Psalm 27: A Prayer for the Oppressed
Updated: Oct 29, 2019
Many who suffer at the hands of their spouses struggle to put the cries of their heart into words. Without words, we struggle to speak to God. Without prayer, feelings of isolation and abandonment settle in. God has given us the Psalms as a means to help us speak to God and be connected to him and his promises. David Powlison taught me that personalizing a Psalm brings our hearts deeper into scripture and closer to the Lord. But for most victims I work with they struggle with where to start. They fumble as they try to find words that capture their experience. They wonder, ‘Is it OK to express raw and doubt-filled thoughts?’ Here is my attempt to help you get you started. I have written Psalm 27 as a prayer of the oppressed. I suggest reading the Psalm in your bible first, then read my reflections below. Afterward add the cries of your own heart, reworking the psalm again and again until it is your own.
The Lord is my light and my salvation;
I know whom I fear, it is the man I call mine.
The Lord is the stronghold of my life;
So why am I filled with fear?
2 When he, the flesh of my own flesh, attacks me,
his words ravage my heart.
He is my adversary and my enemy?
I still am in shock, how can it be that the one who devours me- is my own?
Help me remember that you- God- promise me-
That his evils ways will not prevail.
3 When his control encircles me and seeks to strangle me,
Lord help my heart not to fear;
When he tears at my soul,
ravaging me with despise and hate,
help me be confident in your love for me.
4 Lord, I ask of you only this one thing,
yet from where I sit it seems near impossible for anyone,
even you, to grant it;
I want to find peace and rest.
Bring my heart close to yours!
I want to spend my days dwelling upon your beauty and majesty,
I want to know what it is like to be protected by you.
5 My home is filled with trouble and danger,
be my shelter as the storm rages within its walls.
Tuck me in under the cover of your righteousness;
for I cannot stand under his accusations.
The bedrock of my home trembles threatening to give way,
Please anchor me into your foundation.
Hide me, keep me. Help me escape.
6 My enemy encircles me both day and night, there is no escape.
Lift my eyes to see past him, past the place where I am trapped-
To see only you.
Shift my gaze, so that may see you at work.
My heart rejoices when I know you are looking after me,
working to set me free.
7 Hear me Lord, my face is flooded with tears
and my words garbled with sobs;
Show me your amazing grace and answer me.
In my misery- I cannot bear your silence!
8 I have sought to be faithful to you, seeking after you.
Lord it is you I wish to know-
quiet my fears and make me more sure of you.
It is you I am looking to. Tell me what to do.
My heart is weary in the seeking. Heavy in the asking.
9 Please Lord make yourself and your way known,
I am desperate-
I need you to see me.
I fear that you have turned away from me,
leaving me dwelling in a place of constant terror.
But I know that you have promised to be my help and guide.
Forget me not!
For I know it is only you that can save me.
10 I have no one, not anyone to turn to,
but you, Lord, will take me in.
You word is filled with promises reminding me that-
You Are My Refuge.
11 Help me figure out what to do, O Lord,
All the ways before me seem treacherous and fighting,
there is not choice before me that does not bring anguish to my heart.
12 Protect my heart from all the lies, especially his lies,
Telling me I am worthless and unworthy of your help and rescue.
Help me to resist his controlling and dominating ways
His words are so powerful they crush and break me.
13 I believe you Lord are good and faithful,
help me focus my eyes on your goodness and faithfulness.
My home feels like a place of death,
but you O Lord, your kingdom is one of life and freedom.
It is there I want to dwell.
14 I pray day and night for you to deliver me,
as I wait for you,
make my heart strong, fill it with courage;
come, Lord, please,
I await you and your wisdom.