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(A prayer by David.)

The Prayer of an Innocent Person

17 I am innocent, Lord!
Won’t you listen as I pray
    and beg for help?
    I am honest!
    Please hear my prayer.
Only you can say
    that I am innocent,
    because only your eyes
    can see the truth.

You know my heart,
    and even during the night
you have tested me
    and found me innocent.
I have made up my mind
    never to tell a lie.
    I don’t do like others.
I obey your teachings
    and am not cruel.
    I have followed you,
    without ever stumbling.

I pray to you, God,
    because you will help me.
    Listen and answer my prayer!
    Show your wonderful love.
Your mighty arm protects those
who run to you
    for safety
    from their enemies.
Protect me as you would
    your very own eyes;
    hide me in the shadow
    of your wings.

Don’t let my brutal enemies
    attack from all sides
    and kill me.
10 They refuse to show mercy,
    and they keep bragging.

11 They have caught up with me!
    My enemies are everywhere,
    eagerly hoping to smear me
    in the dirt.
12 They are like hungry lions
    hunting for food,
    or like young lions
    hiding in ambush.

13 Do something, Lord!
    Attack and defeat them.
Take your sword and save me
    from those evil people.
14 Use your powerful arm
    and rescue me
from the hands of mere humans
    whose world won’t last.[a]

You provide food
    for those you love.
Their children have plenty,
    and their grandchildren
    will have more than enough.

15 I am innocent, Lord,
    and I will see your face!
    When I awake, all I want
    is to see you as you are.

(For the music leader. A psalm by David, the Lord’s servant. David sang this to the Lord after the Lord had rescued him from his enemies, but especially from Saul.)

David’s Song of Thanks

18 I love you, Lord God,
    and you make me strong.
You are my mighty rock,[b]
    my fortress, my protector,
    the rock where I am safe,
my shield,
    my powerful weapon,[c]
    and my place of shelter.

I praise you, Lord!
    I prayed, and you rescued me
    from my enemies.
Death had wrapped
    its ropes around me,
    and I was almost swallowed
    by its flooding waters.

Ropes from the world
of the dead
    had coiled around me,
    and death had set a trap
    in my path.
I was in terrible trouble
    when I called out to you,
but from your temple
you heard me
    and answered my prayer.

The earth shook and shivered,
    and the mountains trembled
    down to their roots.
You were angry
    and breathed out smoke.
Scorching heat and fiery flames
    spewed from your mouth.

You opened the heavens
    like curtains,
    and you came down
with storm clouds
    under your feet.
10 You rode on the backs
    of flying creatures
    and swooped down
    with the wind as wings.
11 Darkness was your robe;
thunderclouds filled the sky,
    hiding you from sight.
12 Hailstones and fiery coals
lit up the sky
    in front of you.

13 Lord Most High, your voice
    thundered from the heavens,
    as hailstones and fiery coals
    poured down like rain.
14 You scattered your enemies
    with arrows of lightning.
15 You roared at the sea,
    and its deepest channels
    could be seen.
You snorted,
and the earth shook
    to its foundations.

16 You reached down from heaven,
    and you lifted me
    from deep in the ocean.
17 You rescued me from enemies,
    who were hateful
    and too powerful for me.
18 On the day disaster struck,
they came and attacked,
    but you defended me.
19 When I was fenced in,
    you freed and rescued me
    because you love me.

20 You are good to me, Lord,
    because I do right,
    and you reward me
    because I am innocent.
21 I do what you want
    and never turn to do evil.
22 I keep your laws in mind
    and never look away
    from your teachings.
23 I obey you completely
    and guard against sin.
24 You have been good to me
    because I do right;
you have rewarded me
    for being innocent
    by your standards.

25 You are always loyal
    to your loyal people,
    and you are faithful
    to the faithful.
26 With all who are sincere,
    you are sincere,
    but you treat the unfaithful
    as their deeds deserve.
27 You rescue the humble,
    but you put down all
    who are proud.

28 You, the Lord God,
keep my lamp burning
    and turn darkness to light.
29 You help me defeat armies
    and capture cities.

30 Your way is perfect, Lord,
    and your word is correct.
    You are a shield for those
    who run to you for help.
31 You alone are God!
    Only you are a mighty rock.[d]
32 You give me strength
    and guide me right.
33 You make my feet run as fast
    as those of a deer,
    and you help me stand
    on the mountains.

34 You teach my hands to fight
    and my arms to use
    a bow of bronze.
35 You alone are my shield.
    Your right hand supports me,
    and by coming to help me,
    you have made me famous.
36 You clear the way for me,
    and now I won’t stumble.

37 I kept chasing my enemies,
    until I caught them
    and destroyed them.
38 I stuck my sword
    through my enemies,
    and they were crushed
    under my feet.
39 You helped me win victories,
    and you forced my attackers
    to fall victim to me.

40 You made my enemies run,
    and I killed them.
41 They cried out for help,
    but no one saved them;
    they called out to you,
    but there was no answer.
42 I ground them to dust
    blown by the wind,
    and I poured them out
    like mud in the streets.

43 You rescued me
    from stubborn people,
and you made me the leader
of foreign nations,
    who are now my slaves.
44 They obey and come crawling.
45     They have lost all courage,
    and from their fortresses,
    they come trembling.

46 You are the living Lord!
    I will praise you.
You are a mighty rock.[e]
    I will honor you
    for keeping me safe.
47 You took revenge for me,
    and you put nations
    in my power.
48 You protected me
    from violent enemies
    and made me much greater
    than all of them.

49 I will praise you, Lord,
    and I will honor you
    among the nations.
50 You give glorious victories
    to your chosen king.
Your faithful love for David
    and for his descendants
    will never end.

(A psalm by David for the music leader.)

The Wonders of God and the Goodness of His Law

19 The heavens keep telling
    the wonders of God,
    and the skies declare
    what he has done.
Each day informs
    the following day;
    each night announces
    to the next.
They don’t speak a word,
    and there is never
    the sound of a voice.
Yet their message reaches
    all the earth,
    and it travels
    around the world.

In the heavens a tent
    is set up for the sun.
It rises like a bridegroom
    and gets ready like a hero
    eager to run a race.
It travels all the way
across the sky.
    Nothing hides from its heat.

The Law of the Lord is perfect;
    it gives us new life.
His teachings last forever,
    and they give wisdom
    to ordinary people.
The Lord’s instruction is right;
    it makes our hearts glad.
His commands shine brightly,
    and they give us light.

Worshiping the Lord is sacred;
    he will always be worshiped.
All of his decisions
    are correct and fair.
10 They are worth more
    than the finest gold
    and are sweeter than honey
    from a honeycomb.

11 By your teachings, Lord,
    I am warned;
    by obeying them,
    I am greatly rewarded.
12 None of us know our faults.
    Forgive me when I sin
    without knowing it.
13 Don’t let me do wrong
    on purpose, Lord,
    or let sin have control
    over my life.
Then I will be innocent,
    and not guilty
    of some terrible fault.

14 Let my words and my thoughts
    be pleasing to you, Lord,
    because you are my mighty rock[f]
    and my protector.

(A psalm by David for the music leader.)

A Prayer for Victory

20 I pray that the Lord
will listen
when you
    are in trouble,
    and that the God of Jacob
    will keep you safe.
May the Lord send help
    from his temple
    and come to your rescue
    from Mount Zion.
May he remember your gifts
    and be pleased
    with what you bring.

May God do what you want most
    and let all go well for you.
Then you will win victories,
    and we will celebrate,
    while raising our banners
    in the name of our God.
May the Lord answer
    all of your prayers!

I am certain, Lord,
that you will help
    your chosen king.
You will answer my prayers
from your holy place
    in heaven,
    and you will save me
    with your mighty arm.

Some people trust the power
of chariots or horses,
    but we trust you, Lord God.
Others will stumble and fall,
    but we will be strong
    and stand firm.

Give the king victory, Lord,
    and answer our prayers.[g]

Footnotes

  1. 17.14 last: One possible meaning for the difficult Hebrew text of verse 14.
  2. 18.2 mighty rock: The Hebrew text has “rock,” which is sometimes used in poetry to compare the Lord to a mountain where his people can run for protection from their enemies.
  3. 18.2 my powerful weapon: The Hebrew text has “the horn,” which refers to the horn of a bull, one of the most powerful animals in ancient Palestine.
  4. 18.31,46; 19.14 mighty rock: See the note at 18.2.
  5. 18.31,46; 19.14 mighty rock: See the note at 18.2.
  6. 18.31,46; 19.14 mighty rock: See the note at 18.2.
  7. 20.9 victory. . . prayers: Or “victory. He (God or the king) answers us.”

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