Opening Prayer

Dear God, you who are just and merciful, give me understanding to do what is, “right and just and fair.” (Proverbs 1:3)

Read PSALM 38

Psalm 38[a]

A psalm of David. A petition.

Lord, do not rebuke me in your anger
    or discipline me in your wrath.
Your arrows have pierced me,
    and your hand has come down on me.
Because of your wrath there is no health in my body;
    there is no soundness in my bones because of my sin.
My guilt has overwhelmed me
    like a burden too heavy to bear.

My wounds fester and are loathsome
    because of my sinful folly.
I am bowed down and brought very low;
    all day long I go about mourning.
My back is filled with searing pain;
    there is no health in my body.
I am feeble and utterly crushed;
    I groan in anguish of heart.

All my longings lie open before you, Lord;
    my sighing is not hidden from you.
10 My heart pounds, my strength fails me;
    even the light has gone from my eyes.
11 My friends and companions avoid me because of my wounds;
    my neighbors stay far away.
12 Those who want to kill me set their traps,
    those who would harm me talk of my ruin;
    all day long they scheme and lie.

13 I am like the deaf, who cannot hear,
    like the mute, who cannot speak;
14 I have become like one who does not hear,
    whose mouth can offer no reply.
15 Lord, I wait for you;
    you will answer, Lord my God.
16 For I said, “Do not let them gloat
    or exalt themselves over me when my feet slip.”

17 For I am about to fall,
    and my pain is ever with me.
18 I confess my iniquity;
    I am troubled by my sin.
19 Many have become my enemies without cause[b];
    those who hate me without reason are numerous.
20 Those who repay my good with evil
    lodge accusations against me,
    though I seek only to do what is good.

21 Lord, do not forsake me;
    do not be far from me, my God.
22 Come quickly to help me,
    my Lord and my Savior.


  1. Psalm 38:1 In Hebrew texts 38:1-22 is numbered 38:2-23.
  2. Psalm 38:19 One Dead Sea Scrolls manuscript; Masoretic Text my vigorous enemies

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.


All who repent and turn in faith to God are promised forgiveness of sins. May our eyes be open to God’s grace.

Think Further

David is troubled by his sin (v 18). Not just the consequences in his body and his relationships, but the effect that his wrongdoing has on his walk with God. It is a sign of spiritual maturity to see beyond the ill effects of sin and to be troubled by the sin itself. Jesus recognizes this in his account of the prayer of the prodigal son returning to his father: the boy says, ‘Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you’.1 David also states this clearly elsewhere, when he says to God, ‘Against you, you only, have I sinned and done what is evil in your sight’.2 We might lament the many problems that our wrong choices bring us, but this insight is the key to the ‘godly sorrow’ that brings repentance and leads to salvation.3

Like Job, David finds that his pain is not just physical. He suffers the emotional and social pain of being abandoned by those closest to him. Job’s friends turned against him and even his own wife advised him to ‘Curse God and die’.4 In David’s case, friends, companions, and neighbors are all avoiding him (v 11). Loneliness and isolation are the tools of Satan. David’s prayer at the end is that God will not forsake him (vs 21,22) and he expresses faith in God as ‘my Lord and my Savior’. Today, we have the wonderful promise that he will never leave or forsake us. ‘He [God] Himself has said, I will not in any way fail you nor give you up nor leave you without support. [I will] not, [I will] not, [I will] not in any degree leave you helpless nor forsake nor let [you] down (relax My hold on you)! [Assuredly not!]’5 God answered David’s penitent prayer; he will answer yours.


Pray for wisdom to know who might be suffering from loneliness and the effects of isolation around you today. What can you do to help them?

Closing prayer

Mighty God, sometimes the complexities of life overwhelm me. It is trouble upon trouble. Help me in my desperation Lord.

Last Updated on March 19, 2023 by kingstar

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