Prayers in the Psalms

"O LORD, our Lord, how majestic is Your Name in all the earth, who have displayed Your splendor above the heavens." Psalm 8:1

Prayers Recorded in the Psalms

Note: The links to the Psalm references provide mouse-over access to the text of the prayers. Click on the link as needed to view more of the Biblical text. Links in the titles access the author's Annotated Outline of each Psalm listed. Each Annotated Outline contains the NASB text within the Outline. Outlines appear in down-loadable .pdf format. See "Expanded Analytical Outlines of the Psalms" for access to a complete listing of the entire Psalter.

Criteria. At least two verses in a given psalm must be directed to God in order for me to classify that psalm as a prayer. If only one verse is addressed to God, I have not counted that psalm as a prayer. An example is Psalm 75, in which only Psalm 75:1 is addressed to God. That psalm, therefore is not classified as a prayer, and is not included in this list.

Book 1. Psalms 1-41

Psalm 3:1-3; 7-8. "Betrayal:  A Prayer to God During a Crisis of Rebellion and Betrayal Within the Family"

Psalm 4:1, 6-8. "Faith Amid Opposition."

Psalm 5:1-12. "A Plea for Help Because of Enemies."

Psalm 6:1-5. "David's Plea for Relief from the Anguish of Enemy Attacks."

Psalm 7:1-9. "A Prayer for Deliverance from and Vindication Concerning Enemies."

Psalm 8:1-9. "Praise to Yahweh, Who Crowned Mere Man King of the Earth."

Psalm 9:1-10, 13-14, 19-20. "Praise and Pleas for the Destruction by Yahweh, Just Judge, of David's Enemies."

Psalm 10:1-5, 12-15, 17-18. "Distress at the Marauding Evil of the Wicked; Prayer of Faith that King Yahweh Will Protect the Persecuted and Destroy the Wicked."

Psalm 12:1-2, 7. "A Prayer to Yahweh for Preservation from the Dishonest, Abusive Wicked."

Psalm 13:1-6. "David's Mournful Plea to Yahweh for Victory over His Enemies."

Psalm 16:1-2, 9-11. "David's Reliance upon Yahweh in Life and in Death."

Psalm 17:1-15. "A Plea for Just Deliverance from Enemies."

Psalm 18:1, 25-29, 39-45. "Praise to Yahweh for Deliverance from Enemies."

Psalm 19:11-14. "The Glory and Perfection of God's Word."

Psalm 21:1-13. "Thanks for Blessings; Anticipation of Future Military Success."

Psalm 22:1-26. "The Suffering and Praise of the Anointed King."

Psalm 23:4-5. "Yahweh, the Great Shepherd" (Typifying Christ, the Great Shepherd).

Psalm 25:1-7, 11, 16-22. "David's Request for Preservation Based on the Goodness of Yahweh."

Psalm 26:1-12. "David's Plea for Vindication and Mercy Based on His Integrity."

Psalm 27:7-12. "David's Confidence in and Dependence upon Yahweh, with Whom He Fellowships in the Sanctuary."

Psalm 28:1-9. "David's Prayer for Judgment upon the Wicked; His Grateful Request for Blessing upon the Nation."

Psalm 30:1-12. "David's Dedicatory Song of Praise for Yahweh's Merciful Deliverance from Death."

Psalm 31:1-24. "David's Desperate Desire for Divine Deliverance from His Dire Distress."

Psalm 32:1-7. "The Blessed Relief from Forgiveness."

Psalm 35:1-6, 17-28. "David's Plea for the Demise of and Relief from His Adversaries."

Psalm 36:5-12. "David's Prayer for Yahweh, in Loyal Love, to Protect the Upright from the Wicked."

Psalm 38:1-22. "David's Anguished Reliance upon Yahweh Because of Discipline for His Sin."

Psalm 39:1-13. "David's Plaintive Request for Yahweh to Remove His Discipline for His Sins before He Dies."

Psalm 40:1-17. "David's Praise of and Pleas to Yahweh, the Deliverer."

Psalm 41:1-13. "David's Instructive Prayer for Forgiveness, Healing, and Deliverance from His Enemies."

Book 2: Psalms 42-72

Psalm 42:6-7, 9. "The Yearning of the Exiled, Despairing Soul for Fellowship in God's Presence."

Psalm 43:1-5. "The Psalmist's Plea to God to Rescue Him from Exile and Take Him to Jerusalem to Worship!"

Psalm 44:1-26. "A Plea for God to Reinstate His Past Assistance of Israel."

Psalm 48:9-11. "Israel's Worship of Yahweh Elohim as the Eternal Guardian of Beautiful Zion, His City!"

Psalm 51:1-19. "A Prayer for Cleansing."

Psalm 54:1-7. "David's Confident Prayer for Deliverance from His Foes."

Psalm 55:1-2, 9, 23. "David's Plea to God for Deliverance from Enemies and Betrayal."

Psalm 56:1, 8, 12-13. "David's Emotional Call upon God in Time of Great Danger."

Psalm 57:1, 5, 7-11. "David's Plea for Deliverance from His Enemies; His Resolve to Praise God."

Psalm 58:6-8. "David's Prayer for Vengeance upon Evil Rulers."

Psalm 59:1-17. "Plea and Praise for Deliverance from Foes."

Psalm 60:1-12. "A Desperate Plea for Military Victory over Edom."

Psalm 61:1-8. "Royal Plea and Gratitude for Deliverance."

Psalm 63:1-8. "Search for God in the Desert Yielding Praise and Hope."

Psalm 64:1-4. "David's Plea for Protection from Enemy Conspiracies; His Assurance Elohim Would turn Their Plots Against Them."

Psalm 65:1-11. "Praise for Elohim's Power in Salvation and Creation."

Psalm 66:1-4, 8-15. "Call to the Nations to Worship Elohim."

Psalm 67:1-7. "A Prayer That All Nations May Joyfully Bless Elohim Because of His Blessing of Israel and His Fair Judgment and Guidance of the Nations."

Psalm 68:7-10, 18, 24, 28-29, 35. "In Praise of God's Past Victories on Israel's Behalf as a Guarantee of His Establishment of His Victorious Residence on the Temple Mount Worshipfully Acknowledged by All Peoples!"

Psalm 69:1-29. "David's Cry for Deliverance and Vindication in View of Adversaries Who Mistreat Him for His Zeal for God."

Psalm 70:1-5. "David's Plea for Deliverance, Doom, and Devotion."

Psalm 71:1-24. "A Plea for Protection and a Vow of Praise."

Psalm 72:1-20. "A Prayer for the Spiritual, Political, Economic, and Agricultural Success of the King's Universal Reign."

Book 3: Psalms 73-89

Psalm 73:18-28. "The Easy, Enviable Life of the Wicked Contrasted with the Destiny of the Wicked and the Righteous."

Psalm 74:1-23. "A Lament over God's Rejection of Israel and a Plea for Him to Remember and Act."

Psalm 76:4-10. "Elohim, Resident of Zion, and Angry Defender of Israel and of the Humble of the Earth, Is To Be Feared by Israeli and Gentile Alike, For He Comes to Judge."

Psalm 77:4, 12-20. "Asaph's Despair over God's Present Rejection of Israel Tempered by His Rehearsal of God's Past Redemption."

Psalm 79:1-13. "Lament and Plea Concerning the Destruction of Jerusalem."

Psalm 80:1-19. "A Plea to the Shepherd of Israel to Resume His Protection of Israel, His Vine."

Psalm 83:1-18. "The Plea for Judgment upon the Multi-Nation Conspiracy against God and His People, Israel."

Psalm 84:1-12. "Passion for, Pilgrimage to, and Prayer in the House of God."

Psalm 85:1-7. "Acknowledgment of God's Past Favor, Agony over His Present Anger, Anticipation of Future Salvation, Righteousness, and Bounty."

Psalm 86:1-17. "David's Plea to Sovereign Yahweh Elohim Adonai to Continue to Rescue Him from His Enemies."

Psalm 88:1-18. "A Psalm of Distress and Despondency."

Psalm 89:1-19, 38-52. "A Plaintive Plea for God to Keep His Covenant with David."

Book 4: Psalms 90-106

Psalm 90:1-17. "A Plea for Eternal God's Blessing upon Our Short Lives!"

Psalm 92:1-11. "In Praise of Yahweh for His Triumph over His Enemies and His Care for the Righteous."

Psalm 93:1-5. "The Superiority of Yahweh's Reign."

Psalm 94:1-7, 12-13, 18-21. "A Plea and Assurance That Yahweh Will Eventually Avenge His Chastened People."

Psalm 97:8-9. "The Reactions of Joy and Fear to the Reign of Yahweh, King of the Earth."

Psalm 99:4, 8. "The Call to Worship Yahweh for His Reign over Israel and the World."

Psalm 101:1-2. "David's Pursuit of Righteousness in His Own Life and in His Kingdom."

Psalm 102:1-28. "A Prayer of the Afflicted, Reassuring Himself in Yahweh's Eternal Compassion for Zion."

Psalm 104:1-30. "In Praise of Yahweh's Sovereignty over His Created Earth, Ultimately Purified."

Psalm 106:4-7, 47. "Confession of National Sin and Plea for Regathering of the Diaspora."

Book 5: Psalms 107-150

Psalm 108:1-6. "Praise of Elohim Yahweh and Plea for Israel's Deliverance."

Psalm 109:1-2, 21-22, 26-29. "David's Imprecations Against His Adversaries."

Psalm 116:16-17. "Gratitude to Yahweh for the Blessings of His Salvation."

Psalm 118:25, 28. "Festal Praise to Yahweh en route to the Temple."

Psalm 119:1-176. "An Acrostic of God's Word."

Psalm 123:1-4. "Dependence on Yahweh Elohim Because of Scornful Neighbors."

Psalm 130:1-4. "Cry for Clemency; Repose in Redemption."

Psalm 132:1, 8-10. "Yahweh's Revelation, in Response to Prayer, of His Choice to Reside in Zion, Blessing It Through His Davidic Messiah."

Psalm 138:1-8. "International Gratitude to Yahweh for His Ways and His Words."

Psalm 139:1-24. "Man's Response to the Infinity of Yahweh Elohim."

Psalm 140:1-13. "David's Prayer for Protection from and Judgment upon His Foes."

Psalm 141:1-10. "A Plea for Protection from the Wicked."

Psalm 142:3-7. "A Cry to Yahweh in the Cave."

Psalm 143:1-12. "David's Prayer for Yahweh's Merciful, Instructive Deliverance from Enemy Oppression."

Psalm 144:3-14. "A Prayer of David for Divine Enablement and Protection in Battle, Accompanied by Divine Blessing upon Israel."

Psalm 145:1-16. "The Universal, Eternal Praise of Yahweh."

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(Scripture quotation taken from the NASB.)

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Posted July 14, 2019

Updated January 28, 2022