Dear Friend of Hymnary,

Please, before you close this box, would you today consider making a donation to Hymnary. Did you know that more than two million people came here in the first four months of 2017? These are people who have access to the most complete database of North American hymnody on the planet thanks to this site, and they are grateful for the resources they find here.

But, as you can imagine, keeping this site going does not come without a cost, and we have limited sources of revenue.

So, if you benefit from, would you please consider a donation today? Even small amounts help, and they also let us know you're behind us and support what we do. You can make your tax-deductible contribution through the Calvin College donation page, or you can send a check to Hymnary at 3201 Burton SE, Grand Rapids, MI 49546.

On behalf of the entire Hymnary team, thanks.
Harry Plantinga

LORD, Listen to My Righteous Plea

LORD, listen to my righteous plea

Versifier: Helen Otte (1982)
Published in 3 hymnals

Audio files: MIDI, Recording

Versifier: Helen Otte

(no biographical information available about Helen Otte.) Go to person page >

Text Information

First Line: LORD, listen to my righteous plea
Title: LORD, Listen to My Righteous Plea
Versifier: Helen Otte (1982)
Meter: 8.8.4 D
Language: English
Copyright: Text and music © 1987, CRC Publications


An appeal for deliverance from ungodly foes.

Scripture References:
st. 1 = vv. 1-5
st. 2 = vv. 6-8
st. 3 = vv. 8-9
st. 4 = vv. 10-13
st. 5 =vv. 14-15

Psalm 17 asks God, the heavenly King and Judge, to protect his faithful servant from the unprovoked attacks of godless enemies. It appears that the enemies hope to profit from the psalmist's death or downfall, perhaps to fatten their purses with worldly wealth (v. 14), and they seem to have the power to bring him down (vv. 10-12). As in many psalms, it could be that the enemies attack the LORD's anointed with false accusations (v. 10), and the only recourse is to call for God's righteous judgment. The psalmist appeals to God to hear his just cause (st. 1) and declares trust in God's safekeeping (st. 2). A prayer follows, in which the psalmist implores God for safe sanctuary and rescue from plotting and threatening enemies (st. 3-4) and expresses full confidence in God's provision and in the believer's ultimate joy in God's presence (st. 5).

Helen Ann (Brink) Otte (b. Grand Rapids, MI, 1931) versified this psalm in 1982 for the Psalter Hymnal. She received her education at Calvin College, Grand Rapids, Michigan, and has worked as a teacher, proofreader, and librarian. She was a member of the Poets' Workshop that worked with the revision committee to prepare psalm versifications for the 1987 Psalter Hymnal. Since 1986 Otte has resided in Downs, Kansas, where she is active as a freelance writer of children's stories and dramas, some of which have been published in Reformed Worship under the name Helen Walter.

Liturgical Use:
Situations of threat from the enemies of God's people; remembrance of the suffering of Christ at the hands of those who falsely accused him.

--Psalter Hymnal Handbook



James Calvin Ward (b. Belleville, IL, 1950) composed ROSALIE MCMILLAN in 1984 for Psalm 17; the Psalter Hymnal Revision Committee, however, chose it as the setting for Psalm 56, which is versified in the same meter. Ward named the tune for his mother, whose Covenanter heritage in the Reformed Presby…

Go to tune page >

BERNARD (Grotenhuis)

Jack M. Grotenhuis (b. Bellingham, WA, 1956; d. Tempe, AZ, 1983) composed BERNARD for this text in November 1983, a few weeks before he died in a traffic accident. His wife, Kathy, first used BERNARD with her choir at Second Baptist Church in Phoenix, Arizona, in February 1984. Grotenhuis's parents…

Go to tune page >



Instances (1 - 3 of 3)Text InfoTune InfoTextScoreFlexScoreAudioPage Scan
Lift Up Your Hearts: psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs #888Audio
Psalms for All Seasons: a complete Psalter for worship #17CAudio
Psalter Hymnal (Gray) #17Text InfoTune InfoAudio