Psalm Read at Times of Doubt, Hesitation, and Strong Temptations for Strengthening of Faith

Metropolitan Anthony (Pakanich) of Boryspil and Brovary, Chancellor of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church, speaks about a psalm that casts out all fear, cowardice and unbelief.

Asaph, the psalmist, who lived during the times of King David, wrote 12 psalms. Psalm 72 occupies a special place among them.

This psalm can be considered the crown of the winner, the winner of one’s fears and doubts, cowardice and lack of faith.

“How good God is to Israel, to them that are of a pure heart!”

A doubt crept into my heart that this is the truth. I saw how the wicked and liars thrive, how traitors, thieves and slanderers thrive in earthly affairs, and I started to have doubts.

“… I had a zeal on occasion of the wicked, seeing the prosperity of sinners… They are not in the labour of men: neither shall they be scourged like other men.”

Nothing stops the wicked. Pride and arrogance, insolence and lies became their “adornment”. They lead people away from You to inevitable destruction, indulging themselves in their selfishness and pleasing the devil.

Loyalty to my people and responsibility for them have kept me from temptation.

“I studied that I might know this thing, it is a labour in my sight: Until I go unto the sanctuary of God, and understand concerning their last ends. But indeed for deceits Thou hast put it to them: when they were lifted up Thou hast cast them down.”

Going through doubts and misunderstanding, I have realized that true life is only in You. Everything else is deception and a mirage that disappear at Your approach. Only that which is unchanging is true, only that which is from You is eternal. Everything outside of you is doomed to ruin and destruction.

“For my heart hath been inflamed, and my reins have been changed: And I am brought to nothing, and I knew not. I am become as a beast before Thee: and I am always with Thee.
Thou hast held me by my right hand; and by Thy will Thou hast conducted me, and with Thy glory Thou hast received me.
For what have I in heaven? and besides Thee what do I desire upon earth?”

I repent of cowardice, fears, doubts and ignorance. By Your mercy, Lord, I have returned to You, like the prodigal son returned to his father’s house, which means I have returned to myself. For if I do not abide in You, I will not abide in myself.

I am always with You, do not let go of my hand, guide me, give orders and do not leave me. You are my master, the world, life, my present, going into eternity. Nothing is sweet without You, nothing pleases or inspires. Only you, Lord!

“For Thee my flesh and my heart hath fainted away: Thou art the God of my heart, and the God that is my portion for ever.
For behold they that go far from Thee shall perish: Thou hast destroyed all them that are disloyal to Thee.
But it is good for me to adhere to my God, to put my hope in the Lord God: That I may declare all Thy praises, in the gates of the daughter of Sion.”

Salvation is in approaching You. Everyone who moves away from You will perish. There is no other Light but You, You are the only Source. Enlighten us, Lord, with Thy wisdom and sanctify us with Thy goodness.


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