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Morning Psalms - NKJ
Click here for King James version

Psalms 3, 37(38), 62(63), 87(88), 102(103), and 142(143)
These six Psalms comprise an entire scale of experiences which illumine the Christian life of the New Testament - not merely its overall joyous mood, but also the sorrowful path to that joy. In monastic practice thery are prayed every day but they fall nicely on Monday thru Saturday for home use. If you are unable to go to church on Sunday you might want to pray all six of them.

Monday - Tuesday - Wednesday - Thursday - Friday - Saturday - Sunday

Monday - Psalm 3
A Psalm of David when he fled from Absalom his son.

1 LORD, how they have increased who trouble me!
Many are they who rise up against me.
2 Many are they who say of me,
“There is no help for him in God.” Selah

3 But You, O LORD, are a shield for me,
My glory and the One who lifts up my head.
4 I cried to the LORD with my voice,
And He heard me from His holy hill. Selah

5 I lay down and slept;
I awoke, for the LORD sustained me.
6 I will not be afraid of ten thousands of people
Who have set themselves against me all around.

7 Arise, O LORD;
Save me, O my God!
For You have struck all my enemies on the cheekbone;
You have broken the teeth of the ungodly.
8 Salvation belongs to the LORD.
Your blessing is upon Your people. Selah
New King James Version (NKJV)
Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc.

Notes from Orthodox Study Bible: Psalm 3 is used throughout Christendom as a morning prayer, and so serves as the first of six psalms of the Matins service. This Psalm originally referred to David himself, for the expression "Many are they who rise up against me" speaks of those who had previously belonged to the faithful, but were now rebelling against him. the psalm refers also to humanity in general, which has sinned and was delivered to spiritual enemies, yet is ultimately saved by God. "I awoke" refers to our resurrection; "arise, O Lord refers to Christ's Resurrection.

Tuesday - Psalm 38
A Psalm of David. To bring to remembrance.

1 O LORD, do not rebuke me in Your wrath,
Nor chasten me in Your hot displeasure!
2 For Your arrows pierce me deeply,
And Your hand presses me down.

3 There is no soundness in my flesh
Because of Your anger,
Nor any health in my bones
Because of my sin.
4 For my iniquities have gone over my head;
Like a heavy burden they are too heavy for me.
5 My wounds are foul and festering
Because of my foolishness.

6 I am troubled, I am bowed down greatly;
I go mourning all the day long.
7 For my loins are full of inflammation,
And there is no soundness in my flesh.
8 I am feeble and severely broken;
I groan because of the turmoil of my heart.

9 Lord, all my desire is before You;
And my sighing is not hidden from You.
10 My heart pants, my strength fails me;
As for the light of my eyes, it also has gone from me.

11 My loved ones and my friends stand aloof from my plague,
And my relatives stand afar off.
12 Those also who seek my life lay snares for me;
Those who seek my hurt speak of destruction,
And plan deception all the day long.

13 But I, like a deaf man, do not hear;
And I am like a mute who does not open his mouth.
14 Thus I am like a man who does not hear,
And in whose mouth is no response.

15 For in You, O LORD, I hope;
You will hear, O Lord my God.
16 For I said, “Hear me, lest they rejoice over me,
Lest, when my foot slips, they exalt themselves against me.”

17 For I am ready to fall,
And my sorrow is continually before me.
18 For I will declare my iniquity;
I will be in anguish over my sin.
19 But my enemies are vigorous, and they are strong;
And those who hate me wrongfully have multiplied.
20 Those also who render evil for good,
They are my adversaries, because I follow what is 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!
New King James Version (NKJV)
Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc.

Notes from Orthodox Study Bible: A psalm of repentance, this is the second of the six psalms used in the Matins service. the psalmist remembers the sufferings which he endured because of his sins. He asks God to deliver him from all calamities and misfortunes. But it is also seen as a psalm of the Lord in His Passion, bearing the sins of the whole world. Verse 17 is used in the third Hour prayers on Good Friday, before the scriptural readings. The LXX renders v. 17 as "I am ready for wounds, and My pain is with Me always."

Wednesday - Psalm 63
A Psalm of David when he was in the wilderness of Judah.

1 O God, You are my God;
Early will I seek You;
My soul thirsts for You;
My flesh longs for You
In a dry and thirsty land
Where there is no water.
2 So I have looked for You in the sanctuary,
To see Your power and Your glory.

3 Because Your lovingkindness is better than life,
My lips shall praise You.
4 Thus I will bless You while I live;
I will lift up my hands in Your name.
5 My soul shall be satisfied as with marrow and fatness,
And my mouth shall praise You with joyful lips.

6 When I remember You on my bed,
I meditate on You in the night watches.
7 Because You have been my help,
Therefore in the shadow of Your wings I will rejoice.
8 My soul follows close behind You;
Your right hand upholds me.

9 But those who seek my life, to destroy it,
Shall go into the lower parts of the earth.
10 They shall fall by the sword;
They shall be a portion for jackals.

11 But the king shall rejoice in God;
Everyone who swears by Him shall glory;
But the mouth of those who speak lies shall be stopped.
New King James Version (NKJV)
Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc.

Notes from the Orthodox Study Bible: This is a psalm of the soul, which is used to be empty of any good thing, but is now restored through the grace of Christ. It is the most common and most beloved of the morning psalms in the morning psalms of the Church. St. Basil the Great said if there were a perfect prayer to be prayed in the morning, it is Ps 63. It is the third of the six Matins psalms and also a psalm of the vigil during the night.

Thursday - Psalm 88
A Song. A Psalm of the sons of Korah. To the Chief Musician. Set to “Mahalath Leannoth.” A Contemplation of Heman the Ezrahite.

1 O LORD, God of my salvation,
I have cried out day and night before You.
2 Let my prayer come before You;
Incline Your ear to my cry.

3 For my soul is full of troubles,
And my life draws near to the grave.
4 I am counted with those who go down to the pit;
I am like a man who has no strength,
5 Adrift among the dead,
Like the slain who lie in the grave,
Whom You remember no more,
And who are cut off from Your hand.

6 You have laid me in the lowest pit,
In darkness, in the depths.
7 Your wrath lies heavy upon me,
And You have afflicted me with all Your waves. Selah
8 You have put away my acquaintances far from me;
You have made me an abomination to them;
I am shut up, and I cannot get out;
9 My eye wastes away because of affliction.

LORD, I have called daily upon You;
I have stretched out my hands to You.
10 Will You work wonders for the dead?
Shall the dead arise and praise You? Selah
11 Shall Your lovingkindness be declared in the grave?
Or Your faithfulness in the place of destruction?
12 Shall Your wonders be known in the dark?
And Your righteousness in the land of forgetfulness?

13 But to You I have cried out, O LORD,
And in the morning my prayer comes before You.
14 LORD, why do You cast off my soul?
Why do You hide Your face from me?
15 I have been afflicted and ready to die from my youth;
I suffer Your terrors;
I am distraught.
16 Your fierce wrath has gone over me;
Your terrors have cut me off.
17 They came around me all day long like water;
They engulfed me altogether.
18 Loved one and friend You have put far from me,
And my acquaintances into darkness.

Notes from the Orthodox Study Bible: This is the psalm of darkness of death of the Messiah, and questions how he is going to give resurrection to the spirits now in hell. In vv 10-12 the ultimate questions of death are asked, but with no answer. Verse 15 shows the coming Christ as the Man of Sorrows, ready to die from his youth up. For v. 18 the LXX renders the concluding line, "My only companion is darkness." This psalm, prayed a Good friday Vespers, is seen by the Church as being answered forever in the Resurrection of Jesus Christ. Psalm 88 is also the fourth of the six psalms of Matins.

Friday - Psalm 103
Psalm of David.

1 Bless the LORD, O my soul;
And all that is within me, bless His holy name!
2 Bless the LORD, O my soul,
And forget not all His benefits:
3 Who forgives all your iniquities,
Who heals all your diseases,
4 Who redeems your life from destruction,
Who crowns you with lovingkindness and tender mercies,
5 Who satisfies your mouth with good things,
So that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s.

6 The LORD executes righteousness
And justice for all who are oppressed.
7 He made known His ways to Moses,
His acts to the children of Israel.
8 The LORD is merciful and gracious,
Slow to anger, and abounding in mercy.
9 He will not always strive with us,
Nor will He keep His anger forever.
10 He has not dealt with us according to our sins,
Nor punished us according to our iniquities.

11 For as the heavens are high above the earth,
So great is His mercy toward those who fear Him;
12 As far as the east is from the west,
So far has He removed our transgressions from us.
13 As a father pities his children,
So the LORD pities those who fear Him.
14 For He knows our frame;
He remembers that we are dust.

15 As for man, his days are like grass;
As a flower of the field, so he flourishes.
16 For the wind passes over it, and it is gone,
And its place remembers it no more.
17 But the mercy of the LORD is from everlasting to everlasting
On those who fear Him,
And His righteousness to children’s children,
18 To such as keep His covenant,
And to those who remember His commandments to do them.

19 The LORD has established His throne in heaven,
And His kingdom rules over all.

20 Bless the LORD, you His angels,
Who excel in strength, who do His word,
Heeding the voice of His word.
21 Bless the LORD, all you His hosts,
You ministers of His, who do His pleasure.
22 Bless the LORD, all His works,
In all places of His dominion.

Bless the Lord, O my soul!

Notes from the Orthodox Study Bible: This is a beloved morning psalm, the fifth of the six Matins psalms. Psalm 103 is often used as the opening antiphon in the Orthodox Divine Liturgy. verses 20, 21 speak of he angels, and this passage is sung on days on which the angels are honored in the Church. Within this psalm, the people of God are taught to praise Him for His great benevolence, which is proclaimed by Christ's banishing of sin and by the glory of His Resurrection.

Saturday - Psalm 143
A Psalm of David.

1 Hear my prayer, O LORD,
Give ear to my supplications!
In Your faithfulness answer me,
And in Your righteousness.
2 Do not enter into judgment with Your servant,
For in Your sight no one living is righteous.

3 For the enemy has persecuted my soul;
He has crushed my life to the ground;
He has made me dwell in darkness,
Like those who have long been dead.
4 Therefore my spirit is overwhelmed within me;
My heart within me is distressed.

5 I remember the days of old;
I meditate on all Your works;
I muse on the work of Your hands.
6 I spread out my hands to You;
My soul longs for You like a thirsty land. Selah

7 Answer me speedily, O LORD;
My spirit fails!
Do not hide Your face from me,
Lest I be like those who go down into the pit.
8 Cause me to hear Your lovingkindness in the morning,
For in You do I trust;
Cause me to know the way in which I should walk,
For I lift up my soul to You.

9 Deliver me, O LORD, from my enemies;
In You I take shelter.
10 Teach me to do Your will,
For You are my God;
Your Spirit is good.
Lead me in the land of uprightness.

11 Revive me, O LORD, for Your name’s sake!
For Your righteousness’ sake bring my soul out of trouble.
12 In Your mercy cut off my enemies,
And destroy all those who afflict my soul;
For I am Your servant.

Notes from the Orthodox Study Bible: This is the last of the six psalms of Matins. It is the song of one afflicted, waiting in the darkness for the light. It is a prayer which awaits the light of dawn (v.8)––both physical and spiritual. Verse 10b is used at Pentecost with the LXX rendering: "Let your good Spirit lead me on a level path."

 

Sunday - Read all six Psalms