Last Updated on January 4, 2024 by Lindsay Delk, RDN
Are you feeling overwhelmed by anxiety? The book of Psalms is full of inspiring words that can provide comfort, peace, and strength in difficult times. Let’s explore some of the best psalms for anxiety and fear.
This post was written by Lindsay Delk, RDN. It is for informational purposes and is not intended to replace medical advice or instructions given by your healthcare provider.
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What Are Psalms?
The book of Psalms is a collection of 150 prayers and songs in the Bible. They praise, lament, and express many different emotions.
The psalms were written by a variety of authors in different situations of life, each inspired by God. Most of them are written in poetic form and use words to express and evoke an emotional response.
People have used the psalms as a source of comfort during difficult times for thousands of years and can be particularly helpful when dealing with anxiety and fear.
How Psalms Can Help with Anxiety and Fear
Many of the psalms speak directly to feelings of anxiety and uncertainty. Reading the psalms can be an effective tool for managing anxiety because they provide a source of inspiration, comfort, courage, and hope in trying times.
They remind you that you are not alone in your suffering. Since the beginning of time, people have been struggling with these emotions.
The psalms provide words of reassurance and strength in the face of uncertainty. They remind you that God is your faithful protector, guiding and sustaining you through difficult times, if you will place your trust in Him. The psalms often include expressions of trust in God’s goodness and faithfulness – a reminder that He will never abandon you, no matter the situation you find yourself in.
The Bible is filled with many passages that can lend comfort and solace when you are struggling with anxiety and fear. By immersing yourself in these beautiful passages, you can be reminded that God is always with you even when it feels like you are all alone.
The Best Psalms for Anxiety and Fear
But You, O LORD, are a shield about me, My glory, and the One who lifts my head. I was crying to the LORD with my voice, And He answered me from His holy mountain. Selah. I lay down and slept; I awoke, for the LORD sustains me. I will not be afraid of ten thousands of people who have set themselves against me round about.
Answer me when I call, O God of my righteousness! Thou hast relieved me in my distress; Be gracious to me and hear my prayer.
In peace I will both lie down and sleep, for You alone, O Lord, make me to dwell in safety.
How long, O Lord? Will You forget me forever? How long will You hide Your face from me? How long shall I take counsel in my soul, Having sorrow in my heart all the day? How long will my enemy be exalted over me? Consider and answer me, O Lord my God; Enlighten my eyes, or I will sleep the sleep of death, And my enemy will say, “I have overcome him,” And my adversaries will rejoice when I am shaken. But I have trusted in Your lovingkindness; My heart shall rejoice in Your salvation. I will sing to the Lord, Because He has dealt bountifully with me.
Preserve me, O God, for I take refuge in You. I said to the Lord, “You are my Lord; I have no good besides You.
I have set the LORD continually before me; Because He is at my right hand, I will not be shaken. Therefore my heart is glad and my glory rejoices; My flesh also will dwell securely. For You will not abandon my soul to Sheol; Nor will You allow Your Holy One to undergo decay. You will make known to me the path of life; In Your presence is fullness of joy; In Your right hand there are pleasures forever.
I love You, O Lord, my strength. The Lord is my rock and my fortress and my deliverer, My God, my rock, in whom I take refuge; My shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold. I call upon the Lord, who is worthy to be praised; And I am saved from my enemies. The cords of death encompassed me; The floods of ungodliness made me afraid. The cords of Sheol surrounded me; The snares of death confronted me. In my distress I called upon the Lord, And cried to my God for help; He heard my voice out of His temple, And my cry for help before Him came into His ears.
He sent from on high, He took me; He drew me out of many waters. He delivered me from my strong enemy, And from those who hated me, for they were too mighty for me. They confronted me in the day of my calamity, But the LORD was my stay. He brought me forth also into a broad place; He rescued me, because He delighted in me.
The LORD is my shepherd, I shall not want. He makes me lie down in green pastures; He leads me beside quiet waters. He restores my soul; He guides me in the paths of righteousness For His name’s sake. Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I fear no evil, for You are with me; Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me. You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies; You have anointed my head with oil; My cup overflows. Surely goodness and lovingkindness will follow me all the days of my life, And I will dwell in the house of the LORD forever.
To You, O LORD, I lift up my soul. O my God, in You I trust, Do not let me be ashamed; Do not let my enemies exalt over me.
My eyes are continuously toward the Lord, For He will pluck my feet out of the net. Turn to me and be gracious to me, For I am lonely and afflicted. The troubles of my heart are enlarged; Bring me out of my distresses. Look upon my affliction and my trouble, And forgive all my sins. Look upon my enemies, for they are many; And they hate me with violent hatred. Guard my soul and deliver me; Do not let me be ashamed, for I take refuge in You. Let integrity and uprightness preserve me, For I wait for You. Redeem Israel, O God, out of all his troubles.
The Lord is my light and my salvation; Whom shall I fear? The Lord is the defense of my life; Whom shall I dread? When evildoers came upon me to devour my flesh, My adversaries and my enemies, they stumbled and fell. Though a host encamp against me, My heart will not fear; Though war arise against me, In spite of this I shall be confident. One thing I have asked from the Lord, that I shall seek: That I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, To behold the beauty of the Lord and to meditate in His temple. For in the day of trouble He will conceal me in His tabernacle; In the secret place of His tent He will hide me; He will lift me up on a rock. And now my head will be lifted up above my enemies around me, And I will offer in His tent sacrifices with shouts of joy; I will sing, yes, I will sing praises to the Lord. Hear, O Lord, when I cry with my voice, And be gracious to me and answer me. You have said, “Seek My face.” My heart says to You, “Your face, O Lord, I shall seek.” Do not hide Your face from me, Do not turn Your servant away in anger; You have been my help; Do not abandon me nor forsake me, O God of my salvation! Though my father and my mother have forsaken me, Yet the Lord will take me up. Teach me Your way, O Lord, and lead me in a level path because of my foes. Do not give me up to the desire of my adversaries, For false witnesses have risen against me, And such as breathe out violence. I would have despaired unless I had believed that I would see the goodness of the Lord In the land of the living. Wait for the Lord; Be strong and let your heart take courage; Yes, wait for the Lord.
The LORD will give strength to His people; The LORD will bless His people with peace.
I sought the LORD, and He answered me, And delivered me from all my fears.
This poor man cried, and the Lord heard him and saved him out of all his troubles. The angel of the Lord encamps around those who fear Him and rescues them.
The righteous cry, and the Lord hears, And delivers them out of all their troubles. The Lord is near to the brokenhearted And saves those who are crushed in spirit.
I waited patiently for the LORD; and He inclined to me and heard my cry. He brought me up out of the pit of destruction, out of the miry clay, and He set my feet upon a rock making my footsteps firm. He put a new song in my mouth, a song of praise to our God; many will see and fear and will trust in the LORD.
Since I am afflicted and needy, Let the Lord be mindful of me. You are my help and my deliverer; Do not delay, O my God.
God is our refuge and strength, A very present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear, though the earth should change And though the mountains slip into the heart of the sea; Though its waters roar and foam, Though the mountains quake at its swelling pride.
Cease striving and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth. The Lord of hosts is with us; The God of Jacob is our stronghold.
As for me, I shall call upon God, and the LORD will save me. Evening and morning and at noon, I will complain and murmur, and He will hear my voice.
Cast your burden upon the LORD and He will sustain you; He will never allow the righteous to be shaken.
When I am afraid, I will put my trust in You. In God, whose word I praise, In God I have put my trust; I shall not be afraid. What can mere man do to me?
In God, whose word I praise, In the Lord, whose word I praise, In God I have put my trust; I shall not be afraid. What can man do to me? Your vows are binding upon me, O God; I will render thank offerings to You. For You have delivered my soul from death, indeed my feet from stumbling, so that I may walk before God in the light of the living.
Hear my cry, O God; Give heed to my prayer. From the end of the earth I call to You when my heart is faint; Lead me to the rock that is higher than I. For You have been a refuge for me, A tower of strength against the enemy. Let me dwell in Your tent forever; Let me take refuge in the shelter of Your wings.
My voice rises to God, and I will cry aloud; My voice rises to God, and He will hear me. In the day of my trouble I sought the Lord; In the night my hand was stretched out without weariness; My soul refused to be comforted.
Then I said, “It is my grief, That the right hand of the Most High has changed.” I shall remember the deeds of the Lord; Surely I will remember Your wonders of old. I will meditate on all Your work and muse on Your deeds. Your way, O God, is holy; What god is great like our God? You are the God who works wonders; You have made known Your strength among the peoples.
He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High Will abide in the shadow of the Almighty. I will say to the LORD, “My refuge and my fortress, My God, in whom I trust!” For it is He who delivers you from the snare of the trapper and from the deadly pestilence. He will cover you with His pinions, And under His wings you may seek refuge; His faithfulness is a shield and bulwark. You will not be afraid of the terror by night, Or of the arrow that flies by day; Of the pestilence that stalks in darkness, Or of the destruction that lays waste at noon. A thousand may fall at your side and ten thousand at your right hand, But it shall not approach you. You will only look on with your eyes and see the recompense of the wicked. For you have made the LORD, my refuge, Even the Most High, your dwelling place. No evil will befall you, Nor will any plague come near your tent. For He will give His angels charge concerning you, To guard you in all your ways. They will bear you up in their hands, That you do not strike your foot against a stone. You will tread upon the lion and cobra, The young lion and the serpent you will trample down. Because he has loved Me, therefore I will deliver him; I will set him securely on high, because he has known My name. He will call upon Me, and I will answer him; I will be with him in trouble; I will rescue him and honor him. With a long life I will satisfy him and let him see My salvation."
If I should say, "My food has slipped,” Your lovingkindness, O Lord, will hold me up. When my anxious thoughts multiply within me, Your consolations delight my soul.
Praise the LORD! How blessed is the man who fears the LORD, Who delights greatly in His commandments.
He will not fear evil tidings; His heart is steadfast, trusting in the Lord. His heart is upheld, he will not fear, Until he looks with satisfaction on his adversaries.
I love the Lord because He hears my voice and my supplications. Because He has inclined His ear to me, Therefore I shall call upon Him as long as I live. The cords of death surrounded me and the terrors of Sheol came upon me; I found distress and sorrow. Then I called upon the name of the Lord: “O Lord, I beseech You, save my life!” Gracious is the Lord, and righteous; Yes, our God is compassionate. The Lord preserves the simple; I was brought low, and He saved me. Return to your rest, O my soul, For the Lord has dealt bountifully with you. For You have rescued my soul from death, My eyes from tears, And my feet from stumbling. I shall walk before the Lord In the land of the living.
Oh let those who fear the Lord say, “His lovingkindness is everlasting.” From my distress I called upon the Lord; The Lord answered me and set me in a large place. The Lord is for me; I will not fear; What can man do to me?
This is my comfort in my affliction, That Your word has revived me. The arrogant utterly deride me, Yet I do not turn aside from Your law. I have remembered Your ordinances from of old, O Lord, And comfort myself.
It is good for me that I was afflicted, That I may learn Your statutes. The law of Your mouth is better to me than thousands of gold and silver pieces.
I lift up my eyes to the mountains; From where shall my help come? My help comes from the Lord, Who made heaven and earth. He will not allow your foot to slip; He who keeps you will not slumber. Behold, He who keeps Israel will neither slumber nor sleep. The Lord is your keeper; The Lord is your shade on your right hand. The sun will not smite you by day, Nor the moon by night. The Lord will protect you from all evil; He will keep your soul. The Lord will guard your going out and your coming in from this time forth and forever.
Those who trust in the Lord are like Mount Zion, which cannot be moved but abides forever. As the mountains surround Jerusalem, so the Lord surrounds His people from this time forth and forever.
Search me, O God, and know my heart; Try me and know my anxious thoughts; And see if there be any hurtful way in me, And lead me in the everlasting way.
I cry aloud with my voice to the Lord; I make supplication with my voice to the Lord. I pour out my complaint before Him; I declare my trouble before Him. When my spirit was overwhelmed within me, You knew my path. In the way where I walk they have hidden a trap for me. Look to the right and see; For there is no one who regards me; There is no escape for me; No one cares for my soul. I cried out to You, O Lord; I said, “You are my refuge, My portion in the land of the living. Give heed to my cry, For I am brought very low; Deliver me from my persecutors, For they are too strong for me. Bring my soul out of prison That I may give thanks to Your name; The righteous will surround me, For You will deal bountifully with me.”