Good Friday: Psalm 22:1-31 – My God, My God, Why Have You Forsaken Me?

Psalm 22:1-31

1   My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?
Why are you so far from helping me, from the words of my groaning?
2   O my God, I cry by day, but you do not answer;
and by night, but find no rest.

3   Yet you are holy,
enthroned on the praises of Israel.
4   In you our ancestors trusted;
they trusted, and you delivered them.
5   To you they cried, and were saved;
in you they trusted, and were not put to shame.

6   But I am a worm, and not human;
scorned by others, and despised by the people.
7   All who see me mock at me;
they make mouths at me, they shake their heads;
8   “Commit your cause to the LORD; let him deliver —
let him rescue the one in whom he delights!”

9   Yet it was you who took me from the womb;
you kept me safe on my mother’s breast.
10  On you I was cast from my birth,
and since my mother bore me you have been my God.
11  Do not be far from me,
for trouble is near
and there is no one to help.

12  Many bulls encircle me,
strong bulls of Bashan surround me;
13  they open wide their mouths at me,
like a ravening and roaring lion.
14  I am poured out like water,
and all my bones are out of joint;
my heart is like wax;
it is melted within my breast;
15  my mouth is dried up like a potsherd,
and my tongue sticks to my jaws;
you lay me in the dust of death.

16  For dogs are all around me;
a company of evildoers encircles me.
My hands and feet have shriveled;
17  I can count all my bones.
They stare and gloat over me;
18  they divide my clothes among themselves,
and for my clothing they cast lots.

19  But you, O LORD, do not be far away!
O my help, come quickly to my aid!
20  Deliver my soul from the sword,
my life from the power of the dog!
21       Save me from the mouth of the lion!

From the horns of the wild oxen you have rescued me.
22  I will tell of your name to my brothers and sisters;
in the midst of the congregation I will praise you:
23  You who fear the LORD, praise him!
All you offspring of Jacob, glorify him;
stand in awe of him, all you offspring of Israel!
24  For he did not despise or abhor
the affliction of the afflicted;
he did not hide his face from me,
but heard when I cried to him.

25  From you comes my praise in the great congregation;
my vows I will pay before those who fear him.
26  The poor shall eat and be satisfied;
those who seek him shall praise the LORD.
May your hearts live forever!

27  All the ends of the earth shall remember
and turn to the LORD;
and all the families of the nations
shall worship before him.
sup>28  For dominion belongs to the LORD,
and he rules over the nations.

29  To him, indeed, shall all who sleep in the earth bow down;
before him shall bow all who go down to the dust,
and I shall live for him.
30  Posterity will serve him;
future generations will be told about the Lord,
31  and proclaim his deliverance to a people yet unborn,
saying that he has done it.

  • Light a candle to remember Christ’s presence with you.
  • Sit five to fifteen minutes in silence bringing your attention to the Breath.
  • As you walk the Via Dolorosa, the Way of Suffering, with Jesus, what is the cry that shouts out from the very depth of your being?
  • Oh, Lord, do not be far away!
  • As you walk the Via Dolorosa, the Way of Suffering, with Jesus, what part of you shouts, “Crucify”?
  • Oh, Lord, do not be far away!
  • As you walk the Via Dolorosa, the Way of Suffering, with Jesus, what part of you shouts, “But he is innocent!”
  • Oh Lord, do not be far away!
  • As you walk the Via Dolorosa, the Way of Suffering, with Jesus, what part of you is dying with Jesus on the cross?
  • Oh, Lord, do not be far away!
  • I need you.
  • What is your message from God?
  • Give thanks to God for this time in prayer and for any new insights you have received.
  • Share as you feel led in the reply box below.

Revised Common Lectionary Readings for Friday, April 10, 2020, Good Friday (Year A)

Isaiah 52:13-53:12
Psalm 22:1-31
Hebrews 10:16-25
John 18:1-19:42

If you use these prayers in other groups, please give credit to author. Permission to use in not-for-profit settings.  (c) 2020 The Rev. Dr. Lil Smith, DASD

Rev. Dr. Lil Smith is a trained spiritual director, supervisor, and co-founder of Retreat House Spirituality Center in Richardson, TX.  Upon completion of her spiritual direction training, Lil began Praying the Lectionary in 2011 as a spiritual practice for her morning prayer time.  Instead of reading about someone else’s experience of God, it was important for her to create a prayer practice that would encourage felt sense experience of the Holy emerging from within.  It dawned on her others might enjoy the practice, as well.  So she began to share them on this site.

As you experience the practice of Praying the Lectionary, adopt a loving, caring, and compassionate stance.  If the end of your prayer and meditation time is not pointing to love and hope, there is more work to do.  Keep wrestling.  God is faithful to your journey.  Love and hope will emerge.  Be gentle with yourself and befriend any judgment that arises in you.

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