifier: Michael Saward

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Text Information

First Line: Protect me, God: I trust in you
Title: Protect Me, God: I Trust in You
Versifier: Michael Saward (1970)
Meter: 8.8.8 with refrain
Language: English
Refrain First Line: Protect me, God: I trust in you
Copyright: Text and music © 1973, Hope Publishing Co. All rights reserved. Used by permission


A prayer asking God to preserve the psalmist's life, coupled with a ringing confession of why he looks to the LORD.

Scripture References:
st. 1 = vv. 1-2
st. 2 = vv. 3-4
st. 3 = vv. 5-6
st. 4 = vv. 7-8
st. 5 = vv. 9-10
st. 6 = v. 11

Like many psalm prayers, Psalm 16 includes a short petition to God, a lengthy declaration of trust and delight in the LORD, and gratitude for his many blessings. This psalm seems to arise out of some unspecified threat to the author's life-probably an illness, since no enemies are mentioned. Our voices join with the psalmist in a short prayer for protection and a confession of trust in the LORD (st. 1). Then we declare solidarity with God's people and repudiate all other gods and pagan ways (st. 2), acknowledging that the LORD has provided a secure and abundant source of all that blesses life (st. 3). The psalmist helps us gratefully rely only on the LORD as the One who assures life (st. 4)–even from the power of death (st. 5)–and who counsels in the way that leads to eternal joy in God's presence (st. 6). Michael John Saward (b. Blackheath, Kent, England, 1932) wrote this versification in 1970. It was commissioned for and first published in Psalm Praise (1973; see PHH 15).

Saward is residentiary Canon of St. Paul's Cathedral, London, and is a church commissioner and member of the general synod of the Church of England. Educated at Eltham College, Bristol University, and Tyndale Hall, he was ordained in the Church of England in 1956. Saward served in several congregations and was radio and television officer for the Church Information Office (1967-1972). His publications include Leisure (1963), Couldn’t Care Less (1966), Don't Miss the Party (1974), and All Change (.1983). Associated with the Jubilate Group for a number of years, he has written some sixty hymns and served as text editor for Hymns for Today's Church (1982).

Liturgical Use:
When the Christian appeals to God for protection and expresses confidence in God's care; especially appropriate for Easter and for profession of faith.

--Psalter Hymnal Handbook



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