A Prayer for God's Continued Mercy
86 1 A Prayer of David. Incline thy ear, O Lord, and answer me, for I am poor and needy. 2 Preserve my life, for I am godly; save thy servant who trusts in thee. Thou art my God; 3 be gracious to me, O Lord, for to thee do I cry all the day. 4 Gladden the soul of thy servant, for to thee, O Lord, do I lift up my soul. 5 For thou, O Lord, art good and forgiving, abounding in steadfast love to all who call on thee. 6 Give ear, O Lord, to my prayer; hearken to my cry of supplication. 7 In the day of my trouble I call on thee, for thou dost answer me.
8 There is none like thee among the gods, O Lord, nor are there any works like thine. 9 All the nations thou hast made shall come and bow down before thee, O Lord, and shall glorify thy name. 10 For thou art great and doest wondrous things, thou alone art God. 11 Teach me thy way, O Lord, that I may walk in thy truth; unite my heart to fear thy name. 12 I give thanks to thee, O Lord my God, with my whole heart, and I will glorify thy name for ever. 13 For great is thy steadfast love toward me; thou hast delivered my soul from the depths of Sheol. 14 O God, insolent men have risen up against me; a band of ruthless men seek my life, and they do not set thee before them. 15 But thou, O Lord, art a God merciful and gracious, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love and faithfulness. 16 Turn to me and take pity on me; give thy strength to thy servant, and save the son of thy handmaid. 17 Show me a sign of thy favor, that those who hate me may see and be put to shame because thou, Lord, hast helped me and comforted me.
The Privileges of Dwelling in Zion
87 1 A Psalm of the Sons of Korah. A Song. On the holy mount stands the city he founded; 2 the Lord loves the gates of Zion more than all the dwelling places of Jacob. 3 Glorious things are spoken of you, O city of God. [Selah]
4 Among those who know me I mention Rahab and Babylon; behold, Philistia and Tyre, with Ethiopia--"this one was born there," they say. 5 And of Zion it shall be said, "This one and that one were born in her"; for the Most High himself will establish her. 6 The Lord records as he registers the peoples, "This one was born there." [Selah] 7 Singers and dancers alike say, "All my springs are in you."
A Prayer for Deliverance from Death
88 1 A Song. A Psalm of the Sons of Korah. To the choirmaster: according to Mahalath Leannoth. A Maskil of Heman the Ezrahite. O Lord, my God, I call for help by day; I cry out in the night before thee. 2 Let my prayer come before thee, incline thy ear to my cry! 3 For my soul is full of troubles, and my life draws near to Sheol. 4 I am reckoned among those who go down to the Pit; I am a man who has no strength, 5 like one forsaken among the dead, like the slain that lie in the grave, like those whom thou dost remember no more, for they are cut off from thy hand. 6 Thou hast put me in the depths of the Pit, in the regions dark and deep. 7 Thy wrath lies heavy upon me, and thou dost overwhelm me with all thy waves. [Selah] 8 Thou hast caused my companions to shun me; thou hast made me a thing of horror to them. I am shut in so that I cannot escape; 9 my eye grows dim through sorrow. Every day I call upon thee, O Lord; I spread out my hands to thee.
10 Dost thou work wonders for the dead? Do the shades rise up to praise thee? [Selah] 11 Is thy steadfast love declared in the grave, or thy faithfulness in Abaddon? 12 Are thy wonders known in the darkness, or thy saving help in the land of forgetfulness? 13 But I, O Lord, cry to thee; in the morning my prayer comes before thee. 14 O Lord, why dost thou cast me off? Why dost thou hide thy face from me? 15 Afflicted and close to death from my youth up, I suffer thy terrors; I am helpless. 16 Thy wrath has swept over me; thy dread assaults destroy me. 17 They surround me like a flood all day long; they close in upon me together. 18 Thou hast caused lover and friend to shun me; my companions are in darkness.
God's Covenant with David
89 1 A Maskil of Ethan the Ezrahite. I will sing of thy steadfast love, O Lord, for ever; with my mouth I will proclaim thy faithfulness to all generations. 2 For thy steadfast love was established for ever, thy faithfulness is firm as the heavens. 3 Thou hast said, "I have made a covenant with my chosen one, I have sworn to David my servant: 4 'I will establish your descendants for ever, and build your throne for all generations.'" [Selah]
5 Let the heavens praise thy wonders, O Lord, thy faithfulness in the assembly of the holy ones! 6 For who in the skies can be compared to the Lord? Who among the heavenly beings is like the Lord, 7 a God feared in the council of the holy ones, great and terrible above all that are round about him? 8 O Lord God of hosts, who is mighty as thou art, O Lord, with thy faithfulness round about thee? 9 Thou dost rule the raging of the sea; when its waves rise, thou stillest them. 10 Thou didst crush Rahab like a carcass, thou didst scatter thy enemies with thy mighty arm. 11 The heavens are thine, the earth also is thine; the world and all that is in it, thou hast founded them. 12 The north and the south, thou hast created them; Tabor and Hermon joyously praise thy name. 13 Thou hast a mighty arm; strong is thy hand, high thy right hand. 14 Righteousness and justice are the foundation of thy throne; steadfast love and faithfulness go before thee.
15 Blessed are the people who know the festal shout, who walk, O Lord, in the light of thy countenance, 16 who exult in thy name all the day, and extol thy righteousness. 17 For thou art the glory of their strength; by thy favor our horn is exalted. 18 For our shield belongs to the Lord, our king to the Holy One of Israel.
19 Of old thou didst speak in a vision to thy faithful one, and say: "I have set the crown upon one who is mighty, I have exalted one chosen from the people. 20 I have found David, my servant; with my holy oil I have anointed him; 21 so that my hand shall ever abide with him, my arm also shall strengthen him. 22 The enemy shall not outwit him, the wicked shall not humble him. 23 I will crush his foes before him and strike down those who hate him. 24 My faithfulness and my steadfast love shall be with him, and in my name shall his horn be exalted. 25 I will set his hand on the sea and his right hand on the rivers. 26 He shall cry to me, 'Thou art my Father, my God, and the Rock of my salvation.' 27 And I will make him the first-born, the highest of the kings of the earth. 28 My steadfast love I will keep for him for ever, and my covenant will stand firm for him. 29 I will establish his line for ever and his throne as the days of the heavens. 30 If his children forsake my law and do not walk according to my ordinances, 31 if they violate my statutes and do not keep my commandments, 32 then I will punish their transgression with the rod and their iniquity with scourges; 33 but I will not remove from him my steadfast love, or be false to my faithfulness. 34 I will not violate my covenant, or alter the word that went forth from my lips. 35 Once for all I have sworn by my holiness; I will not lie to David. 36 His line shall endure for ever, his throne as long as the sun before me. 37 Like the moon it shall be established for ever; it shall stand firm while the skies endure." [Selah]
38 But now thou hast cast off and rejected, thou art full of wrath against thy anointed. 39 Thou hast renounced the covenant with thy servant; thou hast defiled his crown in the dust. 40 Thou hast breached all his walls; thou hast laid his strongholds in ruins. 41 All that pass by despoil him; he has become the scorn of his neighbors. 42 Thou hast exalted the right hand of his foes; thou hast made all his enemies rejoice. 43 Yea, thou hast turned back the edge of his sword, and thou hast not made him stand in battle. 44 Thou hast removed the scepter from his hand, and cast his throne to the ground. 45 Thou hast cut short the days of his youth; thou hast covered him with shame. [Selah] 46 How long, O Lord? Wilt thou hide thyself for ever? How long will thy wrath burn like fire? 47 Remember, O Lord, what the measure of life is, for what vanity thou hast created all the sons of men! 48 What man can live and never see death? Who can deliver his soul from the power of Sheol? [Selah] 49 Lord, where is thy steadfast love of old, which by thy faithfulness thou didst swear to David? 50 Remember, O Lord, how thy servant is scorned; how I bear in my bosom the insults of the peoples, 51 with which thy enemies taunt, O Lord, with which they mock the footsteps of thy anointed. 52 Blessed be the Lord for ever! Amen and Amen.