A Prayer for Cleansing
51 1 Have mercy on me, O God, according to your steadfast love; according to your abundant mercy blot out my transgressions. 2 Wash me thoroughly from my iniquity, and cleanse me from my sin. 3 For I know my transgressions, and my sin is ever before me. 4 Against you, you alone, have I sinned, and done what is evil in your sight, so that you are justified in your sentence and blameless when you pass judgment. 5 Indeed, I was born guilty, a sinner when my mother conceived me. 6 You desire truth in the inward being; therefore teach me wisdom in my secret heart.
7 Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean; wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow. 8 Let me hear joy and gladness; let the bones that you have crushed rejoice. 9 Hide your face from my sins, and blot out all my iniquities. 10 Create in me a clean heart, O God, and put a new and right spirit within me. 11 Do not cast me away from your presence, and do not take your holy spirit from me. 12 Restore to me the joy of your salvation, and sustain in me a willing spirit. 13 Then I will teach transgressors your ways, and sinners will return to you.
14 Deliver me from bloodshed, O God, O God of my salvation, and my tongue will sing aloud of your deliverance. 15 O Lord, open my lips, and my mouth will declare your praise. 16 For you have no delight in sacrifice; if I were to give a burnt offering, you would not be pleased. 17 The sacrifice acceptable to God is a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart, O God, you will not despise. 18 Do good to Zion in your good pleasure; rebuild the walls of Jerusalem, 19 then you will delight in right sacrifices, in burnt offerings and whole burnt offerings; then bulls will be offered on your altar.
The Futility of Boastful Wickedness
52 1 Why do you boast, O mighty one, of mischief done against the godly? All day long 2 you are plotting destruction. Your tongue is like a sharp razor, you worker of treachery. 3 You love evil more than good, and lying more than speaking the truth. Selah 4 You love all words that devour, O deceitful tongue. 5 But God will break you down forever; he will snatch and tear you from your tent; he will uproot you from the land of the living. Selah
6 The righteous will see, and fear, and will laugh at the evildoer, saying, 7 "See the one who would not take refuge in God, but trusted in abundant riches, and sought refuge in wealth!" 8 But I am like a green olive tree in the house of God. I trust in the steadfast love of God forever and ever. 9 I will thank you forever, because of what you have done. In the presence of the faithful I will proclaim your name, for it is good.
The Folly and Wickedness of Men
53 1 Fools say in their hearts, "There is no God." They are corrupt, they commit abominable acts; there is no one who does good. 2 God looks down from heaven on humankind to see if there are any who are wise, who seek after God. 3 They have all fallen away, they are all alike perverse; there is no one who does good, no, not one. 4 Have they no knowledge, those evildoers, who eat up my people as they eat bread, and do not call upon God? 5 There they shall be in great terror, in terror such as has not been. For God will scatter the bones of the ungodly; they will be put to shame, for God has rejected them. 6 O that deliverance for Israel would come from Zion! When God restores the fortunes of his people, Jacob will rejoice; Israel will be glad.
A Prayer for Protection from Enemies
54 1 Save me, O God, by your name, and vindicate me by your might. 2 Hear my prayer, O God; give ear to the words of my mouth. 3 For the insolent have risen against me, the ruthless seek my life; they do not set God before them. Selah
4 But surely, God is my helper; the Lord is the upholder of my life. 5 He will repay my enemies for their evil. In your faithfulness, put an end to them. 6 With a freewill offering I will sacrifice to you; I will give thanks to your name, O Lord, for it is good. 7 For he has delivered me from every trouble, and my eye has looked in triumph on my enemies.
A Prayer for the Destruction of the Deceitful
55 1 Give ear to my prayer, O God; do not hide yourself from my supplication. 2 Attend to me, and answer me; I am troubled in my complaint. I am distraught 3 by the noise of the enemy, because of the clamor of the wicked. For they bring trouble upon me, and in anger they cherish enmity against me. 4 My heart is in anguish within me, the terrors of death have fallen upon me. 5 Fear and trembling come upon me, and horror overwhelms me. 6 And I say, "O that I had wings like a dove! I would fly away and be at rest; 7 truly, I would flee far away; I would lodge in the wilderness; Selah 8 I would hurry to find a shelter for myself from the raging wind and tempest."
9 Confuse, O Lord, confound their speech; for I see violence and strife in the city. 10 Day and night they go around it on its walls, and iniquity and trouble are within it; 11 ruin is in its midst; oppression and fraud do not depart from its marketplace. 12 It is not enemies who taunt me- I could bear that; it is not adversaries who deal insolently with me- I could hide from them. 13 But it is you, my equal, my companion, my familiar friend, 14 with whom I kept pleasant company; we walked in the house of God with the throng. 15 Let death come upon them; let them go down alive to Sheol; for evil is in their homes and in their hearts.
16 But I call upon God, and the Lord will save me. 17 Evening and morning and at noon I utter my complaint and moan, and he will hear my voice. 18 He will redeem me unharmed from the battle that I wage, for many are arrayed against me. 19 God, who is enthroned from of old, Selah will hear, and will humble them- because they do not change, and do not fear God. 20 My companion laid hands on a friend and violated a covenant with me 21 with speech smoother than butter, but with a heart set on war; with words that were softer than oil, but in fact were drawn swords. 22 Cast your burden on the Lord, and he will sustain you; he will never permit the righteous to be moved. 23 But you, O God, will cast them down into the lowest pit; the bloodthirsty and treacherous shall not live out half their days. But I will trust in you.
A Prayer of Trust
56 1 Be gracious to me, O God, for people trample on me; all day long foes oppress me; 2 my enemies trample on me all day long, for many fight against me. O Most High, 3 when I am afraid, I put my trust in you. 4 In God, whose word I praise, in God I trust; I am not afraid; what can flesh do to me? 5 All day long they seek to injure my cause; all their thoughts are against me for evil. 6 They stir up strife, they lurk, they watch my steps. As they hoped to have my life, 7 so repay them for their crime; in wrath cast down the peoples, O God!
8 You have kept count of my tossings; put my tears in your bottle. Are they not in your record? 9 Then my enemies will retreat in the day when I call. This I know, that God is for me. 10 In God, whose word I praise, in the Lord, whose word I praise, 11 in God I trust; I am not afraid. What can a mere mortal do to me? 12 My vows to you I must perform, O God; I will render thank offerings to you. 13 For you have delivered my soul from death, and my feet from falling, so that I may walk before God in the light of life.
A Prayer for Rescue from Persecutors
57 1 Be merciful to me, O God, be merciful to me, for in you my soul takes refuge; in the shadow of your wings I will take refuge, until the destroying storms pass by. 2 I cry to God Most High, to God who fulfills his purpose for me. 3 He will send from heaven and save me, he will put to shame those who trample on me. Selah God will send forth his steadfast love and his faithfulness. 4 I lie down among lions that greedily devour human prey; their teeth are spears and arrows, their tongues sharp swords. 5 Be exalted, O God, above the heavens. Let your glory be over all the earth. 6 They set a net for my steps; my soul was bowed down. They dug a pit in my path, but they have fallen into it themselves. Selah
7 My heart is steadfast, O God, my heart is steadfast. I will sing and make melody. 8 Awake, my soul! Awake, O harp and lyre! I will awake the dawn. 9 I will give thanks to you, O Lord, among the peoples; I will sing praises to you among the nations. 10 For your steadfast love is as high as the heavens; your faithfulness extends to the clouds. 11 Be exalted, O God, above the heavens. Let your glory be over all the earth.