Opening Prayer

Indwelling Lord, make me expectant of what you will do in me and through me today.

Read PSALMS 42, 43

Psalm 42[a][b]

For the director of music. A maskil[c] of the Sons of Korah.

As the deer pants for streams of water,
    so my soul pants for you, my God.
My soul thirsts for God, for the living God.
    When can I go and meet with God?
My tears have been my food
    day and night,
while people say to me all day long,
    “Where is your God?”
These things I remember
    as I pour out my soul:
how I used to go to the house of God
    under the protection of the Mighty One[d]
with shouts of joy and praise
    among the festive throng.

Why, my soul, are you downcast?
    Why so disturbed within me?
Put your hope in God,
    for I will yet praise him,
    my Savior and my God.

My soul is downcast within me;
    therefore I will remember you
from the land of the Jordan,
    the heights of Hermon—from Mount Mizar.
Deep calls to deep
    in the roar of your waterfalls;
all your waves and breakers
    have swept over me.

By day the Lord directs his love,
    at night his song is with me—
    a prayer to the God of my life.

I say to God my Rock,
    “Why have you forgotten me?
Why must I go about mourning,
    oppressed by the enemy?”
10 My bones suffer mortal agony
    as my foes taunt me,
saying to me all day long,
    “Where is your God?”

11 Why, my soul, are you downcast?
    Why so disturbed within me?
Put your hope in God,
    for I will yet praise him,
    my Savior and my God.


  1. Psalm 42:1 In many Hebrew manuscripts Psalms 42 and 43 constitute one psalm.
  2. Psalm 42:1 In Hebrew texts 42:1-11 is numbered 42:2-12.
  3. Psalm 42:1 Title: Probably a literary or musical term
  4. Psalm 42:4 See Septuagint and Syriac; the meaning of the Hebrew for this line is uncertain.

Psalm 43[a]

Vindicate me, my God,
    and plead my cause
    against an unfaithful nation.
Rescue me from those who are
    deceitful and wicked.
You are God my stronghold.
    Why have you rejected me?
Why must I go about mourning,
    oppressed by the enemy?
Send me your light and your faithful care,
    let them lead me;
let them bring me to your holy mountain,
    to the place where you dwell.
Then I will go to the altar of God,
    to God, my joy and my delight.
I will praise you with the lyre,
    O God, my God.

Why, my soul, are you downcast?
    Why so disturbed within me?
Put your hope in God,
    for I will yet praise him,
    my Savior and my God.


  1. Psalm 43:1 In many Hebrew manuscripts Psalms 42 and 43 constitute one psalm.

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.


Acknowledge to God the ups and downs of the past week, both in tackling a tough set of Bible passages and in life in general.

Think Further

Peter Gabriel, on his album So, sings a magnificent duet with Kate Bush entitled ‘Don’t Give Up’. He takes the role, in the verses, of a man who has no fight left, a loser who can’t take any more. She, in the refrain, sings a message of hope, reassurance and encouragement: ‘Don’t give up’. Similarly, these two psalms give us three stanzas in which the singer, deep in depression, laments his separation from God with vivid imagery of drought (42:1), an overwhelming flood (42:7) and public humiliation (42:3,10; 43:1). Yet each time there’s the refrain ‘Put your hope in God’ (42:5,11; 43:5).

This could be Jeremiah’s theme song. Beset on every side with the demands of God and the realities of life, he could easily be tempted to give up. These psalms give a tidy response. First, self-pity is rebuked. Why do you let yourself feel this way (42:5,11; 43:5)? Second, there is the recollection of better times, processing to the temple and the experience of God’s love, or an acknowledgement of God’s nature as a stronghold, the source of light and truth. Finally, there is a clear statement of intent: ‘I will praise’, ‘I will remember’, ‘I will go to the altar’, ‘I will sing and play praise to God’.

Spiritual depression is not uncommon. Most, if not all, of us will have experienced times when we’ve felt distanced from God. Prayer seemed unanswered, praise merely words, our faith was running on empty. Here we have a structure for responding to such times. First, we recognize and reject a focus totally on ourselves. Second, we remind ourselves of who God is and what he’s done. Third, we commit ourselves to a course of action, moving toward him. Then, let the living water flow.


Make a clear note of the three stages of recognizing, reminding, and recommitting. Place the note where you will see it every day.

Closing prayer

Lord God, my refuge, my fortress, my rock. I rest in you, my hope and deliverer.

Last Updated on April 23, 2023 by kingstar

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