VERSE OF THE DAY
Psalm 116:1-2 (New International Version)
I love the Lord, for he heard my voice; he heard my cry for mercy. Because he turned his ear to me, I will call on him as long as I live.
I love the Lord for hearing me, for listening to my prayers. The lord is always near.
Yes, he paid attention to me, so I will always call to him whenever I need help. Ps 116:1-2
Devotional Bible Study: The Lord Heard My Cry | Psalm 116:1-2.
Updated: Nov 25, 2021
Welcome to Day 15 for a short powerful devotion from our 30 Psalms For Anxiety, Fear, Worry, And Depression bible plan. This short devotional is from Psalm 116:1-2. Make sure to join me in prayer at the bottom of this post.
Read Psalm 116:1-2. Click on the verse to read it in various translations.
“I love the Lord because he hears my voice and my prayer for mercy. Because he bends down to listen,
I will pray as long as I have breath!”
Psalm 116 is the perfect Psalm to read when you are overwhelmed with sadness or depression. We read throughout the psalms that David suffered from fear, anxiety, depression, and worry but we also discover throughout the Psalms that David overcame these horrible emotions. He sings frequently about God’s mercy and of how He rescued him from the miry clay and on other occasions.
The Lord heard my cry
Psalm 116:1-2 is known as the I love the Lord psalm. Psalm 116 has become famous because of the truth and comfort found in these verses. They have been used in hymns, songs, and even sung by Whitney Houston in the film, ‘The Preacher’s Wife’.
What did David mean when he sang these words, “I love the Lord because he hears my voice and my prayer for mercy. Because he bends down to listen, I will pray as long as I have breath!”?
We aren’t told about the circumstances that led David to sing this beautiful song of worship to God. David had been in a desperate place and he had cried out to God (Yahweh) and God heard his cry.
Hold on tight to these words in Psalm 116:2, “because He bends down to listen, I will pray as long as I have breath.”
God hears your cries for His help and mercy. God has a good plan for your life and you have to trust Him that He will keep you on His chosen path for you. He will straighten those crooked paths in front of you as you lean into Him and listen for His words and nudges of direction. You have to trust God to keep you on the narrow path that leads to life, and off the broad path that leads to destruction. (Matthew 7:13)
God loves you enough to bend down and listen to the words that you say to Him.
Did you know that Revelation 8:3-4 says that our prayers really matter to God?
These verses tell us that our prayers are like perfume or sweet-smelling incense that ascends to God. He hears every plea and petition. God saves them as well as our words of praise in a golden bowl!
“Then another angel with a gold incense burner came and stood at the altar. And a great amount of incense was given to him to mix with the prayers of God’s people as an offering on the gold altar before the throne.4 The smoke of the incense, mixed with the prayers of God’s holy people, ascended up to God from the altar where the angel had poured them out.” Revelation 8:3-4 NLT.
God hears you. He wants you to tell Him your needs and fears. He wants to hear of all your hopes and dreams. Don’t forget that if you are spending time in His presence, God will be filling your heart with His perfect dreams and plans for your life already. It is a partnership.
The perfect partnership is you and God prayerfully weaving through life’s journey.
That is what David means in Psalm 116:1-2. He has understood that God wants to partner with him on his life’s journey. He has found the truth that God wants to bend down and listen to him when he prays or cries out to God. And because he has experienced having God’s 100% attention to his needs, he will never stop talking to Him as long as he has breath!
Free printable prayer journal
1. What is God saying to you through Psalm 116:1-2?
2. Have you cried out to God for His help and mercy?
3. Have you ever taken time to think that God actually likes your voice and that He enjoys listening to you?
Use our free printable prayer journal or notebook to answer these questions and pour out your prayers to God. He is bending down listen to what you have to say to Him.
Bible affirmation: Remind yourself often of these biblical truths.
God bends down to listen to my cries for help.
God wants to partner with me in my life’s journey and to make my crooked path straight.
God loves my prayers so much that they are mixed with sweet-smelling incense that rises up before Him.
Join me in praying Psalm 116:1-2.
Thank you Father that You bend down and listen to my prayers. Thank you for partnering with me to make my crooked path straight. I love you, Yahweh. You are all-powerful and You have a good plan and a purpose for my life. Thank you that I am safe in Your presence. Amen.
Other encouraging bible verses:
Psalm 91, Matthew 7:13, Jeremiah 29:11, Revelation 8:3-4.
Related Resources: You will find the 30 Psalms For Anxiety, Fear, Worry, And Depression bible plan HERE It will have the list of 30 Bible verses that we are using for 30 days for our bible challenge.
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Psalm 116 is a prayer of thanksgiving.
Like other psalms of this type (see Psalm 30; 32; 34), Psalm 116 begins by saying that God has rescued the psalmist from trouble (verses 1-2). Then the psalm describes the distressing circumstance now past (verse 3), recalls a prayer for help (verse 4) along with the Lord’s saving response (verses 5-11), and then vows to give witness to God’s salvation before the congregation (verses 12-19). Perhaps the most distinctive mark of this type of psalm is the promise of a thanksgiving offering (verse 17). The thanksgiving psalms probably began as part of the liturgy that accompanied this offering (see Jeremiah 33:10-11).
Although the original use of Psalm 116 is relatively certain, this psalm also clearly took on a distinct liturgical role in Jewish tradition. It came to be and is now read as part of a larger group of psalms, Psalms 113-118, known as the Egyptian Hallel. The word hallel means “praise.” This word is related to the expression hallelu-yah (“Praise the Lord”) that begins and ends many of the psalms in this grouping, including Psalm 116 (verse 19). Since ancient times the Egyptian Hallel has been used in the celebration of Passover.
The theme of deliverance from death makes this quite appropriate (see verses 3, 4, 8, 15). More specifically this psalm is linked to the Passover meal. Thus, the Church reads this psalm on Maundy Thursday, the day during Holy Week when we recall Jesus’ last meal with his disciples in the context of Passover.
The psalm begins in a rather unique way, with the psalmist declaring love for God (verse 1). It is much more common for the psalmist to speak of trusting God, seeking refuge in God, or waiting for God. The word “love” (ʼāhab) does not connote an emotion as much as a commitment of loyalty. Love is a covenant word (see the word in the context of David’s relationship with Saul [1 Samuel 16:21] and Jonathan (1 Samuel 18:3]).
Thus, the psalmist pledges fidelity to God because “he has heard my voice and my supplications” (verse 1). But what the psalmist pledges in loyalty to God is not obedience to cultic or moral legislation. Rather the psalmist simply promises to “call on him as long as I live” (verse 2). Like so many other psalms, therefore, Psalm 116 begins by recognizing reliance on God as the supreme expression of faithfulness.
The final segment of the psalm raises the question of what the psalmist can give back to God in return for God’s goodness and salvation (verses 12-19). Verse 12 recalls verse 7 in which the psalmist called himself or herself to “return, O my soul, to your rest” because of bountiful ways God has responded to the psalmist’s cries. Now the psalmist asks, “What shall I return to the Lord for all his bounty to me?”
The answer comes in verses 13-14 in three statements. First, the psalmist promises to “lift up the cup of salvation” (verse 13a). Originally “cup of salvation” probably referred to a libation offering (see Exodus 29:40). But later tradition associated the cup with the portion of Passover in which four cups of wine are offered. Psalm 116 (along with Psalm 115 and 117-118) is read in connection with the fourth cup.1 For Christians the cup came to refer to the salvation found in Jesus Christ who reinterpreted this element by identifying the cup with his sacrificial death and the new covenant that came from it (Matthew 26:27-28; Mark 14:23-24; Luke 22:20).
The second answer to what the psalmist can give back to God is simply “to call on the name of the Lord” (verse 13b). This statement recalls the declaration in verse 2. Again, the psalmist pledges to show faithfulness to God by depending on him. The third answer to how the psalmist will respond to God’s goodness is in vows to be paid before the congregation (verses 14, 18). The vow was perhaps made originally when the psalmist prayed for help (see Psalm 65:1). Now, the vow is mentioned again and the psalmist “pays” or fulfills the vow, perhaps with the offering being given in the presence of the congregation.
After focusing on God’s goodness, verse 15 may seem to turn in a completely different direction. The statement that “precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of his faithful ones” sounds like death is precious. The word translated “precious” (yāqār), however, means something like “costly.”2 Thus, it states that God takes seriously the death of those who are devoted to him. For that reason the psalmist identifies herself as God’s servant and celebrates the fact that God has liberated her (verse 16).
The final three verses focus specifically on the offering hinted at earlier. The thanksgiving sacrifice is prescribed in Leviticus 7:12 as proper response to God’s gracious acts. The main features of Psalm 116:17-19 is the public nature of the offering. The psalmist will make his offering “in the presence of all his people” (verse 18b) and “in the courts of the house of the Lord” (verse 19a). The “courts” here refer to the precincts of the Jerusalem temple, the central worship site for the people of Judah.
For Christians who read Psalm 116 on Maundy Thursday the psalm’s celebration of deliverance from death takes on a unique character. It is not read as testimony to what God has done in the past so much as it gives hope for deliverance in the future. The psalm’s images of death now apply to the coming suffering of Jesus. The celebration after deliverance draws us into the suffering of Jesus as his offering to God and to us. Jesus himself has become a sacrifice and we now benefit from his faithfulness to God.