Psalm 13 Prayer For Help In Trouble
1 How long, O Lord? Wilt Thou forget me for ever?
How long wilt Thou hide Thy face from me?
2 How long must I bear pain in my soul,
and have sorrow in my heart all the day?
How long shall my enemy be exalted over me?
3 Consider and answer me, O Lord my God;
lighten my eyes, lest I sleep the sleep of death;
4 lest my enemy say, “I have prevailed over him”;
lest my foes rejoice because I am shaken.
5 But I have trusted in Thy steadfast love;
my heart shall rejoice in Thy salvation.
6 I will sing to the Lord,
because He has dealt bountifully with me.
– Psalm 13
Commentary based on St. Thomas Aquinas
In Psalm 13, David beseeches God for assistance against his adversaries.
This Psalm is divided into three parts. In the first part his lament is set forth; in the second, his supplication, Consider and hear me; and in the third the favorable answer, I have trusted in Thy mercy.
The lament contains three elements: he is astonished at this divine disregard, he confesses his own weakness, How long? and bewails the power of his adversary, How long shall my enemy be exalted?
The line, How long wilt Thou hide Thy face from me, seems to say that God turns away His face whenever He provides no assistance.
This is in keeping with the history of David who was persecuted by Saul for so long. Allegorically, it is said of the Old Testament patriarchs who were steadfastly waiting for Christ. And indeed God, as if He had forgotten them, did delay in bringing them assistance.
Or it could even be the lament of the righteous people in modern times concerned with the delay of Christ’s Second Coming.
In his supplication, he admits his weakness, lighten my eyes. There is also the petition against his adversary, lest my enemy say.
The favorable answer to his prayer is signified and in connection with this, he does three things. First, he maintains his hope of a favorable answer. Second, there is his joy over the favorable answer rendered, My heart shall rejoice. Third, he gives thanks, I will sing. This is why he says, I have trusted in Thy steadfast love, not in the world.