140 Rescue me from cruel and violent enemies, Lord! 2 They think up evil plans and always cause trouble. 3 Their words bite deep like the poisonous fangs of a snake.
4 Protect me, Lord, from cruel and brutal enemies, who want to destroy me. 5 Those proud people have hidden traps and nets to catch me as I walk.
6 You, Lord, are my God! Please listen to my prayer. 7 You have the power to save me, and you keep me safe in every battle.
8 Don’t let the wicked succeed in doing what they want, or else they might never stop planning evil. 9 They have me surrounded, but make them the victims of their own vicious lies.[a] 10 Dump flaming coals on them and throw them into pits where they can’t climb out. 11 Chase those cruel liars away! Let trouble hunt them down.
12 Our Lord, I know that you defend the homeless and see that the poor are given justice. 13 Your people will praise you and will live with you because they do right.
(A psalm by David.)
A Prayer for the Lord’s Protection
141 I pray to you, Lord! Please listen when I pray and hurry to help me. 2 Think of my prayer as sweet-smelling incense, and think of my lifted hands as an evening sacrifice.
3 Help me to guard my words whenever I say something. 4 Don’t let me want to do evil or waste my time doing wrong with wicked people. Don’t let me even taste the good things they offer.
5 Let your faithful people correct and punish me. My prayers condemn the deeds of those who do wrong, so don’t let me be friends with any of them. 6 Everyone will admit that I was right when their rulers are thrown down a rocky cliff, 7 and their bones lie scattered like broken rocks on top of a grave.[b]
8 You are my Lord and God, and I look to you for safety. Don’t let me be harmed. 9 Protect me from the traps of those violent people, 10 and make them fall into their own traps while you help me escape.
(A special psalm and a prayer by David when he was in the cave.)
A Prayer for Help
142 I pray to you, Lord. I beg for mercy. 2 I tell you all of my worries and my troubles, 3 and whenever I feel low, you are there to guide me.
A trap has been hidden along my pathway. 4 Even if you look, you won’t see anyone who cares enough to walk beside me. There is no place to hide, and no one who really cares.
5 I pray to you, Lord! You are my place of safety, and you are my choice in the land of the living. Please answer my prayer. I am completely helpless.
6 Help! They are chasing me, and they are too strong. 7 Rescue me from this prison, so I can praise your name. And when your people notice your wonderful kindness to me, they will rush to my side.
140.8,9or else. . . lies: One possible meaning for the difficult Hebrew text.
141.5-7Let. . . grave: One possible meaning for the difficult Hebrew text of verses 5-7.
1 Corinthians 14:1-20Contemporary English Version (CEV)
Speaking Unknown Languages and Prophesying
14 Love should be your guide. Be eager to have the gifts that come from the Holy Spirit, especially the gift of prophecy. 2 If you speak languages that others don’t know, God will understand what you are saying, though no one else will know what you mean. You will be talking about mysteries that only the Spirit understands. 3 But when you prophesy, you will be understood, and others will be helped. They will be encouraged and made to feel better.
4 By speaking languages that others don’t know, you help only yourself. But by prophesying you help everyone in the church. 5 I am glad for you to speak unknown languages, although I had rather for you to prophesy. In fact, prophesying does much more good than speaking unknown languages, unless someone can help the church by explaining what you mean.
6 My friends, what good would it do, if I came and spoke unknown languages to you and didn’t explain what I meant? How would I help you, unless I told you what God had shown me or gave you some knowledge or prophecy or teaching? 7 If all musical instruments sounded alike, how would you know the difference between a flute and a harp? 8 If a bugle call isn’t clear, how would you know to get ready for battle?
9 That’s how it is when you speak unknown languages. If no one can understand what you are talking about, you will only be talking to the wind. 10 There are many different languages in this world, and all of them make sense. 11 But if I don’t understand the language that someone is using, we will be like foreigners to each other. 12 If you really want spiritual gifts, choose the ones that will be most helpful to the church.
13 When we speak languages that others don’t know, we should pray for the power to explain what we mean. 14 For example, if I use an unknown language in my prayers, my spirit prays but my mind is useless. 15 Then what should I do? There are times when I should pray with my spirit, and times when I should pray with my mind. Sometimes I should sing with my spirit, and at other times I should sing with my mind.
16 Suppose some strangers are in your worship service, when you are praising God with your spirit. If they don’t understand you, how will they know to say, “Amen”? 17 You may be worshiping God in a wonderful way, but no one else will be helped. 18 I thank God that I speak unknown languages more than any of you. 19 But words that make sense can help the church. That’s why in church I had rather speak five words that make sense than to speak ten thousand words in a language that others don’t know.
20 My friends, stop thinking like children. Think like mature people and be as innocent as tiny babies.
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