A Prayer for Cleansing
51 1 To the chief Musician. A Psalm of David; when Nathan the prophet came to him, after he had gone in to Bath-sheba. Be gracious unto me, O God, according to thy loving-kindness; according to the abundance of thy tender mercies, blot out my transgressions. 2 Wash me fully from mine iniquity, and cleanse me from my sin. 3 For I acknowledge my transgressions, and my sin is continually before me. 4 Against thee, thee only, have I sinned, and done what is evil in thy sight; that thou mayest be justified when thou speakest, be clear when thou judgest. 5 Behold, in iniquity was I brought forth, and in sin did my mother conceive me. 6 Behold, thou wilt have truth in the inward parts; and in the hidden [part] thou wilt make me to know wisdom.
7 Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean; wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow. 8 Make me to hear gladness and joy; [that] the bones which thou hast broken may rejoice. 9 Hide thy face from my sins, and blot out all mine iniquities. 10 Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me. 11 Cast me not away from thy presence, and take not the spirit of thy holiness from me. 12 Restore unto me the joy of thy salvation, and let a willing spirit sustain me. 13 I will teach transgressors thy ways, and sinners shall return unto thee.
14 Deliver me from blood-guiltiness, O God, thou God of my salvation: my tongue shall sing aloud of thy righteousness. 15 Lord, open my lips, and my mouth shall declare thy praise. 16 For thou desirest not sacrifice; else would I give it: thou hast no pleasure in burnt-offering. 17 The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit: a broken and a contrite heart, O God, thou wilt not despise. 18 Do good in thy good pleasure unto Zion; build the walls of Jerusalem. 19 Then shalt thou have sacrifices of righteousness, burnt-offering, and whole burnt-offering; then shall they offer up bullocks upon thine altar.
The Futility of Boastful Wickedness
52 1 To the chief Musician: an instruction. Of David; when Doeg the Edomite came and told Saul, and said unto him, David came to the house of Ahimelech. Why boastest thou thyself in evil, thou mighty man? The loving-kindness of God [abideth] continually. 2 Thy tongue deviseth mischievous things, like a sharp razor, practising deceit. 3 Thou hast loved evil rather than good, lying rather than to speak righteousness. Selah. 4 Thou hast loved all devouring words, O deceitful tongue! 5 God shall likewise destroy thee for ever; he shall take thee away, and pluck thee out of [thy] tent, and root thee out of the land of the living. Selah.
6 The righteous also shall see, and fear, and shall laugh at him, [saying,] 7 Behold the man that made not God his strength, but put confidence in the abundance of his riches, [and] strengthened himself in his avarice. 8 But as for me, I am like a green olive-tree in the house of God: I will confide in the loving-kindness of God for ever and ever. 9 I will praise thee for ever, because thou hast done [it]; and I will wait on thy name, before thy godly ones, for it is good.
The Folly and Wickedness of Men
53 1 To the chief Musician. On Mahalath: an instruction. Of David. The fool hath said in his heart, There is no God! They have corrupted themselves, and have done abominable iniquity: there is none that doeth good. 2 God looked down from the heavens upon the children of men, to see if there were any that did understand, that did seek God. 3 Every one of them is gone back, they are together become corrupt: there is none that doeth good, not even one. 4 Have the workers of iniquity no knowledge, eating up my people [as] they eat bread? they call not upon God. 5 There were they in great fear, where no fear was; for God scattereth the bones of him that encampeth against thee. Thou hast put [them] to shame, for God hath despised them. 6 Oh that the salvation of Israel were come out of Zion! When God turneth again the captivity of his people, Jacob shall be glad, Israel shall rejoice.
A Prayer for Protection from Enemies
54 1 To the chief Musician. On stringed instruments: an instruction. Of David; when the Ziphites came, and said to Saul, Is not David hiding himself with us? O God, by thy name save me, and by thy strength do me justice. 2 O God, hear my prayer; give ear to the words of my mouth. 3 For strangers are risen up against me, and the violent seek after my life: they have not set God before them. Selah.
4 Behold, God is my helper; the Lord is among them that uphold my soul. 5 He will requite evil to mine enemies: in thy truth cut them off. 6 I will freely sacrifice unto thee; I will praise thy name, O Jehovah, because it is good. 7 For he hath delivered me out of all trouble; and mine eye hath seen [its desire] upon mine enemies.
A Prayer for the Destruction of the Deceitful
55 1 To the chief Musician. On stringed instruments: an instruction. Of David. Give ear to my prayer, O God; and hide not thyself from my supplication. 2 Attend unto me, and answer me: I wander about in my plaint, and I moan aloud, 3 Because of the voice of the enemy; because of the oppression of the wicked: for they cast iniquity upon me, and in anger they persecute me. 4 My heart is writhing within me, and the terrors of death are fallen upon me. 5 Fear and trembling are come upon me, and horror hath overwhelmed me. 6 And I said, Oh that I had wings like a dove! I would fly away, and be at rest; 7 Behold, I would flee afar off, I would lodge in the wilderness; Selah; 8 I would hasten my escape from the stormy wind, from the tempest.
9 Swallow [them] up, Lord; divide their tongue: for I have seen violence and strife in the city. 10 Day and night they go about it upon the walls thereof; and iniquity and mischief are in the midst of it. 11 Perversities are in the midst thereof; and oppression and deceit depart not from its streets. 12 For it is not an enemy that hath reproached me—then could I have borne it; neither is it he that hateth me that hath magnified [himself] against me—then would I have hidden myself from him; 13 But it was thou, a man mine equal, mine intimate, my familiar friend. ... 14 We who held sweet intercourse together. To the house of God we walked amid the throng. 15 Let death seize upon them, let them go down alive into Sheol. For wickedness is in their dwellings, in their midst.
16 As for me, unto God will I call; and Jehovah will save me. 17 Evening, and morning, and at noon, will I pray and moan aloud; and he will hear my voice. 18 He hath redeemed my soul in peace from the battle against me: for there were many about me. 19 God will hear, and afflict them: he that is seated of old, (Selah) ... because there is no change in them, and they fear not God. 20 He hath put forth his hands against such as are at peace with him; he hath profaned his covenant. 21 Smooth were the milky [words] of his mouth, but his heart was war; his words were softer than oil, yet are they drawn swords. 22 Cast thy burden upon Jehovah, and he will sustain thee: he will never suffer the righteous to be moved. 23 And thou, O God, wilt bring them down into the pit of destruction: bloody and deceitful men shall not live out half their days. But as for me, I will confide in thee.
A Prayer of Trust
56 1 To the chief Musician. On Jonathelem-rechokim. Of David. Michtam; when the Philistines took him in Gath. Be gracious unto me, O God; for man would swallow me up: all the day long fighting he oppresseth me. 2 Mine enemies would swallow [me] up all the day long; for they are many that fight against me haughtily. 3 In the day that I am afraid, I will confide in thee. 4 In God will I praise his word, in God I put my confidence: I will not fear; what can flesh do unto me? 5 All the day long they wrest my words; all their thoughts are against me for evil. 6 They gather themselves together, they hide themselves; they mark my steps, because they wait for my soul. 7 Shall they escape by iniquity? In anger cast down the peoples, O God.
8 Thou countest my wanderings; put my tears into thy bottle: are they not in thy book? 9 Then shall mine enemies return backward in the day when I call: this I know, for God is for me. 10 In God will I praise [his] word; in Jehovah will I praise [his] word. 11 In God have I put my confidence: I will not fear; what can man do unto me? 12 Thy vows are upon me, O God: I will render thanks unto thee. 13 For thou hast delivered my soul from death; [wilt thou] not [keep] my feet from falling, that I may walk before God in the light of the living?
A Prayer for Rescue from Persecutors
57 1 To the chief Musician. 'Destroy not.' Of David. Michtam; when he fled from Saul in the cave. Be gracious unto me, O God, be gracious unto me; for my soul taketh refuge in thee: yea, in the shadow of thy wings do I take refuge, until the calamities be overpast. 2 I will call unto God, the Most High; unto God that performeth [all] for me. 3 He will send from the heavens and save me; he hath covered with reproach him that would swallow me up. Selah. God hath sent forth his loving-kindness and his truth. 4 My soul is in the midst of lions; I lie down [among] them that breathe out flames, the sons of men, whose teeth are spears and arrows, and their tongue a sharp sword. 5 Be exalted above the heavens, O God; let thy glory be above all the earth! 6 They have prepared a net for my steps; my soul was bowed down: they have digged a pit before me; they are fallen into the midst thereof. Selah.
7 My heart is fixed, O God, my heart is fixed: I will sing, yea, I will sing psalms. 8 Awake, my glory; awake, lute and harp: I will wake the dawn. 9 I will give thee thanks among the peoples, O Lord; of thee will I sing psalms among the nations: 10 For thy loving-kindness is great unto the heavens, and thy truth unto the clouds. 11 Be exalted above the heavens, O God; let thy glory be above all the earth!