Opening Prayer

Inspire me Father with fresh insights, a new vision for my life, and special strength to live a godly and obedient life.

Read PSALM 41

Psalm 41[a]

For the director of music. A psalm of David.

Blessed are those who have regard for the weak;
    the Lord delivers them in times of trouble.
The Lord protects and preserves them—
    they are counted among the blessed in the land—
    he does not give them over to the desire of their foes.
The Lord sustains them on their sickbed
    and restores them from their bed of illness.

I said, “Have mercy on me, Lord;
    heal me, for I have sinned against you.”
My enemies say of me in malice,
    “When will he die and his name perish?”
When one of them comes to see me,
    he speaks falsely, while his heart gathers slander;
    then he goes out and spreads it around.

All my enemies whisper together against me;
    they imagine the worst for me, saying,
“A vile disease has afflicted him;
    he will never get up from the place where he lies.”
Even my close friend,
    someone I trusted,
one who shared my bread,
    has turned[b] against me.

10 But may you have mercy on me, Lord;
    raise me up, that I may repay them.
11 I know that you are pleased with me,
    for my enemy does not triumph over me.
12 Because of my integrity you uphold me
    and set me in your presence forever.

13 Praise be to the Lord, the God of Israel,
    from everlasting to everlasting.
Amen and Amen.


  1. Psalm 41:1 In Hebrew texts 41:1-13 is numbered 41:2-14.
  2. Psalm 41:9 Hebrew has lifted up his heel

New International Version (NIV)Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.


Bring to the Lord now, whatever burdens you are carrying, so that you can experience a lightening of your load.

Think Further

David is weighed down with three burdens: his struggle with a guilty conscience, ill-health, and betrayal by a close friend. In these battles, David experiences a sharp contrast between God’s care for him and other people’s malice. His enemies have written him off, expecting his death, but he is confident that God will sustain and restore him, despite his sins. He identifies himself with those who have integrity (v 12), who show concern for the weak and know God’s approval (v 1). Now that he is weak himself, he is ready to experience, firsthand, God’s care for the helpless.

David is doubly betrayed by others. Some people pretend to be friends but come only to learn things they can use against him (v 6). Others share in the slander and false witness. However, the greatest betrayal is from someone close to him (v 9). All these have resonances in the New Testament. Jesus is betrayed by people who twist his words, by the crowds who turn against him, and by Judas who ‘shared [his] bread’ (see v 9). In John’s gospel, Jesus quotes this verse at the Last Supper,1 when, having received bread, Judas leaves. Yet David’s confidence in the ultimate mercy and justice of God is again justified: echoed so powerfully and finally in the Messiah’s own victory over evil and death.

We too can share confidence in God, whatever burdens we are carrying. We can admit our faults to God and rely on the peace of forgiven sins. We can ask God to give us concern for the weak and make them a priority in our Christian service. Wherever we are weak, we can know God’s restoring strength and his blessings on our daily lives. The victory that David glimpsed and Jesus knew is ours also, through God’s eternal love.


Pray for those you know who struggle with weakness and heavy burdens today, that they will be drawn to the strength and compassion of God.

Closing prayer

Loving Lord, I find it so easy to harbor resentment, to pass on negative gossip. I confess it before you and ask for your grace to overcome this weakness.

Last Updated on April 16, 2023 by kingstar

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *