One woman who periodically went through periods of anxiety
said that she read the Psalms during those periods in her life and that it was of comfort and strength to her. One of the main writers of the Psalms, which Muslims refer to as the Zabur, was King David. David had been through many difficult and emotionally-trying experiences in his life, including death of a child, facing his own serious sins, serious mistakes as king which resulted in the death of others, as well as life as a hunted fugititve for several years.
David was a musician who played the harp, and before he became king, he was a shepherd, caring for sheep, and no doubt spent many nights under the stars comtemplating God and praying
. All of these combined experiences led to the composition of beautiful and emotional Psalms, which were originally accompanied by music.
Many of the strong emotions that David experience are similar to the emotions we experience when facing difficult periods of times in our lives. Reading the Psalms, then, gives us a focal point of reference, a way of identifying our own emotions, and by internalizing the Psalms, our hearts become unified with the writer of the Psalm, and our hearts are lifted up spiritually to God. This can help heal our hearts from emotional pain, and helps to give us inner peace, especially when we take time daily for spiritual rejuvenation.
Moses and Solomon were two other well known persons of history who also wrote some of the Psalms.
Reading the Psalms has helped many to overcome anxieties
Psalms 86 is shown here, composed by David, and is just one of many Psalms which reflected the purity of heart and love for what was right, that David, as King of Israel, had developed over the years. Some other Psalms that you might read are Psalm 103, which helps us to see God as a merciful and kind father, Psalms 139, which encourages us to realize that God sees our good points, when we might tend to view ourselves negatively. Reading the Psalms and internalizing them, is a lesson in cognitive behavioral therapy, and helps us to readjust our thinking in a positive way and to have a balanced and positive view of ourselves, despite our difficulties or shortcomings.
Psalm 86 (American Standard Version, 1901)
A Prayer of David
1 Bow down thine ear, O Jehovah, and answer me; For I am poor and needy.
2 Preserve my soul; for I am godly: O thou my God, save thy servant that trusteth in thee.
3 Be merciful unto me, O Lord; For unto thee do I cry all the day long.
4 Rejoice the soul of thy servant; For unto thee, O Lord, do I lift up my soul.
5 For thou, Lord, art good, and ready to forgive, And abundant in lovingkindness unto all them that call upon thee.
6 Give ear, O Jehovah, unto my prayer; And hearken unto the voice of my supplications.
7 In the day of my trouble I will call upon thee; For thou wilt answer me.
8 There is none like unto thee among the gods, O Lord; Neither are there any works like unto thy works.
9 All nations whom thou hast made shall come and worship before thee, O Lord; And they shall glorify thy name.
10 For thou art great, and doest wondrous things: Thou art God alone.
11 Teach me thy way, O Jehovah; I will walk in thy truth: Unite my heart to fear thy name.
12 I will praise thee, O Lord my God, with my whole heart; And I will glorify thy name for evermore.
13 For great is thy lovingkindness toward me; And thou hast delivered my soul from the lowest Sheol.
14 O God, the proud are risen up against me, And a company of violent men have sought after my soul, And have not set thee before them.
15 But thou, O Lord, art a God merciful and gracious, Slow to anger, and abundant in lovingkindness and truth.
16 Oh turn unto me, and have mercy upon me; Give thy strength unto thy servant, And save the son of thy handmaid.
17 Show me a token for good, That they who hate me may see it, and be put to shame, Because thou, Jehovah, hast helped me, and comforted me.
Pages Related to Spirituality and Mental Health, Psalms and Prayer
Spirituality and Mental Health
Prayer and Health, Mental Health - University of Massachusetts Researchers say prayer is on the rise for health and mental health in the U.S.
Sermon on the Mount
Help for Depression Bible Psalms, Psalms 103
Power of the Psalms - Psalms 139