I Cried Out to God to Help Me

I cried out to God to help me

Versifier: Helen Otte (1985)
Tune: GENEVAN 77
Published in 2 hymnals

Printable scores: PDF, MusicXML
Audio files: MIDI
Representative text cannot be shown for this hymn due to copyright.

Versifier: Helen Otte

Helen Ann (Brink) Otte Walter (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. After her first husband died and she remarried, she remained active as a freelance writer, especially of children's stories and dramas, some of which have been published in Reformed Worship under the name Helen Walter. Bert Polman Go to person page >

Text Information

First Line: I cried out to God to help me
Title: I Cried Out to God to Help Me
Versifier: Helen Otte (1985)
Meter: D
Language: English
Copyright: © 1987, CRC Publications


Faith's bewilderment and recovery in the face of great distress.

Scripture References:
st. 1 = vv. 1-4
st. 2 = vv. 5-9
st. 3 = vv. 10-15
st. 4 = vv. 16-20

In this psalm, as in many others, remembrance of God's saving deeds in the Exodus restores peace to the troubled soul. Psalm 77 begins with a vivid description of the believer's struggle with unanswered prayer in a time of distress (st. 1). The psalmist is bewildered and his personal faith is shaken over God's seeming failure to respond (st. 2). But in reflecting on the mighty deeds through which the LORD saved Israel from slavery in Egypt, the psalmist finds bewilderment put to rest (st. 3-4). Thus Christians find renewed hope in God's saving deeds in Christ. Helen Otte (PHH 17) versified this psalm in 1985 for the Psalter Hymnal.

Liturgical Use:
Evening worship; remembrance of the Exodus; situations in which this psalm of comfort may encourage people in distress.

--Psalter Hymnal Handbook



GENEVAN 77 was first published in the 1551 edition of the Genevan Psalter as a setting for Psalm 86. It was set to Psalm 77 in the 1562 edition. Claude Goudimel (PHH 6) composed the harmonization in 1564. GENEVAN 77's many repeated phrases make it memorable; it is in Hypo-Dorian mode. The plaintive…

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Psalter Hymnal (Gray) #77
  • Full Score (PDF, XML)
  • Bulletin Score (PDF)
  • Bulletin Score (melody only) (PDF)


Instances (1 - 2 of 2)

Christian Worship #77A

Text InfoTune InfoScoreAudio

Psalter Hymnal (Gray) #77

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