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.
(A psalm by David.)
A Prayer in Time of Danger
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.[c] 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,[d] 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.[e]
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.[f] 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.[g] 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.[h] 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.
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.
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