Study Guide – Psalm 13

1 How long, Lord? Will you forget me forever?

    How long will you hide your face from me?
2 How long must I wrestle with my thoughts
    and day after day have sorrow in my heart?
    How long will my enemy triumph over me?

This may not be a pleasant process, but describe a time when you felt like God had forgotten about you… or didn't seem to care… or just wouldn't make things better.

The psalms often reflect true-to-the-heart experiences. What words does the writer of this psalm (David) use to express his frustrations?

How could verses 1-2 be encouraging for someone going through a deep struggle of faith? In what ways could these verses be discouraging?

3 Look on me and answer, Lord my God.
    Give light to my eyes, or I will sleep in death,
4 and my enemy will say, “I have overcome him,”
    and my foes will rejoice when I fall.

Describe David's pessimistic prayer in verses 3-4:


Shouldn't a follower of God always pray with optimism? Why or why not?

5 But I trust in your unfailing love;
    my heart rejoices in your salvation.
6 I will sing the Lord’s praise,
    for he has been good to me. NIV

Verses 5-6 make a remarkable u-turn in David's words. Do you think his feelings are manic? Or do you think he is trying to convince himself to have faith? How else could you describe what might be going on in David's mind as he writes these words?

Compare the last line of this psalm with the first line. How can both of these comments be true?

From what you know of David's life (e.g. v.6b), what do you think makes it possible for David to switch gears so dramatically in verses 5-6?

What do you need to personally apply from this brief psalm today?

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