What are your favorite Psalms?

For today’s Lay Cistercian meeting we have been asked to identify our ten favorite Psalms and our favorite verse from the Psalms. Here’s my list:

Psalm 4
Psalm 8
Psalm 19
Psalm 24
Psalm 34
Psalm 100
Psalm 121
Psalm 131
Psalm 133
Psalm 150

And my favorite verse is, far and away, Psalm 37:4 — “Take delight in the LORD, and he will give you the desires of your heart.”

So what are your favorite Psalms and/or verses?

Here is the NIV Text of these Psalms:

Psalm 8
For the director of music. According to gittith. A psalm of David.
1        O LORD, our Lord,
how majestic is your name in all the earth!
You have set your glory
above the heavens.
2     From the lips of children and infants
you have ordained praise
because of your enemies,
to silence the foe and the avenger.
3     When I consider your heavens,
the work of your fingers,
the moon and the stars,
which you have set in place,
4     what is man that you are mindful of him,
the son of man that you care for him?
5     You made him a little lower than the heavenly beings
and crowned him with glory and honor.
6        You made him ruler over the works of your hands;
you put everything under his feet:
7     all flocks and herds,
and the beasts of the field,
8     the birds of the air,
and the fish of the sea,
all that swim the paths of the seas.
9        O LORD, our Lord,
how majestic is your name in all the earth!

Psalm 4
For the director of music. With stringed instruments. A psalm of David.
1       Answer me when I call to you,
O my righteous God.
Give me relief from my distress;
be merciful to me and hear my prayer.
2        How long, O men, will you turn my glory into shame?
How long will you love delusions and seek false gods?    Selah
3     Know that the LORD has set apart the godly for himself;
the LORD will hear when I call to him.
4        In your anger do not sin;
when you are on your beds,
search your hearts and be silent.    Selah
5        Offer right sacrifices
and trust in the LORD.
6        Many are asking, “Who can show us any good?”
Let the light of your face shine upon us, O LORD.
7     You have filled my heart with greater joy
than when their grain and new wine abound.
8     I will lie down and sleep in peace,
for you alone, O LORD,
make me dwell in safety.

Psalm 19
For the director of music. A psalm of David.
1        The heavens declare the glory of God;
the skies proclaim the work of his hands.
2     Day after day they pour forth speech;
night after night they display knowledge.
3     There is no speech or language
where their voice is not heard.
4     Their voice goes out into all the earth,
their words to the ends of the world.
In the heavens he has pitched a tent for the sun,
5         which is like a bridegroom coming forth from his pavilion,
like a champion rejoicing to run his course.
6     It rises at one end of the heavens
and makes its circuit to the other;
nothing is hidden from its heat.
7        The law of the LORD is perfect,
reviving the soul.
The statutes of the LORD are trustworthy,
making wise the simple.
8     The precepts of the LORD are right,
giving joy to the heart.
The commands of the LORD are radiant,
giving light to the eyes.
9     The fear of the LORD is pure,
enduring forever.
The ordinances of the LORD are sure
and altogether righteous.
10     They are more precious than gold,
than much pure gold;
they are sweeter than honey,
than honey from the comb.
11     By them is your servant warned;
in keeping them there is great reward.
12        Who can discern his errors?
Forgive my hidden faults.
13     Keep your servant also from willful sins;
may they not rule over me.
Then will I be blameless,
innocent of great transgression.
14     May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart
be pleasing in your sight,
O LORD, my Rock and my Redeemer.

Psalm 100
A psalm. For giving thanks.
1        Shout for joy to the LORD, all the earth.
2         Worship the LORD with gladness;
come before him with joyful songs.
3     Know that the LORD is God.
It is he who made us, and we are his;
we are his people, the sheep of his pasture.
4        Enter his gates with thanksgiving
and his courts with praise;
give thanks to him and praise his name.
5     For the LORD is good and his love endures forever;
his faithfulness continues through all generations.

Psalm 150
1        Praise the LORD.
Praise God in his sanctuary;
praise him in his mighty heavens.
2     Praise him for his acts of power;
praise him for his surpassing greatness.
3     Praise him with the sounding of the trumpet,
praise him with the harp and lyre,
4     praise him with tambourine and dancing,
praise him with the strings and flute,
5     praise him with the clash of cymbals,
praise him with resounding cymbals.
6        Let everything that has breath praise the LORD.
Praise the LORD.

Psalm 133
A song of ascents. Of David.
1        How good and pleasant it is
when brothers live together in unity!
2     It is like precious oil poured on the head,
running down on the beard,
running down on Aaron’s beard,
down upon the collar of his robes.
3     It is as if the dew of Hermon
were falling on Mount Zion.
For there the LORD bestows his blessing,
even life forevermore.

Psalm 131

A song of ascents. Of David.
1        My heart is not proud, O LORD,
my eyes are not haughty;
I do not concern myself with great matters
or things too wonderful for me.
2     But I have stilled and quieted my soul;
like a weaned child with its mother,
like a weaned child is my soul within me.
3        O Israel, put your hope in the LORD
both now and forevermore.

Psalm 24

Of David. A psalm.
1        The earth is the LORD’S, and everything in it,
the world, and all who live in it;
2     for he founded it upon the seas
and established it upon the waters.
3        Who may ascend the hill of the LORD?
Who may stand in his holy place?
4     He who has clean hands and a pure heart,
who does not lift up his soul to an idol
or swear by what is false.
5     He will receive blessing from the LORD
and vindication from God his Savior.
6     Such is the generation of those who seek him,
who seek your face, O God of Jacob.    Selah
7        Lift up your heads, O you gates;
be lifted up, you ancient doors,
that the King of glory may come in.
8     Who is this King of glory?
The LORD strong and mighty,
the LORD mighty in battle.
9     Lift up your heads, O you gates;
lift them up, you ancient doors,
that the King of glory may come in.
10     Who is he, this King of glory?
The LORD Almighty—
he is the King of glory.    Selah

Psalm 34
Of David. When he pretended to be insane before Abimelech, who drove him away, and he left.
1        I will extol the LORD at all times;
his praise will always be on my lips.
2     My soul will boast in the LORD;
let the afflicted hear and rejoice.
3     Glorify the LORD with me;
let us exalt his name together.
4        I sought the LORD, and he answered me;
he delivered me from all my fears.
5     Those who look to him are radiant;
their faces are never covered with shame.
6     This poor man called, and the LORD heard him;
he saved him out of all his troubles.
7     The angel of the LORD encamps around those who fear him,
and he delivers them.
8        Taste and see that the LORD is good;
blessed is the man who takes refuge in him.
9     Fear the LORD, you his saints,
for those who fear him lack nothing.
10     The lions may grow weak and hungry,
but those who seek the LORD lack no good thing.
11        Come, my children, listen to me;
I will teach you the fear of the LORD.
12     Whoever of you loves life
and desires to see many good days,
13     keep your tongue from evil
and your lips from speaking lies.
14     Turn from evil and do good;
seek peace and pursue it.
15        The eyes of the LORD are on the righteous
and his ears are attentive to their cry;
16     the face of the LORD is against those who do evil,
to cut off the memory of them from the earth.
17        The righteous cry out, and the LORD hears them;
he delivers them from all their troubles.
18     The LORD is close to the brokenhearted
and saves those who are crushed in spirit.
19        A righteous man may have many troubles,
but the LORD delivers him from them all;
20     he protects all his bones,
not one of them will be broken.
21        Evil will slay the wicked;
the foes of the righteous will be condemned.
22     The LORD redeems his servants;
no one will be condemned who takes refuge in him.

Psalm 121
A song of ascents.
1        I lift up my eyes to the hills—
where does my help come from?
2     My help comes from the LORD,
the Maker of heaven and earth.
3        He will not let your foot slip—
he who watches over you will not slumber;
4     indeed, he who watches over Israel
will neither slumber nor sleep.
5        The LORD watches over you—
the LORD is your shade at your right hand;
6     the sun will not harm you by day,
nor the moon by night.
7        The LORD will keep you from all harm—
he will watch over your life;
8     the LORD will watch over your coming and going
both now and forevermore.

Preliminary Practices for Christian Contemplatives
In Memoriam: Kenneth Leech
What Has Not Yet Been Revealed
Mysticism and the Divine Feminine: An Interview with Mirabai Starr
About Carl McColman

Author of Befriending Silence, The Big Book of Christian Mysticism, Answering the Contemplative Call, and other books. Retreat leader. Speaker. Professed Lay Cistercian.

  • http://discombobula.blogspot.com Sue

    102 and 103 in their entirety :)

  • elizabeth

    29 & 74

  • http://discombobula.blogspot.com Sue

    Actually sorry, I meant 103 and 104 :)

  • http://jodiq.wordpress.com jodiq

    138 is the very best one for me…

  • Ron

    Psalm 139 – “you have searched me and known me”

  • Chris

    compline puts it all together for me from the song of simeon to “may the all powerful Lord grant us a restful night, and a peaceful death.” Fitting with my affection for that office, psalm 90. Psalm 50 as well, “A pure heart create for me, O God, put a steadfast spirit within me.”