A Prayer for Deliverance
70 1 God! Please hurry to my rescue! God, come quickly to my side! 2 Those who are out to get me - let them fall all over themselves. Those who relish my downfall - send them down a blind alley. 3 Give them a taste of their own medicine, those gossips off clucking their tongues. 4 Let those on the hunt for you sing and celebrate. Let all who love your saving way say over and over, "God is mighty!" 5 But I've lost it. I'm wasted. God - quickly, quickly! Quick to my side, quick to my rescue! God, don't lose a minute.
The Prayer of an Old Man
71 1 I run for dear life to God, I'll never live to regret it. 2 Do what you do so well: get me out of this mess and up on my feet. Put your ear to the ground and listen, give me space for salvation. 3 Be a guest room where I can retreat; you said your door was always open! You're my salvation - my vast, granite fortress. 4 My God, free me from the grip of Wicked, from the clutch of Bad and Bully. 5 You keep me going when times are tough - my bedrock, God, since my childhood. 6 I've hung on you from the day of my birth, the day you took me from the cradle; I'll never run out of praise. 7 Many gasp in alarm when they see me, but you take me in stride. 8 Just as each day brims with your beauty, my mouth brims with praise. 9 But don't turn me out to pasture when I'm old or put me on the shelf when I can't pull my weight. 10 My enemies are talking behind my back, watching for their chance to knife me. 11 The gossip is: "God has abandoned him. Pounce on him now; no one will help him." 12 God, don't just watch from the sidelines. Come on! Run to my side! 13 My accusers - make them lose face. Those out to get me - make them look
14 while I stretch out, reaching for you, and daily add praise to praise. 15 I'll write the book on your righteousness, talk up your salvation the livelong day, never run out of good things to write or say. 16 I come in the power of the Lord God, I post signs marking his right-of-way. 17 You got me when I was an unformed youth, God, and taught me everything I know. Now I'm telling the world your wonders; 18 I'll keep at it until I'm old and gray. God, don't walk off and leave me until I get out the news Of your strong right arm to this world, news of your power to the world yet to come, 19 Your famous and righteous ways, O God. God, you've done it all! Who is quite like you? 20 You, who made me stare trouble in the face, Turn me around; Now let me look life in the face. I've been to the bottom; 21 streaming with honors; turn to me, be tender to me, 22 And I'll take up the lute and thank you to the tune of your faithfulness, God. I'll make music for you on a harp, Holy One of Israel. 23 When I open up in song to you, I let out lungsful of praise, my rescued life a song. 24 All day long I'm chanting about you and your righteous ways, While those who tried to do me in slink off looking ashamed.
The Reign of the Righteous King
72 1 Give the gift of wise rule to the king, O God, the gift of just rule to the crown prince.
2 May he judge your people rightly, be honorable to your meek and lowly. 3 Let the mountains give exuberant witness; shape the hills with the contours of right living. 4 Please stand up for the poor, help the children of the needy, come down hard on the cruel tyrants. 5 Outlast the sun, outlive the moon - age after age after age. 6 Be rainfall on cut grass, earth-refreshing rain showers. 7 Let righteousness burst into blossom and peace abound until the moon fades to nothing. 8 Rule from sea to sea, from the River to the Rim. 9 Foes will fall on their knees before God, his enemies lick the dust. 10 Kings remote and legendary will pay homage, kings rich and resplendent will turn over their wealth. 11 All kings will fall down and worship, and godless nations sign up to serve him, 12 Because he rescues the poor at the first sign of need, the destitute who have run out of luck. 13 He opens a place in his heart for the down-and-out, he restores the wretched of the earth. 14 He frees them from tyranny and torture - when they bleed, he bleeds; when they die, he dies. 15 And live! Oh, let him live! Deck him out in Sheba gold. Offer prayers unceasing to him, bless him from morning to night. 16 Fields of golden grain in the land, cresting the mountains in wild exuberance, Cornucopias of praise, praises springing from the city like grass from the earth. 17 May he never be forgotten, his fame shine on like sunshine. May all godless people enter his circle of blessing and bless the One who blessed them.
The Fate of the Wicked
73 1 No doubt about it! God is good - good to good people, good to the good-hearted. 2 But I nearly missed it, missed seeing his goodness. 3 I was looking the other way, looking up to the people 4 At the top, envying the wicked who have it made, 5 Who have nothing to worry about, not a care in the whole wide world. 6 Pretentious with arrogance, they wear the latest fashions in violence, 7 Pampered and overfed, decked out in silk bows of silliness. 8 They jeer, using words to kill; they bully their way with words. 9 They're full of hot air, loudmouths disturbing the peace. 10 People actually listen to them - can you believe it? Like thirsty puppies, they lap up their words. 11 What's going on here? Is God out to lunch? Nobody's tending the store. 12 The wicked get by with everything; they have it made, piling up riches 13 I've been stupid to play by the rules; what has it gotten me? 14 A long run of bad luck, that's what - a slap in the face every time I walk out the door.
15 If I'd have given in and talked like this, I would have betrayed your dear children. 16 Still, when I tried to figure it out, all I got was a splitting headache . . . 17 Until I entered the sanctuary of God. Then I saw the whole picture: 18 The slippery road you've put them on, with a final crash in a ditch of delusions. 19 In the blink of an eye, disaster! A blind curve in the dark, and - nightmare! 20 We wake up and rub our eyes. . . . Nothing. There's nothing to them. And there never was.
21 When I was beleaguered and bitter, totally consumed by envy, 22 I was totally ignorant, a dumb ox in your very presence. 23 I'm still in your presence, but you've taken my hand. 24 You wisely and tenderly lead me, and then you bless me. 25 You're all I want in heaven! You're all I want on earth! 26 When my skin sags and my bones get brittle, God is rock-firm and faithful. 27 Look! Those who left you are falling apart! Deserters, they'll never be heard from again. 28 But I'm in the very presence of God - oh, how refreshing it is! I've made Lord God my home. God, I'm telling the world what you do!