A Prayer for Cleansing
51 1 Have pity on me, O God, in your mercy; out of a full heart, take away my sin. 2 Let all my wrongdoing be washed away, and make me clean from evil. 3 For I am conscious of my error; my sin is ever before me. 4 Against you, you only, have I done wrong, working that which is evil in your eyes; so that your words may be seen to be right, and you may be clear when you are judging. 5 Truly, I was formed in evil, and in sin did my mother give me birth. 6 Your desire is for what is true in the inner parts: in the secrets of my soul you will give me knowledge of wisdom.
7 Make me free from sin with hyssop: let me be washed whiter than snow. 8 Make me full of joy and rapture; so that the bones which have been broken may be glad. 9 Let your face be turned from my wrongdoing, and take away all my sins. 10 Make a clean heart in me, O God; give me a right spirit again. 11 Do not put me away from before you, or take your holy spirit from me. 12 Give me back the joy of your salvation; let a free spirit be my support. 13 Then will I make your ways clear to wrongdoers; and sinners will be turned to you.
14 Be my saviour from violent death, O God, the God of my salvation; and my tongue will give praise to your righteousness. 15 O Lord, let my lips be open, so that my mouth may make clear your praise. 16 You have no desire for an offering or I would give it; you have no delight in burned offerings. 17 The offerings of God are a broken spirit; a broken and sorrowing heart, O God, you will not put from you. 18 Do good to Zion in your good pleasure, building up the walls of Jerusalem. 19 Then you will have delight in the offerings of righteousness, in burned offerings and offerings of beasts; then they will make offerings of oxen on your altar.
The Futility of Boastful Wickedness
52 1 Why do you take pride in wrongdoing, lifting yourself up against the upright man all the day? 2 Purposing destruction, using deceit; your tongue is like a sharp blade. 3 You have more love for evil than for good, for deceit than for works of righteousness. (Selah.) 4 Destruction is in all your words, O false tongue. 5 But God will put an end to you for ever; driving you out from your tent, uprooting you from the land of the living. (Selah.)
6 The upright will see it with fear, and will say, laughing at you: 7 See, this is the man who did not make God his strength, but had faith in his goods and his property, and made himself strong in his wealth. 8 But I am like a branching olive-tree in the house of God; I have put my faith in his mercy for ever and ever. 9 I will give you praise without end for what you have done; I will give honour to your name before your saints, for it is good.
The Folly and Wickedness of Men
53 1 The foolish man has said in his heart, God will not do anything. They are unclean, they have done evil works; there is not one who does good. 2 God was looking down from heaven on the children of men, to see if there were any who had wisdom, searching after God. 3 Every one of them has gone back; they are unclean: there is not one who does good, no, not one. 4 Have the workers of evil no knowledge? they take my people for food, as they would take bread; they make no prayer to God. 5 They were in great fear, where there was no cause for fear: for the bones of those who make war on you have been broken by God; you have put them to shame, because God has no desire for them. 6 May the salvation of Israel come out of Zion! When the fate of his people is changed by God, Jacob will have joy, and Israel will be glad.
A Prayer for Protection from Enemies
54 1 Let your name be my salvation, O God; let my cause be judged by your strength. 2 Let my prayer come before you, O God; give ear to the words of my mouth. 3 For men who are going after me have come out against me, violent men are purposing to take my soul; they have not put God before their eyes. (Selah.)
4 See, God is my helper: the Lord is the great supporter of my soul. 5 Let the evil works of my haters come back on them again; let them be cut off by your good faith. 6 Freely will I make my offerings to you; I will give praise to your name, O Lord, for it is good. 7 Because it has been my saviour from all my trouble; and my eyes have seen the punishment of my haters.
A Prayer for the Destruction of the Deceitful
55 1 Give hearing to my prayer, O God; and let not your ear be shut against my request. 2 Give thought to me, and let my prayer be answered: I have been made low in sorrow; 3 I am troubled because of the voice of the cruel ones, because of the loud cry of the evil-doers; for they put a weight of evil on me, and they are cruel in their hate for me. 4 My heart is deeply wounded, and the fear of death has come on me. 5 Fear and shaking have come over me, with deep fear I am covered. 6 And I said, If only I had wings like a dove! for then I would go in flight from here and be at rest. 7 I would go wandering far away, living in the waste land. (Selah.) 8 I would quickly take cover from the driving storm and from the violent wind.
9 Send destruction on them, O Lord, make a division of tongues among them: for I have seen fighting and violent acts in the town. 10 By day and night they go round the town, on the walls; trouble and sorrow are in the heart of it. 11 Evil is there; cruel rule and deceit are ever in the streets. 12 For it was not my hater who said evil of me; that would have been no grief to me; it was not one outside the number of my friends who made himself strong against me, or I would have kept myself from him in a secret place; 13 But it was you, my equal, my guide, my well-loved friend. 14 We had loving talk together, and went to the house of God in company. 15 Let the hand of death come on them suddenly, and let them go down living into the underworld; because evil is in their houses and in their hearts.
16 As for me, I will make my prayer to God, and he will be my saviour. 17 In the evening and in the morning and in the middle of the day I will make my prayer with sounds of grief; and my voice will come to his ears. 18 He has taken my soul away from the attack which was made against me, and given it peace; for great numbers were against me. 19 God will give thought to me; he who from early times is strong will send pain and trouble on them. (Selah.) Because they are unchanged, they have no fear of God. 20 He has put out his hand against those who were at peace with him; he has not kept his agreement. 21 The words of his mouth were smoother than butter, but war was in his heart; his words were softer than oil, but they were sharp swords. 22 Put your cares on the Lord, and he will be your support; he will not let the upright man be moved. 23 But you, O God, will send them down into the underworld; the cruel and the false will be cut off before half their days are ended; but I will have faith in you.
A Prayer of Trust
56 1 Have mercy on me, O God, for man is attempting my destruction; every day he makes cruel attacks against me. 2 My haters are ever ready to put an end to me; great numbers are lifting themselves up against me. 3 In the time of my fear, I will have faith in you. 4 In God will I give praise to his word; in God have I put my hope; I will have no fear of what flesh may do to me. 5 Every day they make wrong use of my words; all their thoughts are against me for evil. 6 They come together, they are waiting in secret places, they take note of my steps, they are waiting for my soul. 7 By evil-doing they will not get free from punishment. In wrath, O God, let the peoples be made low.
8 You have seen my wanderings; put the drops from my eyes into your bottle; are they not in your record? 9 When I send up my cry to you, my haters will be turned back; I am certain of this, for God is with me. 10 In God will I give praise to his word; in the Lord will I give praise to his word. 11 In God have I put my hope, I will have no fear of what man may do to me. 12 I keep the memory of my debt to you, O God; I will give you the offerings of praise. 13 Because you have taken my soul from the power of death; and kept my feet from falling, so that I may be walking before God in the light of life.
A Prayer for Rescue from Persecutors
57 1 Have mercy on me, O God, have mercy on me; for the hope of my soul is in you: I will keep myself safely under the shade of your wings, till these troubles are past. 2 I will send up my cry to the Most High God; to God who does all things for me. 3 He will send from heaven, and take me from the power of him whose desire is for my destruction. God will send out his mercy and his good faith. 4 My soul is among lions; I am stretched out among those who are on fire, even the sons of men, whose teeth are spears and arrows, and whose tongue is a sharp sword. 5 O God, be lifted up higher than the heavens; let your glory be over all the earth. 6 They have made ready a net for my steps; my soul is bent down; they have made a great hole before me, and have gone down into it themselves. (Selah.)
7 My heart is fixed, O God, my heart is fixed; I will make songs, and give praise. 8 You are my glory; let the instruments of music be awake; I myself will be awake with the dawn. 9 I will give you praise, O Lord, among the peoples; I will make songs to you among the nations. 10 For your mercy is great, stretching up to the heavens, and your righteousness goes up to the clouds. 11 Be lifted up, O God, higher than the heavens, let your glory be over all the earth.