A Prayer for the Punishment of the Wicked
581 Do you rulers indeed speak justly? Do you judge people with equity? 2 No, in your heart you devise injustice, and your hands mete out violence on the earth. 3 Even from birth the wicked go astray; from the womb they are wayward, spreading lies. 4 Their venom is like the venom of a snake, like that of a cobra that has stopped its ears, 5 that will not heed the tune of the charmer, however skillful the enchanter may be.
6 Break the teeth in their mouths, O God; Lord, tear out the fangs of those lions! 7 Let them vanish like water that flows away; when they draw the bow, let their arrows fall short. 8 May they be like a slug that melts away as it moves along, like a stillborn child that never sees the sun. 9 Before your pots can feel the heat of the thorns- whether they be green or dry-the wicked will be swept away. 10 The righteous will be glad when they are avenged, when they dip their feet in the blood of the wicked. 11 Then people will say, "Surely the righteous still are rewarded; surely there is a God who judges the earth."
A Prayer for Deliverance from Enemies
591 Deliver me from my enemies, O God; be my fortress against those who are attacking me. 2 Deliver me from evildoers and save me from those who are after my blood. 3 See how they lie in wait for me! Fierce men conspire against me for no offense or sin of mine, Lord. 4 I have done no wrong, yet they are ready to attack me. Arise to help me; look on my plight! 5 You, Lord God Almighty, you who are the God of Israel, rouse yourself to punish all the nations; show no mercy to wicked traitors. 6 They return at evening, snarling like dogs, and prowl about the city. 7 See what they spew from their mouths- the words from their lips are sharp as swords, and they think, "Who can hear us?"
8 But you laugh at them, Lord; you scoff at all those nations. 9 You are my strength, I watch for you; you, God, are my fortress, 10 my God on whom I can rely. God will go before me and will let me gloat over those who slander me. 11 But do not kill them, Lord our shield,or my people will forget. In your might uproot them and bring them down. 12 For the sins of their mouths, for the words of their lips, let them be caught in their pride. For the curses and lies they utter, 13 consume them in your wrath, consume them till they are no more. Then it will be known to the ends of the earth that God rules over Jacob. 14 They return at evening, snarling like dogs, and prowl about the city. 15 They wander about for food and howl if not satisfied. 16 But I will sing of your strength, in the morning I will sing of your love; for you are my fortress, my refuge in times of trouble. 17 You are my strength, I sing praise to you; you, God, are my fortress, my God on whom I can rely.
A Prayer for Help against the Foe
601 You have rejected us, God, and burst upon us; you have been angry-now restore us! 2 You have shaken the land and torn it open; mend its fractures, for it is quaking. 3 You have shown your people desperate times; you have given us wine that makes us stagger. 4 But for those who fear you, you have raised a banner to be unfurled against the bow. 5 Save us and help us with your right hand, that those you love may be delivered.
6 God has spoken from his sanctuary: "In triumph I will parcel out Shechem and measure off the Valley of Sukkoth. 7 Gilead is mine, and Manasseh is mine; Ephraim is my helmet, Judah is my scepter. 8 Moab is my washbasin, on Edom I toss my sandal; over Philistia I shout in triumph." 9 Who will bring me to the fortified city? Who will lead me to Edom? 10 Is it not you, God, you who have now rejected us and no longer go out with our armies? 11 Give us aid against the enemy, for human help is worthless. 12 With God we will gain the victory, and he will trample down our enemies.
Confidence in God's Protection
611 Hear my cry, O God; listen to my prayer. 2 From the ends of the earth I call to you, I call as my heart grows faint; lead me to the rock that is higher than I. 3 For you have been my refuge, a strong tower against the foe. 4 I long to dwell in your tent forever and take refuge in the shelter of your wings.
5 For you, God, have heard my vows; you have given me the heritage of those who fear your name. 6 Increase the days of the king's life, his years for many generations. 7 May he be enthroned in God's presence forever; appoint your love and faithfulness to protect him. 8 Then I will ever sing in praise of your name and fulfill my vows day after day.
God the Only Refuge
621 Truly my soul finds rest in God; my salvation comes from him. 2 Truly he is my rock and my salvation; he is my fortress, I will never be shaken. 3 How long will you assault me? Would all of you throw me down- this leaning wall, this tottering fence? 4 Surely they intend to topple me from my lofty place; they take delight in lies. With their mouths they bless, but in their hearts they curse. 5 Yes, my soul, find rest in God; my hope comes from him. 6 Truly he is my rock and my salvation; he is my fortress, I will not be shaken. 7 My salvation and my honor depend on God ; he is my mighty rock, my refuge.
8 Trust in him at all times, you people; pour out your hearts to him, for God is our refuge. 9 Surely the lowborn are but a breath, the highborn are but a lie. If weighed on a balance, they are nothing; together they are only a breath. 10 Do not trust in extortion or put vain hope in stolen goods; though your riches increase, do not set your heart on them. 11 One thing God has spoken, two things I have heard: "Power belongs to you, God, 12 and with you, Lord, is unfailing love"; and, "You reward everyone according to what they have done."
God Satisfies the Thirsting Soul
631 You, God, are my God, earnestly I seek you; I thirst for you, my whole being longs for you, in a dry and parched land where there is no water. 2 I have seen you in the sanctuary and beheld your power and your glory.
3 Because your love is better than life, my lips will glorify you. 4 I will praise you as long as I live, and in your name I will lift up my hands. 5 I will be fully satisfied as with the richest of foods; with singing lips my mouth will praise you. 6 On my bed I remember you; I think of you through the watches of the night.
7 Because you are my help, I sing in the shadow of your wings. 8 I cling to you; your right hand upholds me. 9 Those who want to kill me will be destroyed; they will go down to the depths of the earth. 10 They will be given over to the sword and become food for jackals. 11 But the king will rejoice in God; all who swear by God will glory in him, while the mouths of liars will be silenced.
A Prayer for Protection from Hidden Enemies
641 Hear me, my God, as I voice my complaint; protect my life from the threat of the enemy. 2 Hide me from the conspiracy of the wicked, from the plots of evildoers. 3 They sharpen their tongues like swords and aim cruel words like deadly arrows. 4 They shoot from ambush at the innocent; they shoot suddenly, without fear. 5 They encourage each other in evil plans, they talk about hiding their snares; they say, "Who will see it ?" 6 They plot injustice and say, "We have devised a perfect plan!" Surely the human mind and heart are cunning.
7 But God will shoot them with his arrows; they will suddenly be struck down. 8 He will turn their own tongues against them and bring them to ruin; all who see them will shake their heads in scorn. 9 All people will fear; they will proclaim the works of God and ponder what he has done. 10 The righteous will rejoice in the Lordand take refuge in him; all the upright in heart will glory in him!
Praise for God's Bounty in Nature
651 Praise awaits you, our God, in Zion; to you our vows will be fulfilled. 2 You who answer prayer, to you all people will come. 3 When we were overwhelmed by sins, you forgave our transgressions. 4 Blessed are those you choose and bring near to live in your courts! We are filled with the good things of your house, of your holy temple. 5 You answer us with awesome and righteous deeds, God our Savior, the hope of all the ends of the earth and of the farthest seas,
6 who formed the mountains by your power, having armed yourself with strength, 7 who stilled the roaring of the seas, the roaring of their waves, and the turmoil of the nations. 8 The whole earth is filled with awe at your wonders; where morning dawns, where evening fades, you call forth songs of joy. 9 You care for the land and water it; you enrich it abundantly. The streams of God are filled with water to provide the people with grain, for so you have ordained it. 10 You drench its furrows and level its ridges; you soften it with showers and bless its crops. 11 You crown the year with your bounty, and your carts overflow with abundance. 12 The grasslands of the wilderness overflow; the hills are clothed with gladness. 13 The meadows are covered with flocks and the valleys are mantled with grain; they shout for joy and sing.