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  • Writer's pictureDarrell Stetler II

A Guide for How to Pray Psalm 18

Updated: Jan 20

Prayer for Illumination

Almighty God, empty me of all that would prevent me from hearing what you want me to hear. Empty me that I might be filled with your Spirit and your Word. In Christ’s name I pray, Amen.

Scripture: Psalm 18

William Carey once said, “One with God is a majority.” Whenever we face trials, we must find strength in a refuge greater and more powerful than ourselves. We must be anchored to something that is greater than the trial. The only sure fortress is that Rock which is the most powerful of all—the Lord Himself. As David revealed in this psalm, this is the truth he discovered.

Using the ACTS model of Adoration, Confession, Thanksgiving, and Supplication, read through Psalm 18 and then pray the following:


Look for anything that tells you what God is like or points to His character and give Him praise.

  • “Father, I praise you that you are my strength, my rock, my fortress, my deliverer, my refuge, my shield, my protection, and my stronghold” (18:1-2. 30, 46).

  • “Father, I praise you that you are deserving of my love and worthy of my praise” (18:1, 3, 49).

  • “Father, I praise you that you are more powerful than nature” (18:7-15).

  • “Father, I praise you that you are more powerful than my enemies and my sin” (18:16-18).

  • “Father, I praise you that you are merciful, blameless, and pure” (18:25-26).

  • “Father I praise you that you are my light in the midst of darkness” (18:28-30).

  • “Father, I praise you that you are perfect, true, and faithful” (18:30).

  • “Father, I praise you that you are my deliverer” (18:43, 48).

  • “Father, I praise you that you live and that you are exalted over all” (18:46).

  • “Father, I praise you that you are my God of salvation and a God of steadfast love” (18:50).

For a video with quiet music to use for praying Psalm 18, use this:


As you acknowledge who God is and adore Him for all that He is, confession is a natural consequence. This is a moment of introspection as you ask God to search your heart for areas that displease Him.

  • “Because you desire righteousness and clean hands (18:24), I confess……to you.”

  • 18:21 states that the psalmist has “kept the ways of the Lord, and have not wickedly departed from my God.” If this is not your testimony, make your confession to God.

  • “Because you save a humble people (18:27), I surrender my pride in the area of …… to you.”

  • Because your word proves true, I commit to obey you when you say……”


This is a time to express gratitude for what God has done and for who He is. Allow the Scripture you have read to feed your thanksgiving.

  • “Father, I thank you that you hear my cries of distress” (18:4-6).

  • “Father, I thank you that you are my support” (18:18).

  • “Father, I thank you that have you have rescued me” (18:19).

  • “Father, I thank you that you take delight in me” (18:19).

  • “Father, I thank you for equipping me with strength” (18:32, 34, 39).

  • “Father, I thank you for giving me the ‘shield of your salvation, and your right hand supported me, and your gentleness [makes] me great’” (18:35).

  • “Father, I thank you for making my steps secure” (18:36).


In this moment, pray for yourself and others that you will be able to put into practice what you have read and heard.

  • “Today, as I am in distress about……I call upon you to help me.”

  • “Lord, please be my strong support today as I deal with……”

  • “Because you delight in me, I am trusting you to rescue me from……”

  • “Today I am trusting in your perfect ways and true word as I deal with……”

  • “I pray for __________ (name) in their time of distress. Please help them to…….”

  • “Remind ___________ (name) today that you delight in them and rescue them from……”

Hymn of Reflection

I love You, Lord, my strength, my rock,

my fortress and my aid.

My refuge and salvation's hope,

to You I long have prayed.

Though cords and snares encompassed me,

confronting me with death,

in my distress I called to You,

my life and source of breath.

In Your own courts You heard my plea;

my crying reached Your ear.

The mountains shook, foundations reeled;

Your anger strikes such fear.

You came to me on wings of wind,

with storm and lightning's pow'r.

You saved me from my enemies;

You give me strength each hour.

Your statues, Lord, I daily keep;

my actions seek Your will.

In loyalty I walk Your way;

my heart is steadfast still.

You pay the righteous with right things,

yet bring the haughty low.

A perfect shield for all in need,

destruction to Your foe.

For who is God except the Lord,

my rock, my strength, my stay?

Salvation's shield You give to me;

You widen victory's way.

Blest be Your name, O living God,

the victory You have won.

Your name I will proclaim to all,

O saving, sov'reign One.

Closing Prayer

Almighty God, you are the foundation of my life and my Deliverer from my sins. My trust is placed in you. Please give me strength throughout my day so that I am able to know that you are with me. Praise be to you, my rock and my fortress. Amen.

Prayer guide written by Rev. Travis Johnson.

Want to Continue Praying the Psalms?

Use this button to continue on to Praying Psalm 19.

Are you a Pastor who wants to lead your new Christians to learn Spiritual disciplines?

You will want to check out this 21-day challenge, called "How to Pray the Psalms" from NewStart Discipleship Resources. To get the workbook and all videos, along with an unlimited printing license, visit NewStart Discipleship.

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