138 With all my heart I praise you, Lord. In the presence of angels[a] I sing your praises. 2 I worship at your holy temple and praise you for your love and your faithfulness. You were true to your word and made yourself more famous than ever before.[b] 3 When I asked for your help, you answered my prayer and gave me courage.[c]
4 All kings on this earth have heard your promises, Lord, and they will praise you. 5 You are so famous that they will sing about the things you have done. 6 Though you are above us all, you care for humble people, and you keep a close watch on everyone who is proud.
7 I am surrounded by trouble, but you protect me against my angry enemies. With your own powerful arm you keep me safe.
8 You, Lord, will always treat me with kindness. Your love never fails. You have made us what we are. Don’t give up on us now![d]
(A psalm by David for the music leader.)
The Lord Is Always Near
139 You have looked deep into my heart, Lord, and you know all about me. 2 You know when I am resting or when I am working, and from heaven you discover my thoughts.
3 You notice everything I do and everywhere I go. 4 Before I even speak a word, you know what I will say, 5 and with your powerful arm you protect me from every side. 6 I can’t understand all of this! Such wonderful knowledge is far above me.
7 Where could I go to escape from your Spirit or from your sight? 8 If I were to climb up to the highest heavens, you would be there. If I were to dig down to the world of the dead you would also be there.
9 Suppose I had wings like the dawning day and flew across the ocean. 10 Even then your powerful arm would guide and protect me. 11 Or suppose I said, “I’ll hide in the dark until night comes to cover me over.” 12 But you see in the dark because daylight and dark are all the same to you.
13 You are the one who put me together inside my mother’s body, 14 and I praise you because of the wonderful way you created me. Everything you do is marvelous! Of this I have no doubt.
15 Nothing about me is hidden from you! I was secretly woven together deep in the earth below, 16 but with your own eyes you saw my body being formed. Even before I was born, you had written in your book everything I would do.
17 Your thoughts are far beyond my understanding, much more than I could ever imagine. 18 I try to count your thoughts, but they outnumber the grains of sand on the beach. And when I awake, I will find you nearby.
19 How I wish that you would kill all cruel and heartless people and protect me from them! 20 They are always rebelling and speaking evil of you.[e] 21 You know I hate anyone who hates you, Lord, and refuses to obey. 22 They are my enemies too, and I truly hate them.
23 Look deep into my heart, God, and find out everything I am thinking. 24 Don’t let me follow evil ways, but lead me in the way that time has proven true.
138.1angels: Or “gods” or “supernatural beings” who worship and serve God in heaven or “rulers” or “leaders.”
138.2You were. . . before: One possible meaning for the difficult Hebrew text.
138.3and gave me courage: One possible meaning for the difficult Hebrew text.
138.8You have. . . now: Or “Please don’t desert your people.”
139.20you: One possible meaning for the difficult Hebrew text of verse 20.
143 Listen, Lord, as I pray! You are faithful and honest and will answer my prayer. 2 I am your servant. Don’t try me in your court, because no one is innocent by your standards. 3 My enemies are chasing me, crushing me in the ground. I am in total darkness, like someone long dead. 4 I have given up all hope, and I feel numb all over.
5 I remember to think about the many things you did in years gone by. 6 Then I lift my hands in prayer, because my soul is a desert, thirsty for water from you.
7 Please hurry, Lord, and answer my prayer. I feel hopeless. Don’t turn away and leave me here to die. 8 Each morning let me learn more about your love because I trust you. I come to you in prayer, asking for your guidance.
9 Please rescue me from my enemies, Lord! I come to you for safety.[a] 10 You are my God. Show me what you want me to do, and let your gentle Spirit lead me in the right path.
11 Be true to your name, Lord, and keep my life safe. Use your saving power to protect me from trouble. 12 I am your servant. Show how much you love me by destroying my enemies.
A Prayer for the Nation
144 I praise you, Lord! You are my mighty rock,[b] and you teach me how to fight my battles. 2 You are my friend, and you are my fortress where I am safe. You are my shield, and you made me the ruler of our people.[c]
3 Why do we humans mean anything to you, our Lord? Why do you care about us? 4 We disappear like a breath; we last no longer than a faint shadow.
5 Open the heavens like a curtain and come down, Lord. Touch the mountains and make them send up smoke. 6 Use your lightning as arrows to scatter my enemies and make them run away. 7 Reach down from heaven and set me free. Save me from the mighty flood 8 of those lying foreigners who can’t tell the truth.
9 In praise of you, our God, I will sing a new song, while playing my harp. 10 By your power, kings win wars, and your servant David is saved from deadly swords. 11 Won’t you keep me safe from those lying foreigners who can’t tell the truth?
12 Let’s pray that our young sons will grow like strong plants and that our daughters will be as lovely as columns in the corner of a palace. 13 May our barns be filled with all kinds of crops. May our fields be covered with sheep by the thousands, 14 and every cow have calves.[d] Don’t let our city be captured or any of us be taken away, and don’t let cries of sorrow be heard in our streets.
15 Our Lord and our God, you give these blessings to all who worship you.
(By David for praise.)
The Lord Is Kind and Merciful
145 I will praise you, my God and King, and always honor your name. 2 I will praise you each day and always honor your name. 3 You are wonderful, Lord, and you deserve all praise, because you are much greater than anyone can understand.
4 Each generation will announce to the next your wonderful and powerful deeds. 5 I will keep thinking about your marvelous glory and your mighty miracles.[e] 6 Everyone will talk about your fearsome deeds, and I will tell all nations how great you are. 7 They will celebrate and sing about your matchless mercy and your power to save.
8 You are merciful, Lord! You are kind and patient and always loving. 9 You are good to everyone, and you take care of all your creation.
10 All creation will thank you, and your loyal people will praise you. 11 They will tell about your marvelous kingdom and your power. 12 Then everyone will know about the mighty things you do and your glorious kingdom. 13 Your kingdom will never end, and you will rule forever.
Our Lord, you keep your word and do everything you say.[f] 14 When someone stumbles or falls, you give a helping hand. 15 Everyone depends on you, and when the time is right, you provide them with food. 16 By your own hand you satisfy the desires of all who live.
17 Our Lord, everything you do is kind and thoughtful, 18 and you are near to everyone whose prayers are sincere. 19 You satisfy the desires of all your worshipers, and you come to save them when they ask for help. 20 You take care of everyone who loves you, but you destroy the wicked.
21 I will praise you, Lord, and everyone will respect your holy name forever.
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