A Prayer for Protection against Oppressors
17 1 Let my cause come to your ears, O Lord, give attention to my cry; give ear to my prayer which goes not out from false lips. 2 Be my judge; for your eyes see what is right. 3 You have put my heart to the test, searching me in the night; you have put me to the test and seen no evil purpose in me; I will keep my mouth from sin. 4 As for the works of men, by the word of your lips I have kept myself from the ways of the violent. 5 I have kept my feet in your ways, my steps have not been turned away. 6 My cry has gone up to you, for you will give me an answer, O God: let your ear be turned to me, and give attention to my words. 7 Make clear the wonder of your mercy, O saviour of those who put their faith in your right hand, from those who come out against them.
8 Keep me as the light of your eyes, covering me with the shade of your wings, 9 From the evil-doers who are violent to me, and from those who are round me, desiring my death. 10 They are shut up in their fat: with their mouths they say words of pride. 11 They have made a circle round our steps: their eyes are fixed on us, forcing us down to the earth; 12 Like a lion desiring its food, and like a young lion waiting in secret places. 13 Up! Lord, come out against him, make him low, with your sword be my saviour from the evil-doer. 14 With your hand, O Lord, from men, even men of the world, whose heritage is in this life, and whom you make full with your secret wealth: they are full of children; after their death their offspring take the rest of their goods. 15 As for me, I will see your face in righteousness: when I am awake it will be joy enough for me to see your form.
A Prayer for Rescue from Enemies
35 1 O Lord, be on my side against those who are judging me; be at war with those who make war against me. 2 Be a breastplate to me, and give me your help. 3 Take up your spear and keep back my attackers; say to my soul, I am your salvation. 4 Let them be overcome and put to shame who make attempts to take my soul; let those who would do me damage be turned back and made foolish. 5 Let them be like dust from the grain before the wind; let the angel of the Lord send them in flight. 6 Let their way be dark and full of danger; let them be troubled by the angel of the Lord. 7 For without cause they have put a net ready for me secretly, in which to take my soul. 8 Let destruction come on them without their knowledge; let them be taken themselves in their secret nets, falling into the same destruction. 9 And my soul will have joy in the Lord; it will be glad in his salvation. 10 All my bones will say, Lord, who is like you? The saviour of the poor man from the hands of the strong, of him who is poor and in need from him who takes his goods.
11 False witnesses got up: they put questions to me about crimes of which I had no knowledge. 12 They gave me back evil for good, troubling my soul. 13 But as for me, when they were ill I put on the clothing of sorrow: I went without food and was sad, and my prayer came back again to my heart. 14 My behaviour was as if it had been my friend or my brother: I was bent low in grief like one whose mother is dead. 15 But they took pleasure in my trouble, and came together, yes, low persons came together against me without my knowledge; they never came to an end of wounding me. 16 Like men of deceit they put me to shame; the voice of their wrath was loud against me.
17 Lord, how long will you be looking on? take my soul from their destruction, my life from the lions. 18 I will give you praise in the great meeting; I will give you honour among a strong people. 19 Do not let my haters be glad over me falsely; let not those who are against me without cause make sport of me. 20 For they do not say words of peace; in their deceit they are designing evil things against the quiet ones in the land. 21 Their mouths were open wide against me, and they said, Aha, aha, our eyes have seen it. 22 You have seen this, O Lord; be not unmoved: O Lord, be not far from me. 23 Be awake, O Lord, be moved to take up my cause, my God and my Lord. 24 Be my judge, O Lord my God, in your righteousness; do not let them be glad over me. 25 Let them not say in their hearts, So we will have it: let them not say, We have put an end to him. 26 Let all those who take pleasure in my troubles be shamed and come to nothing: let those who are lifted up against me be covered with shame and have no honour. 27 Let those who are on my side give cries of joy; let them ever say, The Lord be praised, for he has pleasure in the peace of his servant. 28 And my tongue will be talking of your righteousness and of your praise all the day.
A Prayer for Protection from Enemies
54 1 Let your name be my salvation, O God; let my cause be judged by your strength. 2 Let my prayer come before you, O God; give ear to the words of my mouth. 3 For men who are going after me have come out against me, violent men are purposing to take my soul; they have not put God before their eyes. (Selah.)
4 See, God is my helper: the Lord is the great supporter of my soul. 5 Let the evil works of my haters come back on them again; let them be cut off by your good faith. 6 Freely will I make my offerings to you; I will give praise to your name, O Lord, for it is good. 7 Because it has been my saviour from all my trouble; and my eyes have seen the punishment of my haters.
God Satisfies the Thirsting Soul
63 1 O God, you are my God; early will I make my search for you: my soul is dry for need of you, my flesh is wasted with desire for you, as a dry and burning land where no water is; 2 To see your power and your glory, as I have seen you in the holy place.
3 Because your mercy is better than life, my lips will give you praise. 4 So will I go on blessing you all my life, lifting up my hands in your name. 5 My soul will be comforted, as with good food; and my mouth will give you praise with songs of joy; 6 When the memory of you comes to me on my bed, and when I give thought to you in the night-time.
7 Because you have been my help, I will have joy in the shade of your wings. 8 My soul keeps ever near you: your right hand is my support. 9 But those whose desire is my soul's destruction will go down to the lower parts of the earth. 10 They will be cut off by the sword; they will be food for foxes. 11 But the king will have joy in God; everyone who takes an oath by him will have cause for pride; but the false mouth will be stopped.