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I Need Your Help, O LORD My God

I need your help, O LORD, my God

Versifier: Helen Otte (1984)
Published in 4 hymnals

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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 need your help, O LORD, my God
Title: I Need Your Help, O LORD My God
Versifier: Helen Otte (1984)
Meter: D
Language: English
Copyright: © 1987, CRC Publications


A prayer for God's help when threatened by a host of conspirators led by a former friend.

Scripture References:
st. 1 = vv. 1-5
st. 2 = vv. 6-11
st. 3 = vv. 12-15, 20-21
st. 4 = vv.16-19, 22-23

Psalm 55 evokes a situation such as David experienced at the time of Absalom's revolt: the city is in turmoil, danger lurks everywhere, false reports circulate among the masses, and who can be trusted is uncertain. In the midst of this confusion and danger, the psalmist pleads for God's help (st. 1) and dreams of escape to some desert refuge "far from the tempest and storm" (v. 8). He appeals to the LORD to frustrate the plans of the treacherous conspirators (st. 2). The chief adversary is a friend and close associate who shared fellowship with the psalmist at the house of God, and the psalmist must face the unbearable pain of this friend's betrayal (st. 3). (In David's case this could have been Ahithophel–2 Sam. 15:12.

Christ experienced a similar betrayal by a close associate.) In singing this psalm we take refuge in God, who "will never let the righteous fall," and urge others to "cast [their] cares on the LORD" (v. 22; st. 4). Helen Qtte (PHH 17) prepared this versification of Psalm 55 in 1984 for the Psalter Hymnal.

Liturgical Use:
When the church is betrayed; when the church remembers Christ's betrayal by Judas.

--Psalter Hymnal Handbook



Christian Reformed Church minister Henry Vander Werp (b. Bedum, Groningen, the Netherlands, 1846; d. Grand Rapids, MI, 1918) composed RESTING PLACE, which first appeared in his privately published The Psalms, New Metrical Version, with Tunes New and Old (Hudsonville, MI, 1911). The tune was first se…

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THIRD MODE MELODY is the third of nine tunes Thomas Tallis composed for Matthew Parker's The Whole Psalter (c. 1561). This magnificent tune is worth the trouble it may take to learn. Diephouse set the text with this tune in mind, since it kept coming to him as he was working on the text. Many may kn…

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Psalter Hymnal (Gray) #55
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Instances (1 - 4 of 4)

Christian Worship (2021) #55B


Lift Up Your Hearts #664

Psalms for All Seasons #55A

Text InfoTune InfoScoreAudio

Psalter Hymnal (Gray) #55

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