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My Times Are in Your Hands

Scripture References

Further Reflections on Scripture References

Psalm 31 is an earnest prayer for deliverance, a prayer that reminds us of Christ on the cross. It is also an affirmation and a reminder of the providence and care of God in all life’s times. Calling upon the Lord to be a rock and refuge from enemies (vv. 1-2), we, along with the psalmist, commit our lives into God’s saving hand (vv. 3-5). In other times of affliction God heard, answered, and delivered (vv. 6-8), so the plea for God’s mercy comes again expressing anguish over being abandoned by all others (vv. 9-13). The psalm singer declares trust in God and asks for salvation and the shining face of God’s favor (vv. 14-16).


Sing! A New Creation

Confessions and Statements of Faith References

Further Reflections on Confessions and Statements of Faith References

No hope is stronger than that expressed in Heidelberg Catechism, Lord’s Day 1, Question and Answer 1: we “…belong—body and soul, in life and in death—to my faithful Savior, Jesus Christ…because I belong to him, Christ by His Holy Spirit assures me of eternal life...”


The basic perspective of hope is expressed in Belgic Confession, Article 37 “…the Lord will make them (us) possess a glory such as the human heart could never imagine. So we look forward to that day (of Christ’s return) with longing in order to enjoy fully the promises of God in Christ Jesus, our Lord.”


Heidelberg Catechism, Lord’s Day 15, Question and Answer 42 clarifies what may be misunderstood when it says that even though Christ died for us, we still have to die, but “our death does not pay the debt of our sins. Rather it puts an end to our sinning and is our entrance into eternal life.” Additionally, Heidelberg Catechism, Lord’s Day 17, Question and Answer 45 explains that Christ’s resurrection “is a sure pledge to us of our blessed resurrection.”


Heidelberg Catechism, Lord’s Day 22, Questions and Answers 57 and 58 speak reassurances about the actual event of dying: “Not only will my soul be taken immediately after this life to Christ its head, but also my very flesh will be raised by the power of Christ, reunited with my soul, and made like Christ’s glorious body,” and “even as I already now experience in my heart the beginning of eternal joy, after this life I will have perfect blessedness such as no eye has seen, no ear has heard, no human heart has ever imagined: a blessedness in which to praise God forever” (Heidelberg Catechism, Lord’s Day 22, Question and Answer 58).

Our World Belongs to God, paragraph 56 summarizes our hope by testifying, “We long for that day when our bodies are raised, the Lord wipes away our tears, and we dwell forever in the presence of God. We will take our place in the new creation, where there will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, and the Lord will be our light. Come, Lord Jesus, come.”


My Times Are in Your Hands


In you, Lord, I have taken refuge;
let me never be put to shame;
deliver me in your righteousness.
Turn your ear to me,
come quickly to my rescue;
be my rock of refuge,
a strong fortress to save me.
Since you are my rock and my fortress,
for the sake of your name
lead and guide me.
Keep me free from the trap
that is set for me,
for you are my refuge.
Into your hands I commit my spirit;
deliver me, Lord, my faithful God.
Be merciful to me, Lord, for I am in distress;
my eyes grow weak with sorrow,
my soul and body with grief.
My life is consumed by anguish
and my years by groaning;
my strength fails
because of my affliction,
and my bones grow weak.
Because of all my enemies,
I am the utter contempt of my neighbors
and an object of dread to my closest friends—
those who see me on the street flee from me.
I am forgotten as though I were dead;
I have become like broken pottery.
For I hear many whispering,
“Terror on every side!”
They conspire against me
and plot to take my life.
But I trust in you, Lord;
I say, “You are my God.”
My times are in your hands;
deliver me from the hands of my enemies,
from those who pursue me.
Let your face shine on your servant;
save me in your unfailing love.
How abundant are the good things
that you have stored up
for those who fear you,
that you bestow in the sight of all,
on those who take refuge in you.
In the shelter of your presence you hide them
from all human intrigues;
you keep them safe in your dwelling
from accusing tongues.
Praise be to the Lord,
for he showed me the wonders of his love
when I was in a city under siege.
In my alarm I said,
“I am cut off from your sight!”
Yet you heard my cry for mercy
when I called to you for help.
Love the Lord, all his faithful people!
The Lord preserves those who are true to him,
but the proud he pays back in full.
Be strong and take heart,
all you who hope in the Lord.
— Lift Up Your Hearts (

Additional Prayers

Mighty and loving God,
you protect and care for us in ways we will never understand.
Help us to love you so deeply that we will trust you,
and to trust you so completely that we will follow you now and always.
We pray this in Jesus’ name. Amen.
— Psalms for All Seasons (

Optional prayer in solidarity with the dying
God of all hope,
in life and in death, we belong to you.
As we gather before your face today,
we remember before you [name(s) of the dying].
Give them the grace to pray “into your hands I commit my spirit.”
Give them the grace to pray “my times are in your hands.”
By the power of your Holy Spirit,
let your face shine upon them,
and assure them that you
keep them safe in your dwelling.
By the power of your Holy Spirit,
teach us all to be strong and take heart,
as we hope in the Lord. Amen.
Write your blessed name, O Lord, upon our hearts.
May it remain there, indelibly engraved,
so that no prosperity, no adversity,
shall ever move us from your love.
Be to us a strong tower of defense,
a comforter in tribulation,
a deliverer in distress,
a very present help in trouble,
and a guide to heaven
through the many temptations and dangers of this life.

My Times Are in Your Hands

Tune Information

d minor


Musical Suggestion

When v. 5 is not part of the lectionary, the refrain should be sung after v. 4.
— Psalms for All Seasons (

The pensive tone of this minor melody lends itself to a meditative tempo. Play the same two-measure introduction each time you bring the congregation in; the consistency will help. If using guitar only, arpeggiate the first chord in each measure. In the penultimate (second-to-last) measure use the A chord. Since the refrain is sung three times, consider accompanying each statement in different was:
  • The first time through, a keyboard or different instruments can duplicate the vocal part to support the congregation, perhaps also with guitar. You may want to quietly sustain the final chord during the reading of the entire psalm.
  • The second time, play the sustained accompaniment (on organ, or perhaps strings), perhaps with other instruments duplicating the vocal parts.
  • On the final statement, play the alternate accompaniment with greater strength, and end on a major chord.

My Times Are in Your Hands

Hymn Story/Background

"My Times Are in Your Hands" was written in 1982 during a very difficult time in the history of my congregation. Our pastor had been deposed and countless guest preachers chose to speak on the need for forgiveness—to the point where I tired of it. Then a preacher came and spoke on Psalm 31 with its comforting themes. His sermon moved me to write a song on Psalm 31, putting the verses and a refrain to music.
— AnnaMae Bush

Author Information

Kathleen Hart Brumm (b. 1958), is a musician as well as a pastor in the Reformed Church in America; she studied at both Westminster Choir College and New Brunswick Theological Seminary. She has served parishes both as a musician and as a pastor. She specializes in children’s choir work and does workshops, festivals, and retreats for young singers.

Author and Composer Information

AnnaMae Bush (b. October 13, 1947, Patterson, New Jersey) attended North 4th Street Christian School, Eastern Christian Middle and High School, graduating in 1965. She attended Calvin College and graduated in 1969 with a BA in Music and minors in Sociology, English, and Theology. Bush attended Calvin Seminary and earned 2/3 of the credits necessary for MA in Worship but did not complete the program. Bush has worked as a youth advisor, United Evangelism Director in Muskegon MI, church secretary for 10 years at Church of the Servant CRC, Seminars in Christian Scholarship program coordinator at Calvin College, Advancement Associate at Inner City Christian Federation for 11 years, and is currently the Development Director at Oasis of Hope Center. She began writing hymns in 1974 when Church of the Servant encouraged her to write songs on the theme of servanthood for the installation of our first pastor. Afterward she continued to write songs for communion, baptism, liturgical use, and family occasions. Bush is married to Peter L. Bush from Muskegon, and the couple has 3 children and 4 grandchildren.
— AnnaMae Bush

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