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A Prayer of Repentance

A psalm of David. To bring to remembrance.[a]

38 O Yahweh, do not rebuke me in your anger
or chastise me in your wrath.
For your arrows have sunk into me,
and your hand has pressed down on me.
There is no soundness in my flesh because of your indignation.
There is no health in my bones because of my sin.
For my iniquities have passed over my head;
like a heavy burden they are too heavy for me.
My wounds start to stink; they rot
because of my foolishness.
I am bowed down; I am bent over greatly.
All the day I go about mourning.
For my loins are full of burning,
and there is no soundness in my flesh.
I am faint and crushed greatly;
I groan because of the roaring of my heart.
O Lord, all my longing is before you,
and my sighing is not hidden from you.
10 My heart throbs violently, my strength leaves me;
and the light of my eyes, that also is not with me.
11 My friends and companions stand aloof from my affliction,
and my relatives stand afar off.
12 Those who seek my life lay snares as well,
and those intent on my harm speak threats.
They also plot deceit all day.
13 But as for me, like the deaf I cannot hear,
and I am like the mute who cannot open his mouth.
14 And so I am like a man who hears not,
and in whose mouth there are no retorts.
15 Rather for you I wait, O Yahweh.
You will answer, O Lord my God.
16 For I said, “Help, lest they rejoice over me,
lest they boast against me when my foot slips.”
17 For I am ready to stumble,
and my pain is before me continually.
18 For my iniquity I confess;
I am anxious because of my sin.
19 And my enemies without cause[b] are numerous,
and those who hate me wrongfully[c] are many.
20 And those who repay evil in return for good
accuse me in return for my pursuing good.
21 Do not forsake me, O Yahweh.
O my God, do not be far from me.
22 Hurry to help me,
O Lord, my salvation.


  1. Psalm 38:1 The Hebrew Bible counts the superscription as the first verse of the psalm; the English verse number is reduced by one
  2. Psalm 38:19 Or “vigorous”
  3. Psalm 38:19 Or “those who hate me with falsehood”