Psalm 61

The Word Made Fresh

(To the worship leader: for stringed instruments. Of David.)

1Hear my cry, O God. Hear my prayer.
2With a faint heart I call out to you from earth’s end.
Lead me to the rock that is higher than I.
3You are my shelter, my tower standing strong against my enemy.
4Let me live in your shelter forever
and find a safe place under the protection of your wings.
5You have heard what I have promised, O God.
You have placed me in the line of those who fear your name.
6Give the king a long life.
Let his years continue through generations.
7Let him be lifted up before God.
Watch over him with steadfast love and faithfulness.
8I will always sing praises to your name
as I fulfill my duties day by day.


Superscription: the 48th psalm attributed to David. The reference to stringed instruments reminds us that many of the psalms were accompanied by music and perhaps were to be sung.

1-5: This little psalm is a simple prayer of trust in God. It can be used by anyone, verses 6 and 7 excepted. Verse 2b is the foundation for the popular old hymn, “O Sometimes the Shadows Are Deep,” with its recurring refrain, “to the rock that is higher than I.”

6-7: These verses, with their reference to the king, seem to be out of place and perhaps were inserted later in order to use the psalm as a sort of coronation hymn.

8: Verse 8 follows smoothly after verse 5, continuing the sentiments expressed in the bulk of the psalm.


This little psalm expresses the absolute certainty of the believer that God can overcome any troubles we may face in life. We have only to fly to the one who is higher.