Old Testament

Readings from the Old Testament / Hebrew Scriptures

The people of ancient Israel cried out to God in their time of need, trusting in God’s unfailing love.

We cried out for help to the LORD, the God
of our ancestors. He heard us and saw our
suffering, hardship, and misery.
Deuteronomy 26.7

I lie down and try to rest; I look for relief from my pain.
Job 7.13

The LORD is good to everyone who trusts in him.

The Lord is merciful and will not reject us forever.
He may bring us sorrow, but his love for us is sure and strong.
He takes no pleasure in causing us grief or pain.
Lamentations 3.25,31-33

Many of the psalms include prayers of those who turned to God in times of suffering and pain. God hears the cries of all who call upon him for help.

“Now I will come,” says the LORD, “because the needy are oppressed
and the persecuted groan in pain. I will give them the security they long for.”
The promises of the LORD can be trusted; they are as genuine as silver
refined seven times in the furnace.
Psalm 12.5,6

“He does not neglect the poor or ignore their suffering;
he does not turn away from them, but answers when they call for help.”
Psalm 22.24

Turn to me, LORD, and be merciful to me, because I am lonely and weak.
Relieve me of my worries and save me from all my troubles.
Consider my distress and suffering and forgive all my sins.
Psalm 25.16-18

I place myself in your care.
You will save me, LORD; you are a faithful God.

I will be glad and rejoice because of your constant love.
You see my suffering; you know my trouble.

But my trust is in you, O LORD; you are my God.
I am always in your care.
Psalm 31.5,7,14,15a

O LORD, you know what I long for; you hear all my groans.

But I trust in you, O LORD; and you, O LORD my God, will answer me.

I am about to fall and am in constant pain.

Do not abandon me, O LORD; do not stay away, my God!
Help me now, O LORD my savior!
Psalm 38.9,15,17,21,22

Answer me, LORD, in the goodness of your constant love;
in your great compassion turn to me!
Don’t hide yourself from your servant;
I am in great trouble – answer me now!

I am in pain and despair; lift me up, O God, and save me!
Psalm 69.16,17,29

Remember your promise to me, your servant; it has given me hope.
Even in my suffering I was comforted because your promise gave me life.
Psalm 119.49,50

In the midst of suffering, the prophets Isaiah and Daniel prayed to God on behalf of the people of ancient Israel, trusting in God’s mercy and constant love.

The LORD will give the people of Israel relief
from their pain and suffering and from the hard
work they were forced to do.
Isaiah 14.3

I will tell of the LORD’s unfailing love;
I praise him for all he has done for us.
He has richly blessed the people of Israel
because of his mercy and constant love.
The LORD said, “They are my people; they will
not deceive me.” And so he saved them from
all their suffering. It was not an angel, but the
LORD himself who saved them. In his love and
compassion he rescued them.
Isaiah 63.7-9a

“Lord God, you are great, and we honor you.
You are faithful to your covenant and show
constant love to those who love you and do
what you command.

Listen to us, O God; look at us, and see the
trouble we are in and the suffering of the city that
bears your name. We are praying to you because
you are merciful, not because we have done right.
Lord, hear us. Lord, forgive us. Lord, listen to us,
and act! In order that everyone will know that
you are God, do not delay! This city and these
people are yours.”
Daniel 9.4b,18,19

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