A Prayer for Deliverance
70 1 Be pleased, O God, to deliver me. O Lord, make haste to help me! 2 Let those be put to shame and confusion who seek my life. Let those be turned back and brought to dishonor who desire to hurt me. 3 Let those who say, "Aha, Aha!" turn back because of their shame. 4 Let all who seek you rejoice and be glad in you. Let those who love your salvation say evermore, "God is great!" 5 But I am poor and needy; hasten to me, O God! You are my help and my deliverer; O Lord, do not delay!
The Prayer of an Old Man
71 1 In you, O Lord, I take refuge; let me never be put to shame. 2 In your righteousness deliver me and rescue me; incline your ear to me and save me. 3 Be to me a rock of refuge, a strong fortress, to save me, for you are my rock and my fortress. 4 Rescue me, O my God, from the hand of the wicked, from the grasp of the unjust and cruel. 5 For you, O Lord, are my hope, my trust, O Lord, from my youth. 6 Upon you I have leaned from my birth; it was you who took me from my mother's womb. My praise is continually of you. 7 I have been like a portent to many, but you are my strong refuge. 8 My mouth is filled with your praise, and with your glory all day long. 9 Do not cast me off in the time of old age; do not forsake me when my strength is spent. 10 For my enemies speak concerning me, and those who watch for my life consult together. 11 They say, "Pursue and seize that person whom God has forsaken, for there is no one to deliver." 12 O God, do not be far from me; O my God, make haste to help me! 13 Let my accusers be put to shame and consumed; let those who seek to hurt me be covered with scorn and disgrace.
14 But I will hope continually, and will praise you yet more and more. 15 My mouth will tell of your righteous acts, of your deeds of salvation all day long, though their number is past my knowledge. 16 I will come praising the mighty deeds of the Lord God, I will praise your righteousness, yours alone. 17 O God, from my youth you have taught me, and I still proclaim your wondrous deeds. 18 So even to old age and gray hairs, O God, do not forsake me, until I proclaim your might to all the generations to come. Your power 19 and your righteousness, O God, reach the high heavens. You who have done great things, O God, who is like you? 20 You who have made me see many troubles and calamities will revive me again; from the depths of the earth you will bring me up again. 21 You will increase my honor, and comfort me once again. 22 I will also praise you with the harp for your faithfulness, O my God; I will sing praises to you with the lyre, O Holy One of Israel. 23 My lips will shout for joy when I sing praises to you; my soul also, which you have rescued. 24 All day long my tongue will talk of your righteous help, for those who tried to do me harm have been put to shame, and disgraced.
The Reign of the Righteous King
72 1 Give the king your justice, O God, and your righteousness to a king's son.
2 May he judge your people with righteousness, and your poor with justice. 3 May the mountains yield prosperity for the people, and the hills, in righteousness. 4 May he defend the cause of the poor of the people, give deliverance to the needy, and crush the oppressor. 5 May he live while the sun endures, and as long as the moon, throughout all generations. 6 May he be like rain that falls on the mown grass, like showers that water the earth. 7 In his days may righteousness flourish and peace abound, until the moon is no more. 8 May he have dominion from sea to sea, and from the River to the ends of the earth. 9 May his foes bow down before him, and his enemies lick the dust. 10 May the kings of Tarshish and of the isles render him tribute, may the kings of Sheba and Seba bring gifts. 11 May all kings fall down before him, all nations give him service. 12 For he delivers the needy when they call, the poor and those who have no helper. 13 He has pity on the weak and the needy, and saves the lives of the needy. 14 From oppression and violence he redeems their life; and precious is their blood in his sight. 15 Long may he live! May gold of Sheba be given to him. May prayer be made for him continually, and blessings invoked for him all day long. 16 May there be abundance of grain in the land; may it wave on the tops of the mountains; may its fruit be like Lebanon; and may people blossom in the cities like the grass of the field. 17 May his name endure forever, his fame continue as long as the sun. May all nations be blessed in him; may they pronounce him happy.
18 Blessed be the Lord, the God of Israel, who alone does wondrous things. 19 Blessed be his glorious name forever; may his glory fill the whole earth. Amen and Amen. 20 The prayers of David son of Jesse are ended.
The Fate of the Wicked
73 1 Truly God is good to the upright, to those who are pure in heart. 2 But as for me, my feet had almost stumbled; my steps had nearly slipped. 3 For I was envious of the arrogant; I saw the prosperity of the wicked. 4 For they have no pain; their bodies are sound and sleek. 5 They are not in trouble as others are; they are not plagued like other people. 6 Therefore pride is their necklace; violence covers them like a garment. 7 Their eyes swell out with fatness; their hearts overflow with follies. 8 They scoff and speak with malice; loftily they threaten oppression. 9 They set their mouths against heaven, and their tongues range over the earth. 10 Therefore the people turn and praise them, and find no fault in them. 11 And they say, "How can God know? Is there knowledge in the Most High?" 12 Such are the wicked; always at ease, they increase in riches. 13 All in vain I have kept my heart clean and washed my hands in innocence. 14 For all day long I have been plagued, and am punished every morning.
15 If I had said, "I will talk on in this way," I would have been untrue to the circle of your children. 16 But when I thought how to understand this, it seemed to me a wearisome task, 17 until I went into the sanctuary of God; then I perceived their end. 18 Truly you set them in slippery places; you make them fall to ruin. 19 How they are destroyed in a moment, swept away utterly by terrors! 20 They are like a dream when one awakes; on awaking you despise their phantoms.
21 When my soul was embittered, when I was pricked in heart, 22 I was stupid and ignorant; I was like a brute beast toward you. 23 Nevertheless I am continually with you; you hold my right hand. 24 You guide me with your counsel, and afterward you will receive me with honor. 25 Whom have I in heaven but you? And there is nothing on earth that I desire other than you. 26 My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever. 27 Indeed, those who are far from you will perish; you put an end to those who are false to you. 28 But for me it is good to be near God; I have made the Lord God my refuge, to tell of all your works.