A Prayer for the Punishment of the Wicked
581 To the choirmaster: according to Do Not Destroy. A Miktam of David. Do you indeed decree what is right, you gods? Do you judge the sons of men uprightly? 2 Nay, in your hearts you devise wrongs; your hands deal out violence on earth. 3 The wicked go astray from the womb, they err from their birth, speaking lies. 4 They have venom like the venom of a serpent, like the deaf adder that stops its ear, 5 so that it does not hear the voice of charmers or of the cunning enchanter.
6 O God, break the teeth in their mouths; tear out the fangs of the young lions, O Lord! 7 Let them vanish like water that runs away; like grass let them be trodden down and wither. 8 Let them be like the snail which dissolves into slime, like the untimely birth that never sees the sun. 9 Sooner than your pots can feel the heat of thorns, whether green or ablaze, may he sweep them away! 10 The righteous will rejoice when he sees the vengeance; he will bathe his feet in the blood of the wicked. 11 Men will say, "Surely there is a reward for the righteous; surely there is a God who judges on earth."
A Prayer for Deliverance from Enemies
591 To the choirmaster: according to Do Not Destroy. A Miktam of David, when Saul sent men to watch his house in order to kill him. Deliver me from my enemies, O my God, protect me from those who rise up against me, 2 deliver me from those who work evil, and save me from bloodthirsty men. 3 For, lo, they lie in wait for my life; fierce men band themselves against me. For no transgression or sin of mine, O Lord, 4 for no fault of mine, they run and make ready. Rouse thyself, come to my help, and see! 5 Thou, Lord God of hosts, art God of Israel. Awake to punish all the nations; spare none of those who treacherously plot evil. [Selah] 6 Each evening they come back, howling like dogs and prowling about the city. 7 There they are, bellowing with their mouths, and snarling with their lips--for "Who," they think, "will hear us?"
8 But thou, O Lord, dost laugh at them; thou dost hold all the nations in derision. 9 O my Strength, I will sing praises to thee; for thou, O God, art my fortress. 10 My God in his steadfast love will meet me; my God will let me look in triumph on my enemies. 11 Slay them not, lest my people forget; make them totter by thy power, and bring them down, O Lord, our shield! 12 For the sin of their mouths, the words of their lips, let them be trapped in their pride. For the cursing and lies which they utter, 13 consume them in wrath, consume them till they are no more, that men may know that God rules over Jacob to the ends of the earth. [Selah] 14 Each evening they come back, howling like dogs and prowling about the city. 15 They roam about for food, and growl if they do not get their fill. 16 But I will sing of thy might; I will sing aloud of thy steadfast love in the morning. For thou hast been to me a fortress and a refuge in the day of my distress. 17 O my Strength, I will sing praises to thee, for thou, O God, art my fortress, the God who shows me steadfast love.
A Prayer for Help against the Foe
601 To the choirmaster: according to Shushan Eduth. A Miktam of David; for instruction; when he strove with Aram-naharaim and with Aram-zobah, and when Joab on his return killed twelve thousand of Edom in the Valley of Salt. O God, thou hast rejected us, broken our defenses; thou hast been angry; oh, restore us. 2 Thou hast made the land to quake, thou hast rent it open; repair its breaches, for it totters. 3 Thou hast made thy people suffer hard things; thou hast given us wine to drink that made us reel. 4 Thou hast set up a banner for those who fear thee, to rally to it from the bow. [Selah] 5 That thy beloved may be delivered, give victory by thy right hand and answer us!
6 God has spoken in his sanctuary: "With exultation I will divide up Shechem and portion out the Vale of Succoth. 7 Gilead is mine; Manas'seh is mine; E'phraim is my helmet; Judah is my scepter. 8 Moab is my washbasin; upon Edom I cast my shoe; over Philistia I shout in triumph." 9 Who will bring me to the fortified city? Who will lead me to Edom? 10 Hast thou not rejected us, O God? Thou dost not go forth, O God, with our armies. 11 O grant us help against the foe, for vain is the help of man! 12 With God we shall do valiantly; it is he who will tread down our foes.
Confidence in God's Protection
611 To the choirmaster: with stringed instruments. A Psalm of David. Hear my cry, O God, listen to my prayer; 2 from the end of the earth I call to thee, when my heart is faint. Lead thou me to the rock that is higher than I; 3 for thou art my refuge, a strong tower against the enemy. 4 Let me dwell in thy tent for ever! Oh to be safe under the shelter of thy wings! [Selah]
5 For thou, O God, hast heard my vows, thou hast given me the heritage of those who fear thy name. 6 Prolong the life of the king; may his years endure to all generations! 7 May he be enthroned for ever before God; bid steadfast love and faithfulness watch over him! 8 So will I ever sing praises to thy name, as I pay my vows day after day.
God the Only Refuge
621 To the choirmaster: according to Jeduthun. A Psalm of David. For God alone my soul waits in silence; from him comes my salvation. 2 He only is my rock and my salvation, my fortress; I shall not be greatly moved. 3 How long will you set upon a man to shatter him, all of you, like a leaning wall, a tottering fence? 4 They only plan to thrust him down from his eminence. They take pleasure in falsehood. They bless with their mouths, but inwardly they curse. [Selah] 5 For God alone my soul waits in silence, for my hope is from him. 6 He only is my rock and my salvation, my fortress; I shall not be shaken. 7 On God rests my deliverance and my honor; my mighty rock, my refuge is God.
8 Trust in him at all times, O people; pour out your heart before him; God is a refuge for us. [Selah] 9 Men of low estate are but a breath, men of high estate are a delusion; in the balances they go up; they are together lighter than a breath. 10 Put no confidence in extortion, set no vain hopes on robbery; if riches increase, set not your heart on them. 11 Once God has spoken; twice have I heard this: that power belongs to God; 12 and that to thee, O Lord, belongs steadfast love. For thou dost requite a man according to his work.
God Satisfies the Thirsting Soul
631 A Psalm of David, when he was in the Wilderness of Judah. O God, thou art my God, I seek thee, my soul thirsts for thee; my flesh faints for thee, as in a dry and weary land where no water is. 2 So I have looked upon thee in the sanctuary, beholding thy power and glory.
3 Because thy steadfast love is better than life, my lips will praise thee. 4 So I will bless thee as long as I live; I will lift up my hands and call on thy name. 5 My soul is feasted as with marrow and fat, and my mouth praises thee with joyful lips, 6 when I think of thee upon my bed, and meditate on thee in the watches of the night;
7 for thou hast been my help, and in the shadow of thy wings I sing for joy. 8 My soul clings to thee; thy right hand upholds me. 9 But those who seek to destroy my life shall go down into the depths of the earth; 10 they shall be given over to the power of the sword, they shall be prey for jackals. 11 But the king shall rejoice in God; all who swear by him shall glory; for the mouths of liars will be stopped.
A Prayer for Protection from Hidden Enemies
641 To the choirmaster. A Psalm of David. Hear my voice, O God, in my complaint; preserve my life from dread of the enemy, 2 hide me from the secret plots of the wicked, from the scheming of evildoers, 3 who whet their tongues like swords, who aim bitter words like arrows, 4 shooting from ambush at the blameless, shooting at him suddenly and without fear. 5 They hold fast to their evil purpose; they talk of laying snares secretly, thinking, "Who can see us? 6 Who can search out our crimes? We have thought out a cunningly conceived plot." For the inward mind and heart of a man are deep!
7 But God will shoot his arrow at them; they will be wounded suddenly. 8 Because of their tongue he will bring them to ruin; all who see them will wag their heads. 9 Then all men will fear; they will tell what God has wrought, and ponder what he has done. 10 Let the righteous rejoice in the Lord, and take refuge in him! Let all the upright in heart glory!
Praise for God's Bounty in Nature
651 To the choirmaster. A Psalm of David. A Song. Praise is due to thee, O God, in Zion; and to thee shall vows be performed, 2 O thou who hearest prayer! To thee shall all flesh come 3 on account of sins. When our transgressions prevail over us, thou dost forgive them. 4 Blessed is he whom thou dost choose and bring near, to dwell in thy courts! We shall be satisfied with the goodness of thy house, thy holy temple! 5 By dread deeds thou dost answer us with deliverance, O God of our salvation, who art the hope of all the ends of the earth, and of the farthest seas;
6 who by thy strength hast established the mountains, being girded with might; 7 who dost still the roaring of the seas, the roaring of their waves, the tumult of the peoples; 8 so that those who dwell at earth's farthest bounds are afraid at thy signs; thou makest the outgoings of the morning and the evening to shout for joy. 9 Thou visitest the earth and waterest it, thou greatly enrichest it; the river of God is full of water; thou providest their grain, for so thou hast prepared it. 10 Thou waterest its furrows abundantly, settling its ridges, softening it with showers, and blessing its growth. 11 Thou crownest the year with thy bounty; the tracks of thy chariot drip with fatness. 12 The pastures of the wilderness drip, the hills gird themselves with joy, 13 the meadows clothe themselves with flocks, the valleys deck themselves with grain, they shout and sing together for joy.