A Prayer for Cleansing
51 1 Have mercy on me, God, according to your loving kindness.
According to the multitude of your tender mercies, blot out my transgressions. 2 Wash me thoroughly from my iniquity.
Cleanse me from my sin. 3 For I know my transgressions.
My sin is constantly before me. 4 Against you, and you only, have I sinned,
and done that which is evil in your sight;
that you may be proved right when you speak,
and justified when you judge. 5 Behold, I was brought forth in iniquity.
In sin my mother conceived me. 6 Behold, you desire truth in the inward parts.
You teach me wisdom in the inmost place.
7 Purify me with hyssop, and I will be clean.
Wash me, and I will be whiter than snow. 8 Let me hear joy and gladness,
That the bones which you have broken may rejoice. 9 Hide your face from my sins,
and blot out all of my iniquities. 10 Create in me a clean heart, O God.
Renew a right spirit within me. 11 Don’t throw me from your presence,
and don’t take your holy Spirit from me. 12 Restore to me the joy of your salvation.
Uphold me with a willing spirit. 13 Then I will teach transgressors your ways.
Sinners shall be converted to you.
14 Deliver me from bloodguiltiness, O God, the God of my salvation.
My tongue shall sing aloud of your righteousness. 15 Lord, open my lips.
My mouth shall declare your praise. 16 For you don’t delight in sacrifice, or else I would give it.
You have no pleasure in burnt offering. 17 The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit.
A broken and contrite heart, O God, you will not despise. 18 Do well in your good pleasure to Zion.
Build the walls of Jerusalem. 19 Then you will delight in the sacrifices of righteousness,
in burnt offerings and in whole burnt offerings.
Then they will offer bulls on your altar.
The Futility of Boastful Wickedness
52 1 Why do you boast of mischief, mighty man?
God’s loving kindness endures continually. 2 Your tongue plots destruction,
like a sharp razor, working deceitfully. 3 You love evil more than good,
lying rather than speaking the truth. Selah. 4 You love all devouring words,
you deceitful tongue. 5 God will likewise destroy you forever.
He will take you up, and pluck you out of your tent,
and root you out of the land of the living. Selah.
6 The righteous also will see it, and fear,
and laugh at him, saying, 7 “Behold, this is the man who didn’t make God his strength,
but trusted in the abundance of his riches,
and strengthened himself in his wickedness.” 8 But as for me, I am like a green olive tree in God’s house.
I trust in God’s loving kindness forever and ever. 9 I will give you thanks forever, because you have done it.
I will hope in your name, for it is good,
in the presence of your saints.
The Folly and Wickedness of Men
53 1 The fool has said in his heart, “There is no God.”
They are corrupt, and have done abominable iniquity.
There is no one who does good. 2 God looks down from heaven on the children of men,
to see if there are any who understood,
who seek after God. 3 Every one of them has gone back.
They have become filthy together.
There is no one who does good, no, not one. 4 Have the workers of iniquity no knowledge,
who eat up my people as they eat bread,
and don’t call on God? 5 There they were in great fear, where no fear was,
for God has scattered the bones of him who encamps against you.
You have put them to shame,
because God has rejected them. 6 Oh that the salvation of Israel would come out of Zion!
When God brings back his people from captivity,
then Jacob shall rejoice,
and Israel shall be glad.
A Prayer for Protection from Enemies
54 1 Save me, God, by your name.
Vindicate me in your might. 2 Hear my prayer, God.
Listen to the words of my mouth. 3 For strangers have risen up against me.
Violent men have sought after my soul.
They haven’t set God before them. Selah.
4 Behold, God is my helper.
The Lord is the one who sustains my soul. 5 He will repay the evil to my enemies.
Destroy them in your truth. 6 With a free will offering, I will sacrifice to you.
I will give thanks to your name, Yahweh, for it is good. 7 For he has delivered me out of all trouble.
My eye has seen triumph over my enemies.
A Prayer for the Destruction of the Deceitful
55 1 Listen to my prayer, God.
Don’t hide yourself from my supplication. 2 Attend to me, and answer me.
I am restless in my complaint, and moan, 3 Because of the voice of the enemy,
Because of the oppression of the wicked.
For they bring suffering on me.
In anger they hold a grudge against me. 4 My heart is severely pained within me.
The terrors of death have fallen on me. 5 Fearfulness and trembling have come on me.
Horror has overwhelmed me. 6 I said, “Oh that I had wings like a dove!
Then I would fly away, and be at rest. 7 Behold, then I would wander far off.
I would lodge in the wilderness.” Selah. 8 “I would hurry to a shelter from the stormy wind and storm.”
9 Confuse them, Lord, and confound their language,
for I have seen violence and strife in the city. 10 Day and night they prowl around on its walls.
Malice and abuse are also within her. 11 Destructive forces are within her.
Threats and lies don’t depart from her streets. 12 For it was not an enemy who insulted me,
then I could have endured it.
Neither was it he who hated me who raised himself up against me,
then I would have hid myself from him. 13 But it was you, a man like me,
my companion, and my familiar friend. 14 We took sweet fellowship together.
We walked in God’s house with company. 15 Let death come suddenly on them.
Let them go down alive into Sheol.
For wickedness is in their dwelling, in the midst of them.
16 As for me, I will call on God.
Yahweh will save me. 17 Evening, morning, and at noon, I will cry out in distress.
He will hear my voice. 18 He has redeemed my soul in peace from the battle that was against me,
although there are many who oppose me. 19 God, who is enthroned forever,
will hear, and answer them. Selah.
They never change,
who don’t fear God. 20 He raises his hands against his friends.
He has violated his covenant. 21 His mouth was smooth as butter,
but his heart was war.
His words were softer than oil,
yet they were drawn swords. 22 Cast your burden on Yahweh, and he will sustain you.
He will never allow the righteous to be moved. 23 But you, God, will bring them down into the pit of destruction.
Bloodthirsty and deceitful men shall not live out half their days,
but I will trust in you.
A Prayer of Trust
56 1 Be merciful to me, God, for man wants to swallow me up.
All day long, he attacks and oppresses me. 2 My enemies want to swallow me up all day long,
for they are many who fight proudly against me. 3 When I am afraid,
I will put my trust in you. 4 In God, I praise his word.
In God, I put my trust.
I will not be afraid.
What can flesh do to me? 5 All day long they twist my words.
All their thoughts are against me for evil. 6 They conspire and lurk,
watching my steps, they are eager to take my life. 7 Shall they escape by iniquity?
In anger cast down the peoples, God.
8 You number my wanderings.
You put my tears into your bottle.
Aren’t they in your book? 9 Then my enemies shall turn back in the day that I call.
I know this, that God is for me. 10 In God, I will praise his word.
In Yahweh, I will praise his word. 11 I have put my trust in God.
I will not be afraid.
What can man do to me? 12 Your vows are on me, God.
I will give thank offerings to you. 13 For you have delivered my soul from death,
and prevented my feet from falling,
that I may walk before God in the light of the living.
A Prayer for Rescue from Persecutors
57 1 Be merciful to me, God, be merciful to me,
for my soul takes refuge in you.
Yes, in the shadow of your wings, I will take refuge,
until disaster has passed. 2 I cry out to God Most High,
to God who accomplishes my requests for me. 3 He will send from heaven, and save me,
he rebukes the one who is pursuing me. Selah.
God will send out his loving kindness and his truth. 4 My soul is among lions.
I lie among those who are set on fire,
even the sons of men, whose teeth are spears and arrows,
and their tongue a sharp sword. 5 Be exalted, God, above the heavens!
Let your glory be above all the earth! 6 They have prepared a net for my steps.
My soul is bowed down.
They dig a pit before me.
They fall into its midst themselves. Selah.
7 My heart is steadfast, God, my heart is steadfast.
I will sing, yes, I will sing praises. 8 Wake up, my glory! Wake up, psaltery and harp!
I will wake up the dawn. 9 I will give thanks to you, Lord, among the peoples.
I will sing praises to you among the nations. 10 For your great loving kindness reaches to the heavens,
and your truth to the skies. 11 Be exalted, God, above the heavens.
Let your glory be over all the earth.