Prayers for strength are essential as we negotiate the challenges of life. When I was much younger, I believed, foolishly, that as I followed Jesus, I would be somehow spared difficulties in my life. However, as I grew up, I realised that to be human is to face problems and challenges. Thankfully, by His amazing grace, God does not abandon us in our difficulty. Still, He is intimately involved with us and walks with us throughout everything we face in life.
I discovered this more fully as I read the Psalms and let the words of these ancient songwriters wash over me. I love the Psalms because they do not shy away from difficulty or the challenges of life. Instead, the psalmists are raw and honest as they pour out their pain, disappointment and confusion. Yet, in all their difficulties, the psalmists continually point to the God who saves, delivers and brings strength to us in our challenges.
I’ve included a series of Psalms that will strengthen you as you read them. I encourage you to pause over each line and let the truth of the words bring strength to your soul. Use them as prayers to cry out to your loving Father, who always listens and let them encourage you.
God is our refuge and strength,
an ever-present help in trouble.
Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way
and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea,
though its waters roar and foam
and the mountains quake with their surging.
I lift up my eyes to the mountains—
where does my help come from?
My help comes from the Lord,
the Maker of heaven and earth.
He will not let your foot slip—
He who watches over you will not slumber;
indeed, He who watches over Israel
will neither slumber nor sleep.
The Lord watches over you—
the Lord is your shade at your right hand;
the sun will not harm you by day,
nor the moon by night.
The Lord will keep you from all harm—
He will watch over your life;
the Lord will watch over your coming and going
both now and forevermore.
Praise be to the Lord,
for He has heard my cry for mercy.
The Lord is my strength and my shield;
my heart trusts in Him, and He helps me.
My heart leaps for joy,
and with my song I praise Him.
The Lord is the strength of His people,
a fortress of salvation for His anointed one.
Save your people and bless your inheritance;
be their shepherd and carry them forever.
He reached down from on high and took hold of me;
He drew me out of deep waters.
He rescued me from my powerful enemy,
from my foes, who were too strong for me.
They confronted me in the day of my disaster,
but the Lord was my support.
He brought me out into a spacious place;
He rescued me because He delighted in me.
When hard pressed, I cried to the Lord;
He brought me into a spacious place.
The Lord is with me; I will not be afraid.
What can mere mortals do to me?
The Lord is with me; He is my helper.
I look in triumph on my enemies.
It is better to take refuge in the Lord than to trust in humans.
It is better to take refuge in the Lord than to trust in princes.
I was pushed back and about to fall, but the Lord helped me.
The Lord is my strength and my defense;
He has become my salvation.
The Lord is my light and my salvation—
whom shall I fear?
The Lord is the stronghold of my life—
of whom shall I be afraid?
When the wicked advance against me to devour me,
it is my enemies and my foes
who will stumble and fall.
Though an army besiege me,
my heart will not fear;
though war break out against me,
even then I will be confident.
One thing I ask from the Lord,
this only do I seek:
that I may dwell in the house of the Lord
all the days of my life,
to gaze on the beauty of the Lord
and to seek Him in his temple.
For in the day of trouble
He will keep me safe in His dwelling;
He will hide me in the shelter of His sacred tent
and set me high upon a rock.
Then my head will be exalted
above the enemies who surround me;
at His sacred tent I will sacrifice with shouts of joy;
I will sing and make music to the Lord.
Hear my voice when I call, Lord;
be merciful to me and answer me.
My heart says of you, “Seek His face!”
Your face, Lord, I will seek.
Do not hide your face from me,
do not turn your servant away in anger;
you have been my helper.
Do not reject me or forsake me,
God my Savior.
Though my father and mother forsake me,
the Lord will receive me.
Teach me your way, Lord;
lead me in a straight path
because of my oppressors.
Do not turn me over to the desire of my foes,
for false witnesses rise up against me,
spouting malicious accusations.
I remain confident of this:
I will see the goodness of the Lord
in the land of the living.
Wait for the Lord;
be strong and take heart
and wait for the Lord.
The Lord is my shepherd, I lack nothing.
He makes me lie down in green pastures,
He leads me beside quiet waters,
He refreshes my soul.
He guides me along the right paths
for His name’s sake.
Even though I walk
through the darkest valley,
I will fear no evil,
for you are with me;
your rod and your staff,
they comfort me.
You prepare a table before me
in the presence of my enemies.
You anoint my head with oil;
my cup overflows.
Surely your goodness and love will follow me
all the days of my life,
and I will dwell in the house of the Lord
I love you, Lord, my strength.
The Lord is my rock, my fortress and my deliverer;
my God is my rock, in whom I take refuge,
my shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold.
I called to the Lord, who is worthy of praise,
and I have been saved from my enemies.