Psalm 116 - Thanksgiving Hymn




[New International Version] Psalm 116 belongs to Book V of the Book of Psalms. In a moment of danger, the Psalmist promised God a sacrifice of thanksgiving and declares his thanks.

The  PS 116  belong to Book V  Book of Ps , which is composed of a collection of texts 150 arranged by 5 poetry books. The Book of Psalms, for its  wisdom  and  basic principles  of human action , is considered the heart of the Old Testament. Book V encompasses  Psalms 107  to  150 . Psalm 116 is divided into 19 Verses.

The Psalms are poems-prayers addressed to God, being the privileged way to address and speak to Him. These prayers represent human experiences and religious conscience . They portray the common man , with his faults, insecurities, fears and hopes and, even today, we can identify with the Psalmist and draw inspiration from these texts to pray and plead with God when we feel lost and anguished or to express our gratitude for some blessing received.

“There are enemies or friends, there is life or death, health or illness, pain or joy and, most of the time, there are no changes or gradations. Words are like stones and poetry like boulders carved by chisel”; “The Psalms are a bit like mountain paths, simple, especially when walking on snow, but they lead to the peaks; they are paths toward the peaks of meeting the Lord.” - Carlo Maria Martini, Cardinal of Milan

Psalm 116 - Thanksgiving Hymn

1  It was for my sake
that the Lord heard
my voice, my supplication.

2  For he inclined his ear to me
in the days that I called upon him.

3  The snares of death
enfolded me, the anguish of the abyss reached me;
I found myself distressed and distressed.

4  But I called on the name of the Lord:
“Please, Lord, save my soul!”

5  The Lord is gracious and just,
our God is compassionate.

6  The Lord keeps the simple;
I was without strength and He came to save me.

7  Return, O my soul, to your rest,
for the Lord has been generous to you.

8  For you, my soul, have been delivered from death,
my eyes from tears, and my feet from the fall.

9  I will walk in the presence of the Lord,
in the land of the living.

10  I believed, even when I said:
“My affliction is very great!”

11  In my turmoil I said:
“All men are liars!”

12  How shall I repay the Lord for
all His benefits to me?

13 I will  lift up the cup of salvation
and call on the name of the Lord.

14  I will pay my promises to the LORD,
and let it be before all his people.

15 The death of his faithful ones is precious in the eyes of the Lord.

16  Please Lord! I am your servant, I am your servant,
your servant’s son;
You opened my chains.

17  To you I will offer sacrifices of praise,
calling on the name of the Lord.

18  I will pay my promises to the LORD,
and let it be before all his people,

19  in the courts of the house of the LORD,
in the midst of you, Jerusalem! Hallelujah!

Meaning and interpretation

The Psalm 116 is a single prayer of thanksgiving and is well framed in the liturgical setting. In a moment of danger , the Psalmist promised God a sacrifice of thanksgiving (Verse 14).

The precise moment of the Psalm is the time when he will present himself at the liturgical assembly (Verses 14-18) and there he declares his gratitude , proclaiming the lessons of faith that are valid for all (Verses 5-6-15) and taking up personal purposes for the future (verse 15-19).

The Psalms of Supplication are very present in the Book of Psalms. They speak of human frailty and the most basic feelings of your mortal condition. Times of peace and plenty contrast with war and individual or community destruction. The Psalmist pleads for God’s help and asks him to end his situation of affliction , ending with the certainty of having been heard .

In spiritual practice, the supplication and request to God reflects a lot the meaning of prayer, being the privileged way to establish contact and raise the voice to the Divine. In numerous Psalms, supplication seems to be the most immediate motivation and the greatest concern. When turning to God, the speaker / Psalmist finds tenderness, justice, compassion, reconciliation, purification, in short, peace itself.

The narratives and feelings involved in these prayers are varied and basic; affect humanity over the millennia, and are still current today. They reflect multiple interior , individual and collective experiences, and the relationship between people and peoples. They address topics such as the deadly threat of disease, persecution, aging, violence, war, betrayal, loneliness, enemy aggression and how these feelings alter consciousness we have of ourselves, of our relationship with others and with God.

Situations that prompt supplication can be bitter and desperate , but the Psalms generally express a state of mind of trust and end in thanksgiving . The Psalmist cries out to God for his help and forgiveness in a profound expression of limitless trust in divine compassion and justice. Even the cry of the Psalmist is already a fighting speech, change will, of inner transformation, confidence and hope for a free future evil, the suffering and the wicked .

The Psalms of Supplication they are classified as individual supplication and collective supplication. Those of Individual Supplication comprise Psalm 3; 5-7; 13; 17; 22; 26; 27; 28; 31; 35; 39; 42-43; 51; 54-57; 59; 61; 63; 64; 69-71; 88; 102; 109; 120; 130; 140-143. and those of  Collective Supplication Ps 12; 44; 58; 60; 74; 80; 83; 85; 90; 94; 108; 123; 127.

The Book of Psalms

The Joy and Happiness of the Righteous in Communion with God

The Psalms are prayer-poems addressed to God, being the privileged way to address and speak to Him. Depicting the common man , with his failures, insecurities, fears and hopes, we can still identify with the Psalmist and be inspired today in Psalms to make prayers and supplications to God in times of trouble or express our gratitude for some blessing received.

The Psalms, despite being written in Antiquity, still move , sensitize , awaken feelings , inspire and enchant . In them, we can identify anguish and joy , deeply human feelings, praises, supplications, teachings of reflection on spiritual wisdom and prophetic words.

Written for different situations , some Psalms are intimate, revealing the author’s personal relationship with God; others provide guidelines and advice for life, others are compositions for specific liturgical events such as rituals and pilgrimages.

The Book of Psalms is composed of a collection of 150 poetic texts and is divided into five parts, called Psalm Books or Booklets. Each Book closes with short hymns of praise to God . The division into five parts was considered to correspond to the five books of Moses and it is assumed that each passage in the Pentateuch (first five books of the Bible, called Torah by the Jews) was read in parallel with the corresponding Psalm. Its main forms are lamentation , supplication , praise and gratitude .

The Power of Prayer in Dialogue with the Divine

The Psalms elevate our thoughts to the Divine and prayer is the power of the word . Prayer is the language of faith. Any thought, word or image addressed to God is called prayer . It is through it that we come into contact with our God within and, therefore, it is so powerful in transforming life . Prayer can produce miracles , turn dreams into reality, give us hope for change , harmony and peace with ourselves and the world.

Each Psalm has an intention that helps us meditate and walk with our God . For many theologians, the Book of Psalms has a prophetic or messianic tone as its verses refer to the coming of Christ into the world of men to guide them through the uncertainty and doubts of Human existence.

The prayer has the power to call the Spiritual Universe full mode, honest, sincere, conscious, for the purpose of spiritual self-protection, family protection and those who are dear to us, to have peace of mind, spiritual and physical, for prosperity and success, to protect health and relationships, to ward off negative energies and, above all, to connect us to something bigger than ourselves. From this peace , well-being, hope and goodness in front of everyone and everything result.

The faith can change our lives. It gives us tranquility and spiritual strength to face challenges. It helps us to meditate on our mission in life and to create a balanced and healthy environment for ourselves and those we love. When you pray, fill your heart with love and determination . The Psalms will guide you on a path of peace and communion with the higher energy .