In this guide, we'll examine why & how you can pray using the actual words of Scripture as a guide.
Why Should I Pray Psalm 4?
Here's a key quote from Stephen Voorwind on why praying the Psalms matters:
“It’s impossible to say exactly, but scholars estimate that about 10% of the NT is taken from the OT. Over a quarter of the quotations (79 in all) are from the Psalms. In second place is Isaiah with a total of 66 quotations. So these two books account for almost half the number of Psalms in the NT – in addition to the quotations. If that estimate is anywhere near accurate, the NT refers back to the Psalms over 400 times! The language of the NT is simply saturated with the Psalter.”
The Meaning of Psalm 4
This psalm is historically known as the "evening psalm" and was a prayer of trust offered to God at the end of the day. It is believed by many scholars that Psalms 3 and 4 once formed a single unit. Psalm 3 was a prayer expressed in the early morning (3:5) and Psalm 4 was offered at the close of the evening (4:8). Whatever the case, this psalm celebrates the assurance that God's sovereignty gives believers.
Select your version to read:
Click here to read Psalm 4 in the NIV.
Click here to read Psalm 4 in the ESV.
Click here to read Psalm 4 in the KJV.
How to Pray Psalm 4
Try the method below to work your way through a prayer based on Psalm 4.
Prayer for Illumination
Pause, relax, take a deep breath, and pray this:
Living God, help us so to hear your holy Word that we may truly understand; that, understanding, we may believe and believing, we may follow in all faithfulness and obedience, seeking your honor and glory in all that we do; through Christ our Lord. Amen. ~Huldrych Zwingli
Using Psalm 4 for prayer
Using the ACTS model of Adoration, Confession, Thanksgiving, and Supplication, read through Psalm 4 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 hear me in my distress” (Psalm 4:1, 3).
“Father, I praise you that you are gracious to me” (4:1).
“Father, I praise you that you are trustworthy” (4:5).
“Father, I praise you that you are the source of my joy” (4:7).
“Father, I praise you that you are my source of peace and safety” (4:8)
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.
Confess ways in which you have failed to call upon God.
Confess ways in which you have sought after lies (Psalm 4:2).
Confess ways in which you have let anger control you (Psalm 4:4). Ask forgiveness for ways you have responded sinfully in your anger.
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.
Thank God that He hears you, and that He answers prayer.
“Father, I thank you that you have me given me joy over……”
“Father, I thank you that you have given me peace over……”
In this moment, pray for yourself and others that you will be able to put into practice what you have read and heard.
What concerns are you facing right now? Share them with the Lord.
Ask God to help you find your identity and joy in Him, not in your circumstances.
“Father, help me to think about my attitudes overnight and remain silent while you search my heart” (Psalm 4:4).
“Father, I pray today I will trust you over……”
“Father, I pray for _____ (name), that they would find their joy and peace in you.”
Hymn of Reflection
Lord! thou wilt hear me when I pray; I am forever thine; I fear before thee all the day, Nor would I dare to sin.
And while I rest my weary head, From cares and business free; 'Tis sweet conversing on my bed, With my own heart and thee.
I pay this ev'ning sacrifice; And, when my work is done, Great God, my faith and hope relies Upon thy grace alone.
Thus with my thoughts compos'd to peace, I'll give mine eyes to sleep; Thy hand in safety keeps my days, And will my slumbers keep!
(Lyrics by Isaac Watts)
Almighty God, while the world is full of anxiety, I will find peace and rest in you. When events in my life bring distress, I will lie down and meditate on your grace. For you alone make me dwell in safety. For you alone are my rock and my redeemer. I have nothing to fear. You will never leave me or forsake me. In Jesus name I pray. Amen.
Thanks to Rev. Travis Johnson for writing this prayer guide.
Want to Continue Praying the Psalms?
Use this button to continue on to Day 5: Praying Psalm 5.
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.