A prayer for deliverance from powerful enemies.
st. 1 = vv. 1-3a
st. 2 = vv. 3b-4
st. 3 = vv. 5-6
st. 4 = v. 7
Traditionally this prayer for deliverance from enemies is ascribed to David "when he was in the cave" (see also 57). Alone, imprisoned in a desperate situation caused by powerful enemies, the psalmist appeals to God to hear his cry and to lead him when he grows faint (st. 1). No one comes to his rescue (st. 2); the LORD is his only refuge (st. 3). Then the psalmist declares that he will praise the LORD for deliverance from this tribulation and that the righteous will join in the rejoicing (st. 4). Clarence P. Walhout (PHH 6) versified Psalm 142 in 1982 for the Psalter Hymnal.
Whenever Christians find themselves or the church at the mercy of forces hostile to the kingdom of God.
--Psalter Hymnal Handbook