Psalm 140-145 English Standard Version

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A Prayer for Protection against Persecutors

140 1  Deliver me, O Lord, from evil men; preserve me from violent men, 2  who plan evil things in their heart and stir up wars continually. 3  They make their tongue sharp as a serpent's, and under their lips is the venom of asps. Selah 4  Guard me, O Lord, from the hands of the wicked; preserve me from violent men, who have planned to trip up my feet. 5  The arrogant have hidden a trap for me, and with cords they have spread a net;[1] beside the way they have set snares for me. Selah 6  I say to the Lord, You are my God; give ear to the voice of my pleas for mercy, O Lord! 7  O Lord, my Lord, the strength of my salvation, you have covered my head in the day of battle.

8  Grant not, O Lord, the desires of the wicked; do not further their[2] evil plot, or they will be exalted! Selah 9  As for the head of those who surround me, let the mischief of their lips overwhelm them! 10  Let burning coals fall upon them! Let them be cast into fire, into miry pits, no more to rise! 11  Let not the slanderer be established in the land; let evil hunt down the violent man speedily! 12  I know that the Lord will maintain the cause of the afflicted, and will execute justice for the needy. 13  Surely the righteous shall give thanks to your name; the upright shall dwell in your presence.

A Prayer for Preservation from Evil

141 1  O Lord, I call upon you; hasten to me! Give ear to my voice when I call to you! 2  Let my prayer be counted as incense before you, and the lifting up of my hands as the evening sacrifice! 3  Set a guard, O Lord, over my mouth; keep watch over the door of my lips! 4  Do not let my heart incline to any evil, to busy myself with wicked deeds in company with men who work iniquity, and let me not eat of their delicacies!

5  Let a righteous man strike me--it is a kindness; let him rebuke me--it is oil for my head; let my head not refuse it. Yet my prayer is continually against their evil deeds. 6  When their judges are thrown over the cliff,[3] then they shall hear my words, for they are pleasant. 7  As when one plows and breaks up the earth, so shall our bones be scattered at the mouth of Sheol.[4] 8  But my eyes are toward you, O GOD, my Lord; in you I seek refuge; leave me not defenseless![5] 9  Keep me from the trap that they have laid for me and from the snares of evildoers! 10  Let the wicked fall into their own nets, while I pass by safely.

A Prayer for Help in Trouble

142 1  With my voice I cry out to the Lord; with my voice I plead for mercy to the Lord. 2  I pour out my complaint before him; I tell my trouble before him. 3  When my spirit faints within me, you know my way! In the path where I walk they have hidden a trap for me.

4  Look to the right and see: there is none who takes notice of me; no refuge remains to me; no one cares for my soul. 5  I cry to you, O Lord; I say, "You are my refuge, my portion in the land of the living." 6  Attend to my cry, for I am brought very low! Deliver me from my persecutors, for they are too strong for me! 7  Bring me out of prison, that I may give thanks to your name! The righteous will surround me, for you will deal bountifully with me.

A Prayer for Deliverance and Guidance

143 1  Hear my prayer, O Lord; give ear to my pleas for mercy! In your faithfulness answer me, in your righteousness! 2  Enter not into judgment with your servant, for no one living is righteous before you. 3  For the enemy has pursued my soul; he has crushed my life to the ground; he has made me sit in darkness like those long dead. 4  Therefore my spirit faints within me; my heart within me is appalled. 5  I remember the days of old; I meditate on all that you have done; I ponder the work of your hands. 6  I stretch out my hands to you; my soul thirsts for you like a parched land. Selah

7  Answer me quickly, O Lord! My spirit fails! Hide not your face from me, lest I be like those who go down to the pit. 8  Let me hear in the morning of your steadfast love, for in you I trust. Make me know the way I should go, for to you I lift up my soul. 9  Deliver me from my enemies, O Lord! I have fled to you for refuge![6] 10  Teach me to do your will, for you are my God! Let your good Spirit lead me on level ground! 11  For your name's sake, O Lord, preserve my life! In your righteousness bring my soul out of trouble! 12  And in your steadfast love you will cut off my enemies, and you will destroy all the adversaries of my soul, for I am your servant.

A Prayer for Rescue and Prosperity

144 1  Blessed be the Lord, my rock, who trains my hands for war, and my fingers for battle; 2  he is my steadfast love and my fortress, my stronghold and my deliverer, my shield and he in whom I take refuge, who subdues peoples[7] under me. 3  O Lord, what is man that you regard him, or the son of man that you think of him? 4  Man is like a breath; his days are like a passing shadow. 5  Bow your heavens, O Lord, and come down! Touch the mountains so that they smoke! 6  Flash forth the lightning and scatter them; send out your arrows and rout them! 7  Stretch out your hand from on high; rescue me and deliver me from the many waters, from the hand of foreigners, 8  whose mouths speak lies and whose right hand is a right hand of falsehood.

9  I will sing a new song to you, O God; upon a ten-stringed harp I will play to you, 10  who gives victory to kings, who rescues David his servant from the cruel sword. 11  Rescue me and deliver me from the hand of foreigners, whose mouths speak lies and whose right hand is a right hand of falsehood. 12  May our sons in their youth be like plants full grown, our daughters like corner pillars cut for the structure of a palace; 13  may our granaries be full, providing all kinds of produce; may our sheep bring forth thousands and ten thousands in our fields; 14  may our cattle be heavy with young, suffering no mishap or failure in bearing;[8] may there be no cry of distress in our streets! 15  Blessed are the people to whom such blessings fall! Blessed are the people whose God is the Lord!

Praise for the LORD's Goodness and Power

145 1  I will extol you, my God and King, and bless your name forever and ever. 2  Every day I will bless you and praise your name forever and ever. 3  Great is the Lord, and greatly to be praised, and his greatness is unsearchable. 4  One generation shall commend your works to another, and shall declare your mighty acts. 5  On the glorious splendor of your majesty, and on your wondrous works, I will meditate. 6  They shall speak of the might of your awesome deeds, and I will declare your greatness. 7  They shall pour forth the fame of your abundant goodness and shall sing aloud of your righteousness. 8  The Lord is gracious and merciful, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love. 9  The Lord is good to all, and his mercy is over all that he has made.

10  All your works shall give thanks to you, O Lord, and all your saints shall bless you! 11  They shall speak of the glory of your kingdom and tell of your power, 12  to make known to the children of man your[9] mighty deeds, and the glorious splendor of your kingdom. 13  Your kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, and your dominion endures throughout all generations.[The Lord is faithful in all his words and kind in all his works.][10] 14  The Lord upholds all who are falling and raises up all who are bowed down. 15  The eyes of all look to you, and you give them their food in due season. 16  You open your hand; you satisfy the desire of every living thing. 17  The Lord is righteous in all his ways and kind in all his works. 18  The Lord is near to all who call on him, to all who call on him in truth. 19  He fulfills the desire of those who fear him; he also hears their cry and saves them. 20  The Lord preserves all who love him, but all the wicked he will destroy. 21  My mouth will speak the praise of the Lord, and let all flesh bless his holy name forever and ever.

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[1] 140:5 Or they have spread cords as a net

[2] 140:8 Hebrew his

[3] 141:6 Or When their judges fall into the hands of the Rock

[4] 141:7 The meaning of the Hebrew in verses 6, 7 is uncertain

[5] 141:8 Hebrew refuge; do not pour out my life!

[6] 143:9 One Hebrew manuscript, Septuagint; most Hebrew manuscripts To you I have covered

[7] 144:2 Many Hebrew manuscripts, Dead Sea Scroll, Jerome, Syriac, Aquila; most Hebrew manuscripts subdues my people

[8] 144:14 Hebrew with no breaking in or going out

[9] 145:12 Hebrew his; also next line

[10] 145:13 These two lines are supplied by one Hebrew manuscript, Septuagint, Syriac (compare Dead Sea Scroll)

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