Prayer Guide: Psalm 38

Psalm 38 (ESV)

A Psalm of David, for the memorial offering.

O Lord, rebuke me not in your anger,
    nor discipline me in your wrath!
For your arrows have sunk into me,
    and your hand has come down on me.

There is no soundness in my flesh
    because of your indignation;
there is no health in my bones
    because of my sin.
For my iniquities have gone over my head;
    like a heavy burden, they are too heavy for me.

My wounds stink and fester
    because of my foolishness,
I am utterly bowed down and prostrate;
    all the day I go about mourning.
For my sides are filled with burning,
    and there is no soundness in my flesh.
I am feeble and crushed;
    I groan because of the tumult of my heart.

O Lord, all my longing is before you;
    my sighing is not hidden from you.
10 My heart throbs; my strength fails me,
    and the light of my eyes—it also has gone from me.
11 My friends and companions stand aloof from my plague,
    and my nearest kin stand far off.

12 Those who seek my life lay their snares;
    those who seek my hurt speak of ruin
    and meditate treachery all day long.

13 But I am like a deaf man; I do not hear,
    like a mute man who does not open his mouth.
14 I have become like a man who does not hear,
    and in whose mouth are no rebukes.

15 But for you, O Lord, do I wait;
    it is you, O Lord my God, who will answer.
16 For I said, “Only let them not rejoice over me,
    who boast against me when my foot slips!”

17 For I am ready to fall,
    and my pain is ever before me.
18 I confess my iniquity;
    I am sorry for my sin.
19 But my foes are vigorous, they are mighty,
    and many are those who hate me wrongfully.
20 Those who render me evil for good
    accuse me because I follow after good.

21 Do not forsake me, O Lord!
    O my God, be not far from me!
22 Make haste to help me,
    O Lord, my salvation!

ESV® Text Edition: 2016. Copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers.



God’s Praiseworthy Attributes:

  • He hears us in our desperation (v. 1)
  • He sees us in our brokenness (v. 9)
  • He answers our cry for mercy (v. 15)
  • He never forsakes us (v. 21)
  • He is near to the repentant heart (v. 21)
  • He helps us immediately (v. 22)
  • He is our Savior from sin (v. 22)

Possible prayer prompts:

  • Lord, I praise you that you heard my cry for mercy when ________
  • Lord, I praise you that you saw my need for You when _________
  • Lord, I praise you that you answered me when I needed You to ____________
  • Thank You, Lord, for giving me grace to repent from _________
  • I praise You that You helped me in __________
  • I praise You for Your saving power that saved me from ___________
  • Thank You for drawing near to me when ______ opposed my faith.


  • I confess that I failed to trust in Your mercy when _______. Demonstrate Your mercy to me, Lord.
  • Lord, I am trusting Your help to help me in __________
  • Lord, I need Your powerful grace to set me free from my sin of ________
  • I confess that I am prone to run from You when I am tempted to _________


  • Lord, help _______(name) today as they are walking through a hard season.
  • Lord, draw near to me today as I seek to serve You in _________
  • Give me grace to trust Your timing for ________


  • Lord, I am trusting Your saving power today to help me as I battle ______
  • Lord, help me to trust Your Word today when __________
  • Lord, rescue _________(name) from their sin and become their Savior today!