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  • Writer's pictureDarrell Stetler II

How to Pray Psalm 103

Updated: Oct 25, 2023

Prayer for Illumination

Almighty and everlasting God, who of your tender love towards mankind, has sent your Son, our Savior Jesus Christ, to take upon Him our flesh, and to suffer death upon the cross, that all mankind should follow the example of His great humility. Mercifully grant, that we may both follow the example of his patience, and also be made partakers of his resurrection; through the same Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen. ~The Book of Common Prayer

Scripture: Psalm 103

Psalm 103 is a hymn of praise to God for His mercy and forgiveness. It begins by calling on all people to praise the Lord, who is merciful and gracious. David then describes the many ways in which God shows His love and compassion to His people. The Lord forgives their sins, heals their diseases, and redeemed them from death. They are crowned with love and compassion, and their lives are filled with good things.

Using the ACTS model of Adoration, Confession, Thanksgiving, and Supplication, read through Psalm 103 and then pray the following:


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

  • “Bless the Lord, O my soul, and all that is within me, bless His holy name.”

  • “Father, I praise you that your name is holy (103:1).

  • “Father, I praise you that you are gracious to forgive and powerful enough to heal” (103:3).

  • “Father, I praise you that you have redeemed my life from the pit of destruction and crowned me with steadfast love and mercy” (103:4).

  • “Father, I praise you that you are my satisfying portion” (103:5).

  • “Father, I praise you that you care for the downtrodden and oppressed” 103:6).

  • “Father, I praise you that you are merciful, forgiving, patient, compassionate, and gracious” (103:7-14).

  • “Father, I praise you that your love is eternal” (103:17).

  • “Father, I praise you that you are the Sovereign King who rules over all” (103:19).

  • “Bless the Lord, O my soul, and all that is within me, bless His holy name.”

Praying Psalm 103 - Meditation Video


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.

  • Ask the Holy Spirit to search your heart for anything that is displeasing to Him and make your confession to God trusting Him to forgive you (103:12-13).


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.

  • Psalm 103:2 instructs us to not “forget His benefits.” Take some time and make a list of God’s benefits and how He has blessed you in the last year.

  • “Father, I thank you for redeeming me from……”

  • “Father, I thank you for satisfying me with……”

  • “Father, I thank you for not treating me as my sins deserve even when I……”


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

  • “Father, I pray that you would work righteousness and justice for _____ (name).”

  • “Father, I pray that you would remove the transgression of……far away from _________ (name).

  • “Father, please demonstrate that your kingdom rules over……”

  • “Father, you said that your steadfast love is from everlasting to everlasting even to my children and their children. Lord, I lift my family before you today……”

Hymn of Reflection

Praise, my soul, the King of heaven;

to His feet your tribute bring.

Ransomed, healed, restored, forgiven,

evermore His praises sing.

Alleluia, alleluia! Praise the everlasting King!

Praise Him for His grace and favor

to our fathers in distress.

Praise Him, still the same forever,

slow to chide, and swift to bless.

Alleluia, alleluia! Glorious in His faithfulness!

Fatherlike, He tends and spares us;

well our feeble frame He knows.

In His hands He gently bears us,

rescues us from all our foes.

Alleluia, alleluia! Widely yet His mercy flows!

Frail as summer's flower we flourish—

blows the wind, and it is gone.

But while mortals rise and perish,

God endures unchanging on!

Alleluia, alleluia! Praise the High Eternal One!

Angels in the heights adore Him—

We behold Him face to face.

Saints triumphant, bow before Him,

gathered in from every race.

Alleluia, alleluia! Praise with us the God of Grace!

( Words: Henry F. Lyte, 1834. Public Domain. (For another beautiful hymn that is based on this psalm, see also

Closing Prayer

Now may the Lord our God be with us as He was with our fathers. May He never leave us or forsake us. May He incline our hearts toward Him, to walk in all His ways and keep His commandments, His laws, and His judgments. May our hearts be wholly committed to the Lord our God all our days, even to the end of our lives. Amen.

~Matthew Henry, A Way to Pray, p. 272.

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