The Prayer of an Innocent Person — Psalm 22

The Prayer of an Innocent Person — Psalm 22

In King David’s passionate lament of Psalm 22, he is clearly distressed and in dread. Enemies surround him on every corner; the taunt of death is evident; the temptation to fear activated. Despite the predicament he finds himself in however, the last third of the psalm is a written invitation to worship God regardless of circumstance. David’s extraordinary faith in the face of danger and uncertainty became a universal chorus of praise having been brought into the New Testament by our Lord Jesus Christ Himself. The opening words of Psalm 22 occur on the lips of the crucified Jesus in Mark 15:34 and Mt 27:46 as well as several other verses quoted (or at least alluded to) in the accounts of Jesus’ passion (Mt 27:35, 43; Jn 19:24).

If you are feeling worried and stressed today, even abandoned by God, let this Psalm of David remind you that you are not alone. We, too, will be tempted to fear and doubt in times of uncertainty. But by prayerfully meditating on this Psalm, you are reminded to hold fast to your faith and focus on God’s promises. The more the enemy tempts you to give up, the more you are to lean into God with prayer. Recite Psalm 22 and praise Him. Supernatural power is activated in your (prayer) life when God is praised in both the good times and in the bad. King David was ultimately delivered from His trials … and with your faith, so will you be.

The Prayer of an Innocent Person — Psalm 22

My God, my God, why have You abandoned me?
    Why so far from my call for help,
    from my cries of anguish?
My God, I call by day, but You do not answer;
    by night, but I have no relief.
Yet You are enthroned as the Holy One;
    You are the glory of Israel.
In You our fathers trusted;
    they trusted and You rescued them.
To You they cried out and they escaped;
    in You they trusted and were not disappointed.
But I am a worm, not a man,
    scorned by men, despised by the people.
All who see me mock me;
    they curl their lips and jeer;
    they shake their heads at me:
“He relied on the Lord—let Him deliver him;
    if He loves him, let Him rescue him.”
10 For You drew me forth from the womb,
    made me safe at my mother’s breasts.
11 Upon You I was thrust from the womb;
    since my mother bore me You are my God.
12 Do not stay far from me,
    for trouble is near,
    and there is no one to help.

13 Many bulls surround me;
    fierce bulls of Bashan encircle me.
14 They open their mouths against me,
    lions that rend and roar.
15 Like water my life drains away;
    all my bones are disjointed.
My heart has become like wax,
    it melts away within me.
16 As dry as a potsherd is my throat;
    my tongue cleaves to my palate;
    You lay me in the dust of death.
17 Dogs surround me;
    a pack of evildoers closes in on me.
They have pierced my hands and my feet
18     I can count all my bones.
They stare at me and gloat;
19     they divide my garments among them;
    for my clothing they cast lots.
20 But You, Lord, do not stay far off;
    my strength, come quickly to help me.
21 Deliver my soul from the sword,
    my life from the grip of the dog.
22 Save me from the lion’s mouth,
    my poor life from the horns of wild bulls.

2Then I will proclaim Your name to my brethren;
    in the assembly I will praise You:
24 “You who fear the Lord, give praise!
    All descendants of Jacob, give honor;
    show reverence, all descendants of Israel!
25 For He has not spurned or disdained
    the misery of this poor wretch,
Did not turn away from me,
    but heard me when I cried out.
26 I will offer praise in the great assembly;
    my vows I will fulfill before those who fear Him.
27 The poor will eat their fill;
    those who seek the Lord will offer praise.
    May your hearts enjoy life forever!”

28 All the ends of the earth
    will remember and turn to the Lord;
All the families of nations
    will bow low before Him.
29 For kingship belongs to the Lord,
    the ruler over the nations.
30 All who sleep in the earth
    will bow low before God;
All who have gone down into the dust
    will kneel in homage.
31 And I will live for the Lord;
    my descendants will serve You.
32 The generation to come will be told of the Lord,
    that they may proclaim to a people yet unborn
    the deliverance You have brought.


What is the meaning of Psalm 22?

In the most general sense, Psalm 22 is about a person (King David) who was crying out to God to save him from the taunts and torments of his enemies and the fear that plagued him. In the last ten verses, he began praising God for His goodness … and He was rescued.

What Psalm did Jesus quote on the cross?

Psalm 22:1 — And at the ninth hour, Jesus cried out with a loud voice, “Eloi Eloi lama sabachthani?” Which means, “My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?” This is the only saying which appears in more than one Gospel, and is a quote from Psalm 22:1 (see also Psalm 42:9). This cross reference of Old and New Testament verses, also show the importance of both Testaments being understood (and obeyed) in the life of a Christian.

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