How to Pray the Psalms: Psalm 34
Updated: Oct 25
Prayer for Illumination
“Father, what we do not know, teach us; what we do not have, give us; what we are not, make us, for your Son’s sake. Amen.” ~ Anglican Prayer
Scripture: Psalm 34
This psalm teaches us that praise is both private and corporate. David's heart is so filled with gratitude and praise for God in this psalm, that he invites fellow worshippers to join him. If our private devotion doesn’t “bleed over” into the community of faith of which we’re a part, we are missing out on the true purpose of praise and worship.
Using the ACTS model of Adoration, Confession, Thanksgiving, and Supplication, read through Psalm 34 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 worthy of blessing, praise, and adoration” (34:1-3).
“Father, I praise you that you hear my prayers and deliver me from all my fears” (34:4, 6, 15, 17).
“Father, I praise you that you are good and that you are my refuge” (Ps. 34:8).
“Father, I praise you that you are my faithful provider” (Ps. 34:10).
“Father, I praise you that your eyes watch over me” (Ps. 34:15).
“Father, I praise you that you are near to me and save me in my brokenness” (Ps. 34:18).
“Father, I praise you that you are my redeemer and that in you and through your Son Jesus, I will never be condemned” (Ps. 34:22).
For a quiet video to worship God while praying Psalm 34, watch 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.
Ps. 34:1 says that “I will bless that Lord at all times” (emphasis mine). Confess to the Lord those times when you have allowed your distressing circumstances to dictate your worship.
Ps. 34:2 says, “My soul makes its boast in the LORD.” Confess to the Lord those times where you have boasted or trusted in your own strength.
This psalm speaks a lot about fears. Confess to the Lord your fears and trust Him to deliver you.
Ps. 34:13-14 instructs us to “keep [our] tongue from evil and [our] lips from speaking deceit. To “turn away from evil and do good; [to] seek peace and pursue it.”
Confess those times when your words have fallen short of His glory.
Confess those times you have failed to do what it good.
Confess to the Lord those times you have failed to seek and pursue peace in your relationships.
“Father, I confess my need to seek and pursue peace in my relationship with _________ (name) today. Help me to obey you in seeking to reconcile with this person.
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.
Ps. 34:2 says to “make [your] boast in the Lord.” Take a few minutes and boast in what God has done for you and share it with a friend or family member.
“Lord, thank you for delivering me from the fear of……” (Ps. 34:4).
“Lord, thank you for delivering me from my trouble of……” (Ps. 34:6-7, 17, 19).
“Lord, thank you for your promise which tells me that if I seek you, I will lack no good thing” (Ps. 34:10).
“Lord, thank you for redeeming my life, providing for me a refuge, and for the promise of no condemnation” (Ps. 34:22).
In this moment, pray for yourself and others that you will be able to put into practice what you have read and heard.
“Father, because you encamp around those who fear you, deliver me from the fear of……”
“Father, help me to bless your name even when I don’t feel like it.”
“Father, I pray that ___________ (name) will sense your presence today as they are brokenhearted over……”
“Father, deliver me from the trouble of……”
Hymn of Reflection
I'll bless the Lord in every hour;
His praise my mouth employ;
my soul shall make its boast in God;
the meek shall hear with joy.
O magnify the Lord with me,
let us exalt His name!
When in distress on Him I called,
He to my rescue came.
We looked to Him, His light received,
and we were not ashamed;
our humble cry Jehovah heard;
our souls His hand sustained.
The angel of the Lord encamps
around about His own,
delivers them from all their foes,
lest they be overthrown.
O taste and see that God is good
to all that seek His face.
Blest is the man that trusts in Him,
confiding in His grace.
O fear the Lord, all you His saints;
no want shall bring distress;
the lions young may search for food;
His saints all good possess.
Almighty God, enable me to love you with a passion that never wanes; believe in you with a confidence that never staggers; hope in you with an expectation that can never be extinguished; and delight in you with a joy that cannot be stifled. Amen.
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Prayer Guide written by Rev. Travis Johnson.