Psalm 6: Lord, My God, Do Not Contend


Adam Carlill’s Psalm versifications in Psalms for the Common Era strike a fine balance between faithfulness to the Hebrew texts and singability for modern congregations. For Psalm 6,  I wrote a Celtic-style ballad, which feels to me like it’s sturdy enough to contain the harsher elements of the Psalm (“do not castigate and chide,” “Turn away from me my foes” ), but soft enough for phrases like “soothing touch and balm inside.”

This leadsheet is a free download. If you sing this song in your church please report its use to CCLI or OneLicense.

words by Adam Carlill
music by Greg Scheer
copyright 2020
CCLI #7166942
OneLicense #99830

1. Lord, my God, do not contend;
Do not castigate and chide.
May your grace and life extend
soothing touch and balm inside.
Terrified and never free,
how long must I wait in vain?
Turn around to rescue me.
Save me! Let your love remain.

2. Who in death remembers you,
shades can never offer praise.
Weariness is all I know,
sleepless nights and tearful days.
See my endless waking sighs;
how long must I wait in vain,
while vexation wastes my eyes,
weakened in my constant pain?

3. Turn away from me, my foes,
you who work with evil spite.
God has heard my grievous throes,
endless crying, day and night.
May my enemies beware,
shamed and fearful, never free.
God will hear my humble prayer;
he will act upon my plea.