Psalm 5 – A Prayer For Guidance

Psalm 5 Overview

psalm 5


The various psalms reflect nearly every human emotion: unbridled joy, deep-seated jealousy, seething anger, hope, and depression. These are only a few of the emotions behind the poetry we hear expressed in individual psalms. Feelings and emotions are central to what it means to be human. We cannot escape them nor should we. Psalms invites us to take the emotions we feel and bring them before God. This book models how to come before God in times of sadness, brokenness, and joy. Psalm 5 is a cry for help and a plea for guidance by a person who suffered at the hands of an enemy. It talks about the morning as the time to pray and listen for God to answer. Like many laments, it begins with a cry but ends in confidence.


Prayer for Help

Hear my words, O Lord. Think about my crying.  Listen to my cry for help, my King and my God. For I pray to you.  In the morning, O Lord, You will hear my voice. In the morning I will lay my prayers before You and will look up.

You are not a God Who is pleased with what is bad. The sinful cannot be with You.   The proud cannot stand before You. You hate all who do wrong.  You destroy those who tell lies. The Lord hates liars and men who kill other people.
But as for me, by Your great loving-kindness, I will come into Your house. At Your holy house I will put my face to the ground before You in love and fear.  O Lord, lead me in what is right and good, because of the ones who hate me. Make Your way straight in front of me.
For in their talk there is no truth. Their hearts destroy. Their mouths are like an open grave. With their tongues, they say sweet-sounding words that are not true. Hold them guilty, O God! Let them fall by their own plans. Throw them out because of their many sins. For they have fought against You. But let all who put their trust in You be glad. Let them sing with joy forever. You make a covering for them, that all who love Your name may be glad in You.  For You will make those happy who do what is right, O Lord. You will cover them all around with Your favor.

Psalm 5 (NLV)


As we read Psalm 5, we can detect that it emerged out of an atmosphere of strife and oppression. David was down in the dumps… Discouraged. Whatever his pressures were, they prompted him to compose this ancient hymn in a minor key.


I seriously doubt that there is any subject more timely them discouragement.

  • A relentless, grinding discouragement follows each unachieved goal or failed romance.
  • Some try to whistle a happy tune in the darkness of a failing marriage, a relationship that began with such promise but now seems hopeless.
  • Declining health can discourage and demoralize its victim, especially when the pain won’t go away.
  • And who can’t identify with the individual who bravely risked something new, only to suffer the sting of criticism from the gallery of self-appointed critics?


The discouragement brought on by several back-to-back criticisms can scarcely be exaggerated. It could be that David was just picking himself up off the mat when another sharp-worded comment knocked him back to his knees… hence the birth of Psalm 5. Many a discouraged soul has identified with the song down through the centuries.


Sometimes, words aren’t enough to express the sorrow we feel in the depths of difficulty.


How do you express yourself when words do not suffice?


Would you consider your behavior productive – something that might be helpful to others?


Or is it destructive – actions that harm others?




953722: Living the Psalms: Encouragement for the Daily Grind Living the Psalms: Encouragement for the Daily Grind

By Charles R. Swindoll / Worthy Publishing

“I will sing unto the Lord as long as I live…” -Psalm 104:33

Through twenty-six engaging weeks in the Word, Charles Swindoll will help you not just to read the Psalms but to live them–reminding you of a grace that never fails and a God who is constantly at work to transform the daily grind into a daily miracle.



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