Psalms for Healing
There are moments of our lives that seem defined by grief and sorrow. As we grapple with pain and loss, we crave some kind of comfort—some assurance that the suffering is not permanent and that there is reason to hope. In such moments, the evocative poetry of Psalms serves as a balm to the soul and the spirit. The Book of Psalms reveals to us the character of God and serves as inspiration for our own prayers to our Creator.
We offer you this list of psalms centered around healing and restoration. We hope these Bible verses bring you peace, wherever you are on your journey. Reflect on them yourself, or send them to a dear friend or loved one who could benefit from the encouragement of scripture.
The Book of Psalms is centered around giving glory to God and exploring what it looks like to respond to the hills and valleys of life through faith. The psalms we’ll consider here explore in-depth those valleys. Through this book, we are invited to continue fixing our eyes upon God, even and especially in our darkest moments.
Types of Psalms
Biblical scholar, Hermann Gunkel was one of the first to develop a method for categorizing the psalms into different types. Gunkel proposed categorizing the psalms not according to their assumed authorship or chronology, but on the basis of genre.
According to Gunkel, there are five major categories of psalms:
- Communal Laments
- Individual Laments
- Psalms of Thanksgiving
- Royal Psalms
Many of these “healing” psalms fall under the category of individual and communal laments. The psalmist brings the full emotional depth of their pain before God and asks for help, deliverance, and healing. These psalms remind us that we need not hide any of our feelings from our Creator. We can be completely honest and authentic about our pain; God knows our hearts and desires our good.
Psalms that speak of the healing process can also be found among the hymns and psalms of thanksgiving. Though at first glance counter-intuitive, these psalms which aim to praise God often center around assurances of comfort and deliverance. The psalmists respond in the aftermath of such deep anguish, and remain confident in the wonderful deeds and care of God.
Psalms to Reflect on God’s Healing
1 I will extol the Lord at all times;
his praise will always be on my lips.
2 I will glory in the Lord;
let the afflicted hear and rejoice.
3 Glorify the Lord with me;
let us exalt his name together.
4 I sought the Lord, and he answered me;
he delivered me from all my fears.
5 Those who look to him are radiant;
their faces are never covered with shame.
6 This poor man called, and the Lord heard him;
he saved him out of all his troubles.
7 The angel of the Lord encamps around those who fear him,
and he delivers them.
8 Taste and see that the Lord is good;
blessed is the one who takes refuge in him.
9 Fear the Lord, you his holy people,
for those who fear him lack nothing.
10 The lions may grow weak and hungry,
but those who seek the Lord lack no good thing.
11 Come, my children, listen to me;
I will teach you the fear of the Lord.
12 Whoever of you loves life
and desires to see many good days,
13 keep your tongue from evil
and your lips from telling lies.
14 Turn from evil and do good;
seek peace and pursue it.
15 The eyes of the Lord are on the righteous,
and his ears are attentive to their cry;
16 but the face of the Lord is against those who do evil,
to blot out their name from the earth.
17 The righteous cry out, and the Lord hears them;
he delivers them from all their troubles.
18 The Lord is close to the brokenhearted
and saves those who are crushed in spirit.
19 The righteous person may have many troubles,
but the Lord delivers him from them all;
20 he protects all his bones,
not one of them will be broken.
21 Evil will slay the wicked;
the foes of the righteous will be condemned.
22 The Lord will rescue his servants;
no one who takes refuge in him will be condemned.
1 Lord, do not rebuke me in your anger
or discipline me in your wrath.
2 Have mercy on me, Lord, for I am faint;
heal me, Lord, for my bones are in agony.
3 My soul is in deep anguish.
How long, Lord, how long?
4 Turn, Lord, and deliver me;
save me because of your unfailing love.
5 Among the dead no one proclaims your name.
Who praises you from the grave?
6 I am worn out from my groaning.
All night long I flood my bed with weeping
and drench my couch with tears.
7 My eyes grow weak with sorrow;
they fail because of all my foes.
8 Away from me, all you who do evil,
for the Lord has heard my weeping.
9 The Lord has heard my cry for mercy;
the Lord accepts my prayer.
10 All my enemies will be overwhelmed with shame and anguish;
they will turn back and suddenly be put to shame.
1 Blessed are those who have regard for the weak;
the Lord delivers them in times of trouble.
2 The Lord protects and preserves them—
they are counted among the blessed in the land—
he does not give them over to the desire of their foes.
3 The Lord sustains them on their sickbed
and restores them from their bed of illness.
4 I said, “Have mercy on me, Lord;
heal me, for I have sinned against you.”
5 My enemies say of me in malice,
“When will he die and his name perish?”
6 When one of them comes to see me,
he speaks falsely, while his heart gathers slander;
then he goes out and spreads it around.
7 All my enemies whisper together against me;
they imagine the worst for me, saying,
8 “A vile disease has afflicted him;
he will never get up from the place where he lies.”
9 Even my close friend,
someone I trusted,
one who shared my bread,
has turned against me.
10 But may you have mercy on me, Lord;
raise me up, that I may repay them.
11 I know that you are pleased with me,
for my enemy does not triumph over me.
12 Because of my integrity you uphold me
and set me in your presence forever.
13 Praise be to the Lord, the God of Israel,
from everlasting to everlasting.
Amen and Amen.
16 Turn to me and be gracious to me,
for I am lonely and afflicted.
17 Relieve the troubles of my heart
and free me from my anguish.
18 Look on my affliction and my distress
and take away all my sins.
5 But I trust in your unfailing love;
my heart rejoices in your salvation.
6 I will sing the Lord’s praise,
for he has been good to me.
14 But I trust in you, Lord;
I say, “You are my God.”
15 My times are in your hands;
deliver me from the hands of my enemies,
from those who pursue me.
16 Let your face shine on your servant;
save me in your unfailing love.
1 Praise the Lord, my soul;
all my inmost being, praise his holy name.
2 Praise the Lord, my soul,
and forget not all his benefits—
3 who forgives all your sins
and heals all your diseases,
4 who redeems your life from the pit
and crowns you with love and compassion,
5 who satisfies your desires with good things
so that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s.
23 Yet I am always with you;
you hold me by my right hand.
24 You guide me with your counsel,
and afterward you will take me into glory.
25 Whom have I in heaven but you?
And earth has nothing I desire besides you.
26 My flesh and my heart may fail,
but God is the strength of my heart
and my portion forever.
6 He is the Maker of heaven and earth,
the sea, and everything in them—
he remains faithful forever.
7 He upholds the cause of the oppressed
and gives food to the hungry.
The Lord sets prisoners free,
8 the Lord gives sight to the blind,
the Lord lifts up those who are bowed down,
the Lord loves the righteous.
The Book of Psalms is one of the most-read books of scripture for a reason. No matter the season or circumstances of our lives, the psalmists remind us that God heals our souls. God is ever-present and on our side. These Bible verses from the Book of Psalms invite us to experience the healing and comfort of the Holy Spirit each and every day of our lives.
To learn more about the Book of Psalms and the rest of the wisdom literature of the Bible, take a look at the Wisdom Collection. Or consider the entire collection available from Alabaster.