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A CRY FOR MERCY

Daily Devotional Psalm 116:1–19


Many feared that church attendance would decline as a result of the COVID pandemic. But, according to a study by the Pew Research Center, “a remarkably steady share of Americans” (40 percent) have continually attended at least one religious service per month (online or in person). For those who identify as Christian, that number rose to 56 percent. God always continues to preserve His people. Psalm 116 is a celebration of that truth.


I love the LORD, for he heard my voice; he heard my cry for mercy.

PSALM 116:1


Collectively, Psalms 113–118 comprise the Hallel (“The Praise”). These psalms are used together as a traditional communal reading during Passover, Pentecost, and other Jewish celebrations. Running through all six psalms are themes of deliverance, protection, and provision, as God’s people praise Him for His sovereign and compassionate care.


A clear and compelling progression of worship flows through the Hallel. Psalm 113 proclaims the glory and majesty of Lord, “enthroned on high.” In Psalm 114, God’s deliverance of Israel from Egypt is pronounced, and the earth trembles in response to His glory. Psalm 115 declares the lovingkindness and truth of a sovereign God, who “does whatever pleases him” (v. 3).


Today’s reading, Psalm 116, describes the people’s love for the Lord, who hears and acts when His people call. That word qara (call) appears four times in this psalm (vv. 2, 4, 13, and 17), as God’s people “call on the name of the LORD.” They call on Him for salvation when they are in distress and with thanksgiving in ongoing, lifelong, two-way communication. The Hallel finishes with Psalms 117 and 118, thanking God for His deliverance.


It is good to join with our brothers and sisters in Christ to thank God for how He has provided in the past and to ask Him to protect us in the future.


>> While yesterday’s passage (Psalm 17) was a personal cry, Psalm 116 is a corporate call. Look for opportunities to join with fellow believers in prayer.


Pray with Us


Dear God, together we call on You to shelter, preserve, correct, and lead Your church. Help us stand firmly where You call us to stand, to love what You have called us to love, and to shine Your light to the nations.

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