A Prayer for Protection
5 1 Give ear to my words, O Lord; give thought to my heart-searchings. 2 Let the voice of my cry come to you, my King and my God; for to you will I make my prayer. 3 My voice will come to you in the morning, O Lord; in the morning will I send my prayer to you, and keep watch. 4 For you are not a God who takes pleasure in wrongdoing; there is no evil with you. 5 The sons of pride have no place before you; you are a hater of all workers of evil. 6 You will send destruction on those whose words are false; the cruel man and the man of deceit are hated by the Lord.
7 But as for me, I will come into your house, in the full measure of your mercy; and in your fear I will give worship, turning my eyes to your holy Temple. 8 Be my guide, O Lord, in the ways of your righteousness, because of those who are against me; make your way straight before my face. 9 For no faith may be put in their words; their inner part is nothing but evil; their throat is like an open place for the dead; smooth are the words of their tongues. 10 Send them to destruction, O Lord; let their evil designs be the cause of their fall; let them be forced out by all their sins; because they have gone against your authority. 11 But let all those who put their faith in you be glad with cries of joy at all times, and let all the lovers of your name be glad in you. 12 For you, Lord, will send a blessing on the upright man; your grace will be round him, and you will be his strength.
The Prayer of a Suffering Penitent
38 1 O Lord, be not bitter with me in your wrath; let not your hand be on me in the heat of your passion. 2 For your arrows have gone into my flesh, and I am crushed under the weight of your hand. 3 My flesh is wasted because of your wrath; and there is no peace in my bones because of my sin. 4 For my crimes have gone over my head; they are like a great weight which is more than my strength. 5 My wounds are poisoned and evil-smelling, because of my foolish behaviour. 6 I am troubled, I am made low; I go weeping all the day. 7 For my body is full of burning; all my flesh is unhealthy. 8 I am feeble and crushed down; I gave a cry like a lion because of the grief in my heart. 9 Lord, all my desire is before you; my sorrow is not kept secret from you. 10 My heart goes out in pain, my strength is wasting away; as for the light of my eyes, it is gone from me. 11 My lovers and my friends keep away from my disease; my relations keep far away.
12 Those who have a desire to take my life put nets for me; those who are designing my destruction say evil things against me, all the day their minds are full of deceit. 13 But I kept my ears shut like a man without hearing; like a man without a voice, never opening his mouth. 14 So I was like a man whose ears are shut, and in whose mouth there are no sharp words. 15 In you, O Lord, is my hope: you will give me an answer, O Lord, my God. 16 I said, Let them not be glad over me; when my foot is moved, let them not be lifted up with pride against me. 17 My feet are near to falling, and my sorrow is ever before me. 18 I will make clear my wrongdoing, with sorrow in my heart for my sin. 19 But they are strong who have hate for me without cause: those who are against me falsely are increased in numbers. 20 They give me back evil for good; they are my haters because I go after the thing which is right. 21 Do not give me up, O Lord; O my God, be near to me. 22 Come quickly to give me help, O Lord, my salvation.
A Prayer for Healing
41 1 Happy is the man who gives thought to the poor; the Lord will be his saviour in the time of trouble. 2 The Lord will keep him safe, and give him life; the Lord will let him be a blessing on the earth, and will not give him into the hand of his haters. 3 The Lord will be his support on his bed of pain: by you will all his grief be turned to strength. 4 I said, Lord, have mercy on me; make my soul well, because my faith is in you.
5 My haters say evil against me, When will he be dead, and his name come to an end? 6 If one comes to see me, deceit is in his heart; he keeps a store of evil, which he makes public in every place. 7 All my haters are talking secretly together against me; they are designing my downfall. 8 They say, He has an evil disease, which will not let him go: and now that he is down he will not get up again. 9 Even my dearest friend, in whom I had faith, who took bread with me, is turned against me. 10 But you, O Lord, have mercy on me, lifting me up, so that I may give them their punishment. 11 By this I see that you have pleasure in me, because my hater does not overcome me. 12 And as for me, you are my support in my righteousness, giving me a place before your face for ever. 13 May the Lord God of Israel be praised, through eternal days and for ever. So be it. So be it.
Thirsting for God
42 1 Like the desire of the roe for the water-streams, so is my soul's desire for you, O God. 2 My soul is dry for need of God, the living God; when may I come and see the face of God? 3 My tears have been my food day and night, while they keep saying to me, Where is your God? 4 Let my soul be overflowing with grief when these things come back to my mind, how I went in company to the house of God, with the voice of joy and praise, with the song of those who were keeping the feast. 5 Why are you crushed down, O my soul? and why are you troubled in me? put your hope in God; for I will again give him praise who is my help and my God.
6 My soul is crushed down in me, so I will keep you in mind; from the land of Jordan and of the Hermons, from the hill Mizar. 7 Deep is sounding to deep at the noise of your waterfalls; all your waves have gone rolling over me. 8 But the Lord will send his mercy in the daytime, and in the night his song will be with me, a prayer to the God of my life. 9 I will say to God my Rock, Why have you let me go from your memory? why do I go in sorrow because of the attacks of my haters? 10 The cruel words of my haters are like a crushing of my bones; when they say to me every day, Where is your God? 11 Why are you crushed down, O my soul? and why are you troubled in me? put your hope in God; for I will again give him praise who is my help and my God.