Prayer for Mercy, with Meditation on the Excellencies of the Lord
A Prayer of David.
86 Bow down Your ear, O Lord, hear me; For I am poor and needy. 2 Preserve my life, for I am holy; You are my God; Save Your servant who trusts in You! 3 Be merciful to me, O Lord, For I cry to You all day long. 4 Rejoice the soul of Your servant, For to You, O Lord, I lift up my soul. 5 For You, Lord, are good, and ready to forgive, And abundant in mercy to all those who call upon You.
6 Give ear, O Lord, to my prayer; And attend to the voice of my supplications. 7 In the day of my trouble I will call upon You, For You will answer me.
8 Among the gods there is none like You, O Lord; Nor are there any works like Your works. 9 All nations whom You have made Shall come and worship before You, O Lord, And shall glorify Your name. 10 For You are great, and do wondrous things; You alone are God.
11 Teach me Your way, O Lord; I will walk in Your truth; Unite my heart to fear Your name. 12 I will praise You, O Lord my God, with all my heart, And I will glorify Your name forevermore. 13 For great is Your mercy toward me, And You have delivered my soul from the depths of Sheol.
14 O God, the proud have risen against me, And a mob of violent men have sought my life, And have not set You before them. 15 But You, O Lord, are a God full of compassion, and gracious, Longsuffering and abundant in mercy and truth.
16 Oh, turn to me, and have mercy on me! Give Your strength to Your servant, And save the son of Your maidservant. 17 Show me a sign for good, That those who hate me may see it and be ashamed, Because You, Lord, have helped me and comforted me.
The Glories of the City of God
A Psalm of the sons of Korah. A Song.
87 His foundation is in the holy mountains. 2 The Lord loves the gates of Zion More than all the dwellings of Jacob. 3 Glorious things are spoken of you, O city of God! Selah
4 “I will make mention of Rahab and Babylon to those who know Me; Behold, O Philistia and Tyre, with Ethiopia: ‘This one was born there.’”
5 And of Zion it will be said, “This one and that one were born in her; And the Most High Himself shall establish her.” 6 The Lord will record, When He registers the peoples: “This one was born there.” Selah
7 Both the singers and the players on instruments say, “All my springs are in you.”
A Prayer for Help in Despondency
A Song. A Psalm of the sons of Korah. To the Chief Musician. Set to “Mahalath Leannoth.” A Contemplation[a] of Heman the Ezrahite.
88 O Lord, God of my salvation, I have cried out day and night before You. 2 Let my prayer come before You; Incline Your ear to my cry.
3 For my soul is full of troubles, And my life draws near to the grave. 4 I am counted with those who go down to the pit; I am like a man who has no strength, 5 Adrift among the dead, Like the slain who lie in the grave, Whom You remember no more, And who are cut off from Your hand.
6 You have laid me in the lowest pit, In darkness, in the depths. 7 Your wrath lies heavy upon me, And You have afflicted me with all Your waves. Selah 8 You have put away my acquaintances far from me; You have made me an abomination to them; I am shut up, and I cannot get out; 9 My eye wastes away because of affliction.
Lord, I have called daily upon You; I have stretched out my hands to You. 10 Will You work wonders for the dead? Shall the dead arise and praise You? Selah 11 Shall Your lovingkindness be declared in the grave? Or Your faithfulness in the place of destruction? 12 Shall Your wonders be known in the dark? And Your righteousness in the land of forgetfulness?
13 But to You I have cried out, O Lord, And in the morning my prayer comes before You. 14 Lord, why do You cast off my soul? Why do You hide Your face from me? 15 I have been afflicted and ready to die from my youth; I suffer Your terrors; I am distraught. 16 Your fierce wrath has gone over me; Your terrors have cut me off. 17 They came around me all day long like water; They engulfed me altogether. 18 Loved one and friend You have put far from me, And my acquaintances into darkness.
Remembering the Covenant with David, and Sorrow for Lost Blessings
89 I will sing of the mercies of the Lord forever; With my mouth will I make known Your faithfulness to all generations. 2 For I have said, “Mercy shall be built up forever; Your faithfulness You shall establish in the very heavens.”
3 “I have made a covenant with My chosen, I have sworn to My servant David: 4 ‘Your seed I will establish forever, And build up your throne to all generations.’” Selah
5 And the heavens will praise Your wonders, O Lord; Your faithfulness also in the assembly of the saints. 6 For who in the heavens can be compared to the Lord? Who among the sons of the mighty can be likened to the Lord? 7 God is greatly to be feared in the assembly of the saints, And to be held in reverence by all those around Him. 8 O Lord God of hosts, Who is mighty like You, O Lord? Your faithfulness also surrounds You. 9 You rule the raging of the sea; When its waves rise, You still them. 10 You have broken Rahab in pieces, as one who is slain; You have scattered Your enemies with Your mighty arm.
11 The heavens are Yours, the earth also is Yours; The world and all its fullness, You have founded them. 12 The north and the south, You have created them; Tabor and Hermon rejoice in Your name. 13 You have a mighty arm; Strong is Your hand, and high is Your right hand. 14 Righteousness and justice are the foundation of Your throne; Mercy and truth go before Your face. 15 Blessed are the people who know the joyful sound! They walk, O Lord, in the light of Your countenance. 16 In Your name they rejoice all day long, And in Your righteousness they are exalted. 17 For You are the glory of their strength, And in Your favor our horn is exalted. 18 For our shield belongs to the Lord, And our king to the Holy One of Israel.
19 Then You spoke in a vision to Your holy one,[c] And said: “I have given help to one who is mighty; I have exalted one chosen from the people. 20 I have found My servant David; With My holy oil I have anointed him, 21 With whom My hand shall be established; Also My arm shall strengthen him. 22 The enemy shall not outwit him, Nor the son of wickedness afflict him. 23 I will beat down his foes before his face, And plague those who hate him.
24 “But My faithfulness and My mercy shall be with him, And in My name his horn shall be exalted. 25 Also I will set his hand over the sea, And his right hand over the rivers. 26 He shall cry to Me, ‘You are my Father, My God, and the rock of my salvation.’ 27 Also I will make him My firstborn, The highest of the kings of the earth. 28 My mercy I will keep for him forever, And My covenant shall stand firm with him. 29 His seed also I will make to endure forever, And his throne as the days of heaven.
30 “If his sons forsake My law And do not walk in My judgments, 31 If they break My statutes And do not keep My commandments, 32 Then I will punish their transgression with the rod, And their iniquity with stripes. 33 Nevertheless My lovingkindness I will not utterly take from him, Nor allow My faithfulness to fail. 34 My covenant I will not break, Nor alter the word that has gone out of My lips. 35 Once I have sworn by My holiness; I will not lie to David: 36 His seed shall endure forever, And his throne as the sun before Me; 37 It shall be established forever like the moon, Even like the faithful witness in the sky.” Selah
38 But You have cast off and abhorred, You have been furious with Your anointed. 39 You have renounced the covenant of Your servant; You have profaned his crown by casting it to the ground. 40 You have broken down all his hedges; You have brought his strongholds to ruin. 41 All who pass by the way plunder him; He is a reproach to his neighbors. 42 You have exalted the right hand of his adversaries; You have made all his enemies rejoice. 43 You have also turned back the edge of his sword, And have not sustained him in the battle. 44 You have made his glory cease, And cast his throne down to the ground. 45 The days of his youth You have shortened; You have covered him with shame. Selah
46 How long, Lord? Will You hide Yourself forever? Will Your wrath burn like fire? 47 Remember how short my time is; For what futility have You created all the children of men? 48 What man can live and not see death? Can he deliver his life from the power of the grave? Selah
49 Lord, where are Your former lovingkindnesses, Which You swore to David in Your truth? 50 Remember, Lord, the reproach of Your servants— How I bear in my bosom the reproach of all the many peoples, 51 With which Your enemies have reproached, O Lord, With which they have reproached the footsteps of Your anointed.
52 Blessed be the Lord forevermore! Amen and Amen.
BOOK FOUR: Psalms 90—106
The Eternity of God, and Man’s Frailty
A Prayer of Moses the man of God.
90 Lord, You have been our dwelling place[d] in all generations. 2 Before the mountains were brought forth, Or ever You had formed the earth and the world, Even from everlasting to everlasting, You are God.
3 You turn man to destruction, And say, “Return, O children of men.” 4 For a thousand years in Your sight Are like yesterday when it is past, And like a watch in the night. 5 You carry them away like a flood; They are like a sleep. In the morning they are like grass which grows up: 6 In the morning it flourishes and grows up; In the evening it is cut down and withers.
7 For we have been consumed by Your anger, And by Your wrath we are terrified. 8 You have set our iniquities before You, Our secret sins in the light of Your countenance. 9 For all our days have passed away in Your wrath; We finish our years like a sigh. 10 The days of our lives are seventy years; And if by reason of strength they are eighty years, Yet their boast is only labor and sorrow; For it is soon cut off, and we fly away. 11 Who knows the power of Your anger? For as the fear of You, so is Your wrath. 12 So teach us to number our days, That we may gain a heart of wisdom.
13 Return, O Lord! How long? And have compassion on Your servants. 14 Oh, satisfy us early with Your mercy, That we may rejoice and be glad all our days! 15 Make us glad according to the days in which You have afflicted us, The years in which we have seen evil. 16 Let Your work appear to Your servants, And Your glory to their children. 17 And let the beauty of the Lord our God be upon us, And establish the work of our hands for us; Yes, establish the work of our hands.
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