Psalm 31 - Appeal in Affliction to the Mercy of the Lord




[New International Version] Psalm 31 belongs to Book I of the Book of Psalms. It is an individual prayer that goes through the themes of supplication, trust, and thanksgiving.

The PS 31 belongs to Book I of the Book of PS, composed of a collection of 150 texts arranged by five poetry books. The Book of Psalms, for its wisdom and basic principles of human action, is considered the heart of the Old Testament. Book I encompasses Psalms 1 to 41. The PS 31 is divided into 25 verses.

The Psalms are poems-prayers addressed to God, the privileged way to address and speak to Him. These prayers represent human experiences and religious conscience. They portray the commoner with his faults, insecurities, fears, and hopes. 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.

“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 31 - Appeal in Affliction

1  To the director. Psalm. From David.

2  In you, Lord, have I sought refuge.
May I never be disappointed?
Deliver me for your justice.

3  Incline your ears to me;
come quickly to set me free.

Be for me a rock of safety,
a fortress to save me.

4  Yea, You are my rock and my fortress;
for the sake of your name, guide me and lead me.

5  Deliver me from the net they hid against me,
for You are my refuge.

6  Into your hands I commend my spirit;
save me, O Lord, faithful God.

7 I wouldn’t say I like those who follow empty illusions;
and for myself, I trust in the Lord.

8  I will rejoice and rejoice in Your mercy,
for You have seen my misery,
and You have recognized the anguish of my soul.

9  You did not leave me trapped in the enemy’s hand,
but gave a relaxed way at my feet.

10  Have mercy on me, O Lord, for I am in affliction:
my eyes are consumed with sorrow,
as well as my soul and my bowels.

11  My life was spent in bitterness,
and my years in groaning.

My strength failed with this affliction,
and my bones were consumed.

12  I am an object of scorn to my enemies,
and even more contempt for my neighbors.

I am a source of terror to my acquaintances;
when they see me in the street, they move away from me.

13  I am a forgotten dead and erased from the hearts;
I’m like a lost object.

14  I heard the screams of the crowd,
surrounded by terror.

Because they all conspired against me
and agreed to take my life.

15  But I trust in you, Lord,
and say, “You are my God.”

16  Every moment of mine is in your hands.
Deliver me from the hand of my enemies and pursuers.

17  Make the light of your face shine upon your servant;
save me by your mercy.

18  Lord, let me not be ashamed,
for I have cried out for you.

Let evildoers be ashamed,
reduced to the silence of death.

19  Let lying lips be silent,
that utter insolence against the righteous,
with arrogance and contempt.

20  How great is thy goodness, O Lord,
which thou hast reserved for those who fear thee.

You perform it for those who trust in you,
in the sight of all humans.

21  You hide them and guard them in your presence,
against the intrigues of man;

in your tent, keep guards
away from the tongues of discord.

22  Blessed be the LORD,
for his mercy toward me has
done wonders in the fortified city.

23  And I, in my anxiety, said:
“I was excluded from before your eyes!”

But you heard the cry of my supplication,
when I called for you.

24  Love the Lord, all who are his friends,
for the Lord protects those who are faithful to him,
but he punishes, repaying those who behave with arrogance.

25  Be strong, and let your hearts be encouraged,
all you who set your hope in the Lord.

Meaning and interpretation

Psalm 31 is an individual nature of prayer passing through supplicationtrust, and thanksgiving themes. In the last verses, it becomes a hymn of praise and does not fail to address an appeal of prophetic and sapiential flavor to the entire community of Israel.

The Psalms of Supplication are very present in the Book of Psalms. They speak of human frailty and the most basic feelings of your human 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 reflect the meaning of prayer, which is 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, and peace.

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

Situations that prompt supplication can be bitter and desperate, but the Psalms generally express a state 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 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, the privileged way to address and speak with Him. Depicting the commoner, 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.

Despite being written in Antiquity, the Psalms still movesensitizeawaken feelingsinspire 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 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 comprises 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 (the first five books of the Bible, called Torah by the Jews) was read in parallel with the corresponding Psalm. Its main forms are lamentationsupplicationpraise, 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. Through it, we come into contact with our God within; therefore, it is powerful in transforming life.

Prayer can produce miracles, turn dreams into reality, and give us hope for changeharmony n,d 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 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.

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 toward peace and communion with higher energy.