A Prayer for Cleansing
51 1 To the choirmaster. A Psalm of David, when Nathan the prophet came to him, after he had gone in to Bathsheba. Have mercy on me, O God, according to thy steadfast love; according to thy 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 thee, thee only, have I sinned, and done that which is evil in thy sight, so that thou art justified in thy sentence and blameless in thy judgment. 5 Behold, I was brought forth in iniquity, and in sin did my mother conceive me. 6 Behold, thou desirest 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 Fill me with joy and gladness; let the bones which thou hast broken rejoice. 9 Hide thy 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 Cast me not away from thy presence, and take not thy holy Spirit from me. 12 Restore to me the joy of thy salvation, and uphold me with a willing spirit. 13 Then I will teach transgressors thy ways, and sinners will return to thee.
14 Deliver me from bloodguiltiness, O God, thou God of my salvation, and my tongue will sing aloud of thy deliverance. 15 O Lord, open thou my lips, and my mouth shall show forth thy praise. 16 For thou hast no delight in sacrifice; were I to give a burnt offering, thou wouldst not be pleased. 17 The sacrifice acceptable to God is a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart, O God, thou wilt not despise. 18 Do good to Zion in thy good pleasure; rebuild the walls of Jerusalem, 19 then wilt thou delight in right sacrifices, in burnt offerings and whole burnt offerings; then bulls will be offered on thy altar.
The Futility of Boastful Wickedness
52 1 To the choirmaster. A Maskil of David, when Doeg, the Edomite, came and told Saul, "David has come to the house of Ahimelech." Why do you boast, O mighty man, of mischief done against the godly? All the day 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 for ever; he will snatch and tear you from your tent; he will uproot you from the land of the living. [Selah]
6 The righteous shall see, and fear, and shall laugh at him, saying, 7 "See the man who would not make God his refuge, but trusted in the abundance of his riches, and sought refuge in his wealth!" 8 But I am like a green olive tree in the house of God. I trust in the steadfast love of God for ever and ever. 9 I will thank thee for ever, because thou hast done it. I will proclaim thy name, for it is good, in the presence of the godly.
The Folly and Wickedness of Men
53 1 To the choirmaster: according to Mahalath. A Maskil of David. The fool says in his heart, "There is no God." They are corrupt, doing abominable iniquity; there is none that does good. 2 God looks down from heaven upon the sons of men to see if there are any that are wise, that seek after God. 3 They have all fallen away; they are all alike depraved; there is none that does good, no, not one. 4 Have those who work evil no understanding, who eat up my people as they eat bread, and do not call upon God? 5 There they are, 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 and Israel be glad.
A Prayer for Protection from Enemies
54 1 To the choirmaster: with stringed instruments. A Maskil of David, when the Ziphites went and told Saul, "David is in hiding among us." Save me, O God, by thy name, and vindicate me by thy might. 2 Hear my prayer, O God; give ear to the words of my mouth. 3 For insolent men have risen against me, ruthless men seek my life; they do not set God before them. [Selah]
4 Behold, God is my helper; the Lord is the upholder of my life. 5 He will requite my enemies with evil; in thy faithfulness put an end to them. 6 With a freewill offering I will sacrifice to thee; I will give thanks to thy name, O Lord, for it is good. 7 For thou hast 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 To the choirmaster: with stringed instruments. A Maskil of David. Give ear to my prayer, O God; and hide not thyself from my supplication! 2 Attend to me, and answer me; I am overcome by my trouble. I am distraught 3 by the noise of the enemy, because of the oppression 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 yea, I would wander afar, I would lodge in the wilderness, [Selah] 8 I would haste to find me a shelter from the raging wind and tempest."
9 Destroy their plans, O Lord, confuse their tongues; for I see violence and strife in the city. 10 Day and night they go around it on its walls; and mischief and trouble are within it, 11 ruin is in its midst; oppression and fraud do not depart from its market place. 12 It is not an enemy who taunts me--then I could bear it; it is not an adversary who deals insolently with me--then I could hide from him. 13 But it is you, my equal, my companion, my familiar friend. 14 We used to hold sweet converse together; within God's house we walked in fellowship. 15 Let death come upon them; let them go down to Sheol alive; let them go away in terror into their graves.
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 deliver my soul in safety from the battle that I wage, for many are arrayed against me. 19 God will give ear, and humble them, he who is enthroned from of old; because they keep no law, and do not fear God. [Selah] 20 My companion stretched out his hand against his friends, he violated his covenant. 21 His speech was smoother than butter, yet war was in his heart; his words were softer than oil, yet they 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 thou, O God, wilt cast them down into the lowest pit; men of blood and treachery shall not live out half their days. But I will trust in thee.
A Prayer of Trust
56 1 To the choirmaster: according to The Dove on Far-off Terebinths. A Miktam of David, when the Philistines seized him in Gath. Be gracious to me, O God, for men trample upon me; all day long foemen oppress me; 2 my enemies trample upon me all day long, for many fight against me proudly. 3 When I am afraid, I put my trust in thee. 4 In God, whose word I praise, in God I trust without a fear. 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 band themselves together, they lurk, they watch my steps. As they have waited for my life, 7 so recompense them for their crime; in wrath cast down the peoples, O God!
8 Thou hast kept count of my tossings; put thou my tears in thy bottle! Are they not in thy book? 9 Then my enemies will be turned back 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 without a fear. What can man do to me? 12 My vows to thee I must perform, O God; I will render thank offerings to thee. 13 For thou hast delivered my soul from death, yea, my feet from falling, that I may walk before God in the light of life.
A Prayer for Rescue from Persecutors
57 1 To the choirmaster: according to Do Not Destroy. A Miktam of David, when he fled from Saul, in the cave. Be merciful to me, O God, be merciful to me, for in thee my soul takes refuge; in the shadow of thy wings I will take refuge, till the storms of destruction pass by. 2 I cry to God Most High, to God who fulfils his purpose for me. 3 He will send from heaven and save me, he will put to shame those who trample upon me. [Selah] God will send forth his steadfast love and his faithfulness! 4 I lie in the midst of lions that greedily devour the sons of men; their teeth are spears and arrows, their tongues sharp swords. 5 Be exalted, O God, above the heavens! Let thy 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 way, 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 thee, O Lord, among the peoples; I will sing praises to thee among the nations. 10 For thy steadfast love is great to the heavens, thy faithfulness to the clouds. 11 Be exalted, O God, above the heavens! Let thy glory be over all the earth!