Concluding Each Day In Hope

Concluding Each Day In Hope

We can’t be certain of the exact circumstances that prompted David to write Psalm 4, but there is a sense of community crisis. In our own season of pandemic upheaval, Psalm 4 models an evening prayer that invites us to end each day in hope. We can build our confidence in God through a rhythm of reviewing our days in the light of His gaze.

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Psalm 4

Psalm 4 [a]

Answer me when I call to you, my righteous God. Give me relief from my distress; have mercy on me and hear my prayer.

How long will you people turn my glory into shame? How long will you love delusions and seek false gods[b]?[c]
Know that the Lord has set apart his faithful servant for himself; the Lord hears when I call to him.

Tremble and[d] do not sin; when you are on your beds, search your hearts and be silent.
Offer the sacrifices of the righteous and trust in the Lord.

Many, Lord, are asking, “Who will bring us prosperity?” Let the light of your face shine on us.
Fill my heart with joy when their grain and new wine abound.

In peace I will lie down and sleep, for you alone, Lord, make me dwell in safety.


[a] In Hebrew texts 4:1-8 is numbered 4:2-9.
[b] Or seek lies
[c] The Hebrew has Selah (a word of uncertain meaning) here and at the end of verse 4.
[d] Or In your anger (see Septuagint)

Reviewing Your Day: Prayer of Examen Using Psalm 4

       (Hands Open, Palms Up)

  • Quiet yourself (take several deep breaths) and focus your thoughts on God.
  • You may want to begin with a phrase from Psalm 4:
    • Answer me when I call to you, O God.
    • Give me relief from distress.
    • Be merciful to me.
    • Hear my prayer.

       (Thumbs Up)

  • When did I feel the most alive today? When did I feel closest to God? What was I most grateful for today?
  • Review David’s words from Psalm 4:
    • Let the light of your face shine on us, God.
    • You have filled my heart with great joy.
  • Thank God for His goodness.

       (Thumbs Down)

  • When did I feel life draining out of me? When did I feel farthest from God? What was I least grateful for today?
  • Psalm 4 uses these words:
    • Search your hearts and be silent.
    • Offer right sacrifices to God; trust in God.
  • Ask God for forgiveness and help.

       (Hands Open, Palms Up)

  • Rest in God as you close your day.
  • Remember David’s words in Psalm 4:
    • I will lie down in peace.
    • You alone, O Lord, make me dwell in safety.
  • Ask God for what you need in the day to come.