O God, Be Merciful to Me

O God, be merciful to me; I am distressed by enemies

Versifier: Helen Otte (1986)
Tune: ROSALIE MCMILLAN
Published in 2 hymnals

Audio files: MIDI

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: O God, be merciful to me; I am distressed by enemies
Title: O God, Be Merciful to Me
Versifier: Helen Otte (1986)
Meter: 8.8.4 D
Language: English
Copyright: © 1987 Faith Alive Christian Resouces

Notes

A prayer for deliverance from enemies who conspire to destroy through slander and defamation.

Scripture References:
st. 1 = vv. 1-2
st. 2 = vv. 3-4
st. 3 = vv. 5-7
st. 4 = vv. 8-11
st. 5 = vv. 12-13

The psalmist is under such threats from enemies that he is in mortal danger. But because the enemies' weapons are defamation and slander, there is no human court of appeal to which he can plead his case. So the psalmist appeals to God for deliverance. The psalmist frames this prayer with an appeal to God (st. 1) and a confession of assurance (st. 5). An inner frame confesses confident trust that God will preserve the psalmist against the treachery of mortals (vv. 3-4, 10-11; st. 2,4). And at the prayer's center the psalmist asks God to bring down the enemies and to respond to this lament (st. 3-4). Helen Qtte (PHH 17) versified this psalm in 1986 for the Psalter Hymnal.

Liturgical Use:
When the church is under attack by worldly attempts to discredit its ministry.

--Psalter Hymnal Handbook

Tune

ROSALIE MCMILLAN

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…

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Timeline

Instances

Instances (1 - 2 of 2)

Psalms for All Seasons #56C

Text InfoTune InfoAudio

Psalter Hymnal (Gray) #56

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