(Written by David when he was running from his son Absalom.)
An Early Morning Prayer
3 I have a lot of enemies, Lord. Many fight against 2 me and say, “God won’t rescue you!”
3 But you are my shield, and you give me victory and great honor. 4 I pray to you, and you answer from your sacred hill.
5 I sleep and wake up refreshed because you, Lord, protect me. 6 Ten thousand enemies attack from every side, but I am not afraid.
7 Come and save me, Lord God! Break my enemies' jaws and shatter their teeth, 8 because you protect and bless your people.
(A psalm by David for the music leader. Use stringed instruments.)
An Evening Prayer
4 You are my God and protector. Please answer my prayer. I was in terrible distress, but you set me free. Now have pity and listen as I pray.
2 How long will you people refuse to respect me?[a] You love foolish things, and you run after what is worthless.[b]
3 The Lord has chosen everyone who is faithful to be his very own,[c] and he answers my prayers. 4 But each of you had better tremble and turn from your sins. Silently search your heart as you lie in bed. 5 Offer the proper sacrifices and trust the Lord.
6 There are some who ask, “Who will be good to us?” Let your kindness, Lord, shine brightly on us. 7 You brought me more happiness than a rich harvest of grain and grapes. 8 I can lie down and sleep soundly because you, Lord, will keep me safe.
12 Please help me, Lord! All who were faithful and all who were loyal have disappeared. 2 Everyone tells lies, and no one is sincere. 3 Won’t you chop off all flattering tongues that brag so loudly? 4 They say to themselves, “We are great speakers. No one else has a chance.”
5 But you, Lord, tell them, “I will do something! The poor are mistreated and helpless people moan. I’ll rescue all who suffer.”
6 Our Lord, you are true to your promises, and your word is like silver heated seven times in a fiery furnace.[b] 7 You will protect us and always keep us safe from those people. 8 But all who are wicked will keep on strutting, while everyone praises their shameless deeds.[c]
(A psalm by David for the music leader.)
A Prayer for the Lord’s Help
13 How much longer, Lord, will you forget about me? Will it be forever? How long will you hide? 2 How long must I be confused and miserable all day? How long will my enemies keep beating me down?
3 Please listen, Lord God, and answer my prayers. Make my eyes sparkle again, or else I will fall into the sleep of death. 4 My enemies will say, “Now we’ve won!” They will be greatly pleased when I am defeated.
5 I trust your love, and I feel like celebrating because you rescued me. 6 You have been good to me, Lord, and I will sing about you.
Psalm 12leader: The Hebrew text adds “according to the sheminith,” which may be a musical instrument with eight strings.
12.6in a fiery furnace: The Hebrew text has “in a furnace to the ground,” which may describe part of a process for refining silver in Old Testament times.
12.8while. . . deeds: One possible meaning for the difficult Hebrew text.
28 Only you, Lord, are a mighty rock![a] Don’t refuse to help me when I pray. If you don’t answer me, I will soon be dead. 2 Please listen to my prayer and my cry for help, as I lift my hands toward your holy temple.
3 Don’t drag me away, Lord, with those cruel people, who speak kind words, while planning trouble. 4 Treat them as they deserve! Punish them for their sins. 5 They don’t pay any attention to your wonderful deeds. Now you will destroy them and leave them in ruin.
6 I praise you, Lord, for answering my prayers. 7 You are my strong shield, and I trust you completely. You have helped me, and I will celebrate and thank you in song.
8 You give strength to your people, Lord, and you save and protect your chosen ones. 9 Come save us and bless us. Be our shepherd and always carry us in your arms.
(A special psalm by David for the music leader. Use with stringed instruments.)
Betrayed by a Friend
55 Listen, God, to my prayer! Don’t reject my request. 2 Please listen and help me. My thoughts are troubled, and I keep groaning 3 because my loud enemies shout and attack. They treat me terribly and hold angry grudges. 4 My heart is racing fast, and I am afraid of dying. 5 I am trembling with fear, completely terrified.
6 I wish I had wings like a dove, so I could fly far away and be at peace. 7 I would go and live in some distant desert. 8 I would quickly find shelter from howling winds and raging storms.
9 Confuse my enemies, Lord! Upset their plans. Cruelty and violence are all I see in the city, 10 and they are like guards on patrol day and night. The city is full of trouble, evil, 11 and corruption. Troublemakers and liars freely roam the streets.
12 My enemies are not the ones who sneer and make fun. I could put up with that or even hide from them. 13 But it was my closest friend, the one I trusted most. 14 We enjoyed being together, and we went with others to your house, our God.
15 All who hate me are controlled by the power of evil. Sentence them to death and send them down alive to the world of the dead.
16 I ask for your help, Lord God, and you will keep me safe. 17 Morning, noon, and night you hear my concerns and my complaints. 18 I am attacked from all sides, but you will rescue me unharmed by the battle. 19 You have always ruled, and you will hear me. You will defeat my enemies because they won’t turn and worship you.
20 My friend turned against me and broke his promise. 21 His words were smoother than butter, and softer than olive oil. But hatred filled his heart, and he was ready to attack with a sword.
22 Our Lord, we belong to you. We tell you what worries us, and you won’t let us fall. 23 But what about those people who are cruel and brutal? You will throw them down into the deepest pit long before their time. I trust you, Lord!
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