Need a Breakthrough? Four Most Important Psalms to Memorize Today
One of the most powerful prayer books of the Bible is the Book of Psalms. These powerful — dare we say, miraculous! — prayer-poems reveal man’s interior life; a life full of heartache, doubt, hope, struggle, as well as joy. These prayers display such an honest and rich humanness that thousands of years later, the Psalms remain a most perfect reflection of the human condition — precisely why they’ve been preserved in Scripture by the Holy Spirit!
No matter what you need to pray for today, as the old saying goes, “there is a Psalm for that.” Keep in mind that the Psalms are the basis for the Divine Office (or Liturgy of the Hours). For centuries, the Church has encouraged all Christians to learn and practice the Divine Office as much and as often as possible for the sake of the world and for the enrichment of one’s own personal relationship with God. The Church recommends also to memorize certain psalms for daily use in prayer, particularly in times of distress and uncertainty. These particular Psalm-prayers, the ones to be memorized, have a particularly powerful way of touching the heart and expressing our deepest desires to God … far far beyond our own natural ability.
So if you are in need of a miraculous breakthrough in life, prayer is what you need. Rest assured, the Psalms are some of the strongest prayers a person can pray with. Considering this, take some time to prayerfully meditate on these Four Most Important Psalms to Memorize Today. Doing so daily will increase not only the goal of having them memorized, but the power they behold.
Psalm 23 (Dominus regit me)
The Lord is my Shepherd; I shall not want.
He makes me lie down in green pastures
and leads me beside still waters.
He retires my soul and guides me along right
pathways for His Name’s sake.
Though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,
I shall fear no evil; for You are with me;
Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me.
You spread a tale before me in the presence of my enemies;
You have anointed my head with oil, and my cup is running over.
Surely Your goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life,
and I will dwell in the House of the Lord forever.
No doubt, Psalm 23 is one of the most famous psalms in the world (along with Psalm 91). It is known for it’s beautiful imagery and metaphors, reminding us that in life or in death, in times of plenty or in want, God is good; worthy of all our trust, worship, and praise. Psalm 23 uses the metaphor of a Shepherd’s care for His sheep, a foreshadowing or pre-figurement (a “type”) of Jesus Christ which describes the wisdom, strength, and kindness of God. This psalm also gives a nod to the (eternal) life-saving waters of baptism. In short, Psalm 23 reminds us that with God we have absolutely nothing to worry about.
Psalm 117 (Laudate Dominum)
O praise the Lord, all you nations, acclaim Him all you peoples!
Strong is His love for us; He is faithful forever.
While Psalm 117 may be the shortest of hymns, it packs a powerful punch! It is a universal call for all nations to praise God and acclaim Him. In other words, this hymn calls on all the nations to acknowledge God’s rightful supremacy. The supremacy of Israel’s God has been demonstrated to them by the people’s secure existence, which is owed entirely to God’s gracious fidelity. This powerful prayer reminds us of the Lord’s strong love for us and that He is indeed faithful until the very end. With God, you never have to lose hope!
Psalm 130 (De Profundis)
Out of the depths I cry to You, O Lord, Lord hear my voice!
O let Your ears be attentive to the voice of my pleading.
If You, O Lord, should mark our guilt, Lord, who will survive?
But with You is found forgiveness: for this we revere You.
My soul is waiting for the Lord. I count on His Word.
My soul is longing for the Lord more than a watchman for daybreak.
(Let the watchman count on daybreak and Israel on the Lord);
Because with the Lord there is mercy and fullness of redemption;
Israel indeed He will redeem from all its iniquity.
While Psalm 130 is traditionally said for the dead, it is also a reminder of the Lord’s forgiveness – precisely why we revere Him! As you prayerfully meditate on this Psalm, thank God for His forgiveness and His mercy.
Psalm 51 (The Miserere)
Have mercy on me, God, in Your Kindness.
In Your compassion blot out my offense.
O wash me more and more from my guilt and cleanse me from my sin.
My offenses truly I know them;
my sin is always before me;
against You, You alone, have I sinned;
what is evil in Your sight I have done.
That You may be justified when You give sentence and be without
reproach when You judge, O see,
in guilt I was born, a sinner was I conceived.
Indeed You love truth in the heart;
then in the secret of my heart teach me wisdom.
O purify me, then I shall be clean;
O wash me, I shall be whiter than snow.
Make me hear rejoicing and gladness,
that the bones You have crushed may revive.
From my sins turn away Your face and blot out all my guilt.
A pure heart create for me, O God,
put a steadfast spirit within me.
Do not cast me away from Your presence,
nor deprive me of Your Holy Spirit.
Give me again the joy of Your help;
with a spirit of fervor sustain me,
that I may teach transgressors Your ways
and sinners may return to You.
O rescue me, God, my helper,
and my tongue shall ring out Your goodness.
O Lord, open my lips and my mouth shall declare Your praise.
For in sacrifice You take no delight,
burnt offering from me You would refuse,
my sacrifice, a contrite spirit, a humbled, contrite heart You will not spurn.
In Your goodness, show favor to Zion:
rebuild the walls of Jerusalem.
Then You will be pleased with lawful sacrifice,
holocausts offered on Your altar.
The Miserere is a most powerful prayer of repentance. In Latin, “miserere” means “mercy.” The Lord’s mercy is available to those who humbly and perseveringly seek His face. Through our prayers, a spiritual act of seeking His face, He showers upon us His love and mercy; and it is through these streams of grace that we are answered and healed.