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(A psalm by David for the music leader.)

A Prayer for Help

40 I patiently waited, Lord,
    for you to hear my prayer.
You listened and pulled me
from a lonely pit
    full of mud and mire.
You let me stand on a rock
    with my feet firm,
and you gave me a new song,
    a song of praise to you.
Many will see this,
and they will honor
    and trust
    you, the Lord God.

You bless all of those
    who trust you, Lord,
    and refuse to worship idols
    or follow false gods.
You, Lord God, have done
    many wonderful things,
and you have planned
    marvelous things for us.
    No one is like you!
I would never be able to tell
    all you have done.

Sacrifices and offerings
    are not what please you;
    gifts and payment for sin
    are not what you demand.
But you made me willing
    to listen and obey.
And so, I said, “I am here
    to do what is written
    about me in the book,
    where it says,
’I enjoy pleasing you.
    Your Law is in my heart.’”

When your people worshiped,
you know I told them,
    “Our Lord always helps!”
10 When all your people met,
    I did not keep silent.
I said, “Our Lord is kind.
    He is faithful and caring,
    and he saves us.”

11 You, Lord, never fail
    to have pity on me;
    your love and faithfulness
    always keep me secure.

12 I have more troubles
    than I can count.
My sins are all around me,
    and I can’t find my way.
My sins outnumber
the hairs on my head,
    and I feel weak.
13 Please show that you care
and come to my rescue.
    Hurry and help me!

14 Disappoint and confuse
    all who want me dead;
    turn away and disgrace
    all who want to hurt me.
15 Embarrass and shame
all of those who say,
    “Just look at you now!”

16 Our Lord, let your worshipers
    rejoice and be glad.
They love you for saving them,
so let them always say,
    “The Lord is wonderful!”

17 I am poor and needy,
but, Lord God,
    you care about me,
and you come to my rescue.
    Please hurry and help.

(A psalm by David for the music leader.)

A Prayer in Time of Sickness

41 You, Lord God, bless everyone
    who cares for the poor,
    and you rescue those people
    in times of trouble.
You protect them
    and keep them alive.
You make them happy here
    in this land,
    and you don’t hand them over
    to their enemies.
You always heal them
and restore their strength
    when they are sick.
I prayed, “Have pity, Lord!
Heal me,
    though I have sinned
    against you.”

My vicious enemies ask me,
    “When will you die
    and be forgotten?”
When visitors come,
all they ever bring
    are worthless words,
    and when they leave,
    they spread gossip.

My enemies whisper about me.
    They think the worst,
    and they say,
“You have some fatal disease!
    You’ll never get well.”
My most trusted friend
has turned against me,
    though he ate at my table.

10 Have pity, Lord! Heal me,
    so I can pay them back.
11 Then my enemies
    won’t defeat me,
    and I will know
    that you really care.
12 You have helped me
    because I am innocent,
    and you will always
    be close to my side.

13 You, the Lord God of Israel,
will be praised forever!
    Amen and amen.

BOOK II

(Psalms 42-72)

(A special psalm for the people of Korah and for the music leader.)

Longing for God

42 As a deer gets thirsty
    for streams of water,
    I truly am thirsty
    for you, my God.
In my heart, I am thirsty
for you, the living God.
    When will I see your face?
Day and night my tears
    are my only food,
    as everyone keeps asking,
    “Where is your God?”

Sorrow floods my heart,
    when I remember
leading the worshipers
    to your house.[a]
    I can still hear them shout
    their joyful praises.
Why am I discouraged?
Why am I restless?
    I trust you!
And I will praise you again
    because you help me,
    and you are my God.

I am deeply discouraged
    as I think about you
from where the Jordan begins
at Mount Hermon
    and from Mount Mizar.[b]
Your vicious waves
    have swept over me
    like an angry ocean
    or a roaring waterfall.

Every day, you are kind,
    and at night
you give me a song
    as my prayer to you,
    the living Lord God.

You are my mighty rock.[c]
    Why have you forgotten me?
    Why must enemies mistreat me
    and make me sad?
10 Even my bones are in pain,
    while all day long
my enemies sneer and ask,
    “Where is your God?”

11 Why am I discouraged?
Why am I restless?
    I trust you!
And I will praise you again
    because you help me,
    and you are my God.

A Prayer in Times of Trouble

43 Show that I am right, God!
Defend me against everyone
    who doesn’t know you;
    rescue me from each
    of those deceitful liars.
I run to you
    for protection.
Why have you turned me away?
    Why must enemies mistreat me
    and make me sad?

Send your light and your truth
    to guide me.
Let them lead me to your house
    on your sacred mountain.
Then I will worship
at your altar
    because you
    make me joyful.
You are my God,
    and I will praise you.
    Yes, I will praise you
    as I play my harp.

Why am I discouraged?
Why am I restless?
    I trust you!
And I will praise you again
    because you help me,
    and you are my God.

(A special psalm for the people of Korah and for the music leader.)

A Prayer for Help

44 Our God, our ancestors told us
    what wonders you worked
    and we listened carefully.
You chased off the nations
    by causing them trouble
    with your powerful arm.
Then you let our ancestors
    take over their land.
Their strength and weapons
were not
    what won the land
    and gave them victory!
You loved them and fought
with your powerful arm
    and your shining glory.

You are my God and King,
    and you give victory[d]
    to the people of Jacob.
By your great power,
we knocked our enemies down
    and stomped on them.
I don’t depend on my arrows
    or my sword to save me.
But you saved us
from our hateful enemies,
    and you put them to shame.
We boast about you, our God,
    and we are always grateful.

But now you have rejected us;
    you don’t lead us into battle,
    and we look foolish.
10 You made us retreat,
    and our enemies have taken
    everything we own.
11 You let us be slaughtered
    like sheep,
    and you scattered us
    among the nations.
12 You sold your people
for little or nothing,
    and you earned no profit.

13 You made us look foolish
    to our neighbors,
    and people who live nearby
    insult us and sneer.
14 Foreigners joke about us
    and shake their heads.
15     I am embarrassed every day,
    and I blush with shame.
16 But others mock and sneer,
    as they watch my enemies
    take revenge on me.

17 All of this has happened to us,
    though we didn’t forget you
    or break our agreement.
18 We always kept you in mind
    and followed your teaching.
19 But you crushed us,
    and you covered us
    with deepest darkness
    where wild animals live.

20 We did not forget you
    or lift our hands in prayer
    to foreign gods.
21 You would have known it
    because you discover
    every secret thought.
22 We face death all day for you.
    We are like sheep on their way
    to be slaughtered.

23 Wake up! Do something, Lord!
    Why are you sleeping?
    Don’t desert us forever.
24 Why do you keep looking away?
    Don’t forget our sufferings
    and all of our troubles.
25 We are flat on the ground,
    holding on to the dust.
26 Do something! Help us!
Show how kind you are
    and come to our rescue.

(A special psalm for the people of Korah and for the music leader. To the tune “Lilies.” A love song.)

For a Royal Wedding

45 My thoughts are filled
with beautiful words
    for the king,
and I will use my voice
    as a writer would use
    pen and ink.

No one is as handsome as you!
    Your words are always kind.
    That is why God
    will always bless you.
Mighty king, glorious ruler,
strap on your sword
    and ride out in splendor!
Win victories for truth
    and mercy and justice.
    Do fearsome things
    with your powerful arm.
Send your sharp arrows
    through enemy hearts
    and make all nations fall
    at your feet.

You are God, and you will rule
    forever as king.[e]
    Your royal power
    brings about justice.
You love justice and hate evil.
    And so, your God chose you
    and made you happier
    than any of your friends.
The sweet aroma of the spices
myrrh, aloes, and cassia,
    covers your royal robes.
You enjoy the music of harps
    in palaces decorated
    with ivory.
Daughters of kings are here,
and your bride stands
    at your right side,
    wearing a wedding gown
    trimmed with pure gold.[f]

10 Bride of the king,
    listen carefully to me.
    Forget your own people
    and your father’s family.
11 The king is your husband,
    so do what he desires.
12 All of the richest people
    from the city of Tyre
    will try to influence you
13     with precious treasures.

Your bride, my king,
    has inward beauty,[g]
    and her wedding gown is woven
    with threads of gold.
14 Wearing the finest garments,
    she is brought to you,
    followed by her young friends,
    the bridesmaids.
15 Everyone is excited,
    as they follow you
    to the royal palace.

16 Your sons and your grandsons
will also be kings
    as your ancestors were.
You will make them the rulers
    everywhere on earth.

17 I will make your name famous
    from now on,
    and you will be praised
    forever and ever.

Footnotes

  1. 42.4 leading. . . house: One possible meaning for the difficult Hebrew text.
  2. 42.6 Mount Mizar: The location is not known.
  3. 42.9 mighty rock: See the note at 18.2.
  4. 44.4 and. . . victory: One ancient translation; Hebrew “please give victory.”
  5. 45.6 You. . . king: Or “God has made you king, and you will rule forever.”
  6. 45.9 trimmed with pure gold: Hebrew has “with gold from Ophir,” which may have been in Africa or India. Gold from there was considered the very best.
  7. 45.13 has inward beauty: Or “is dressed in her room.”