New American Bible (Revised Edition)
Prayer for Deliverance from the Wicked
1 A psalm of David.
Lord, I call to you; hasten to me;
listen to my plea when I call.
2 Let my prayer be incense[b] before you;
my uplifted hands an evening offering.(A)
3 Set a guard, Lord, before my mouth,
keep watch over the door of my lips.(B)
4 Do not let my heart incline to evil,
to perform deeds in wickedness.
On the delicacies of evildoers
let me not feast.
5 [c]Let a righteous person strike me; it is mercy if he reproves me.
Do not withhold oil from my head(C)
while my prayer opposes their evil deeds.
6 May their leaders be cast over the cliff,
so that they hear that my speeches are pleasing.
7 Like the plowing and breaking up of the earth,
our bones are strewn at the mouth of Sheol.
8 For my eyes are upon you, O Lord, my Lord;(D)
in you I take refuge; do not take away my soul.
9 Guard me from the trap they have set for me,
from the snares of evildoers.(E)
10 Let the wicked fall into their own nets,
while only I pass over them safely.
- Psalm 141 A lament of an individual (Ps 141:1–2) who is keenly aware that only the righteous can worship God properly and who therefore prays to be protected from the doomed wicked (Ps 141:3–10).
- 141:2 Incense: lit., “smoke,” i.e., the fragrant fumes arising from the altar at the burning of sacrificial animals or of aromatic spices; also used in Rev 5:8 as a symbol of prayer. My uplifted hands: the gesture of supplication, cf. Ps 28:2; 63:5; 88:10; 119:48; 134:2; 143:6.
- 141:5–7 The Hebrew text is obscure.