St Thomas Church
Lowther St,
YorkY031 7ND

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Reflection on Psalm 42 

The COVID 19 pandemic has been challenging for many of us and I’d like to invite you to meet with God and let Him speak to you by reading and reflecting on Psalm 42


• Give yourself at least 15 minutes of uninterrupted time
• Take a few moments to relax and come to inner stillness
• The questions below are used by many people to help them respond to a passage


Psalm 42

1 As the deer pants for streams of water,
     so my soul pants for you, my God.

2 My soul thirsts for God, for the living God.
     When can I go and meet with God?

3 My tears have been my food day and night,
while people say to me all day long,
     “Where is your God?”

4 These things I remember
     as I pour out my soul:
how I used to go to the house of God
     under the protection of the Mighty One
with shouts of joy and praise
     among the festive throng.

5 Why, my soul, are you downcast?
     Why so disturbed within me?
Put your hope in God,
     for I will yet praise him,
     my Saviour and my God.

6 My soul is downcast within me;
     therefore I will remember you
from the land of the Jordan,
     the heights of Hermon—from Mount Mizar.

7 Deep calls to deep;
     in the roar of your waterfalls;
all your waves and breakers
     have swept over me.

8 By day the Lord directs his love,
     at night his song is with me—
     a prayer to the God of my life.

9 I say to God my Rock,
     “Why have you forgotten me?
Why must I go about mourning,
     oppressed by the enemy?”

10 My bones suffer mortal agony
     as my foes taunt me,
saying to me all day long. “Where is your God?”

11 Why, my soul, are you downcast?
     Why so disturbed within me?
Put your hope in God,
     for I will yet praise him,
     my Saviour and my God. (NIV translation)


• Read through the passage slowly twice and then a third time but this time:

• Pause wherever anything in the text strikes you. It may be a word or a phrase. Stay with it for a while repeating it gently over and over. For example: “ My soul thirsts for you”

• Simply let it feed you, savour it, roll it around in your mind and heart. It could also be an image, a feeling or an idea which “speaks” to you.

• Once you have done this gather up what is going on in you and direct it towards God in prayer. For example: “Lord, My soul thirsts for you.”This may take the form of wordless prayer or perhaps you may want to say something to God. Be honest with yourself and with God about what and how you are feeling

• When you have absorbed enough from this phrase, begin reading again until the next phrase or word attracts you and repeat the process


• After 15 minutes or longer gently bring the session to a close.

• If you don’t manage to finish the passage that’s fine. There is no need to. It may be better not to. You are looking for depth, not width.

• If you can, write up or draw what was significant to you and why. Try to avoid intellectual argument at this stage and notice instead the feelings, insights and movement of your spirit. Notice your findings and think what they might be showing you about God, yourself and your own current life experiences and relationships.

• It may be helpful if you can share what you have discovered with someone else.

Marian Moore