(For the music leader.[a] A psalm for the people of Korah.)
The Joy of Worship
84 Lord God All-Powerful, your temple is so lovely! 2 Deep in my heart I long for your temple, and with all that I am I sing joyful songs to you.
3 Lord God All-Powerful, my King and my God, sparrows find a home near your altars; swallows build nests there to raise their young.
4 You bless everyone who lives in your house, and they sing your praises. 5 You bless all who depend on you for their strength and all who deeply desire to visit your temple. 6 When they reach Dry Valley,[b] springs start flowing, and the autumn rain fills it with pools of water.[c] 7 Your people grow stronger, and you, the God of gods, will be seen in Zion.
8 Lord God All-Powerful, the God of Jacob, please answer my prayer! 9 You are the shield that protects your people, and I am your chosen one. Won’t you smile on me?
10 One day in your temple is better than a thousand anywhere else. I would rather serve in your house, than live in the homes of the wicked.
11 Our Lord and our God, you are like the sun and also like a shield. You treat us with kindness and with honor, never denying any good thing to those who live right.
12 Lord God All-Powerful, you bless everyone who trusts you.
(A psalm by the people of Korah for the music leader.)
A Prayer for Peace
85 Our Lord, you have blessed your land and made all go well for Jacob’s descendants. 2 You have forgiven the sin and taken away the guilt of your people. 3 Your fierce anger is no longer aimed at us.
4 Our Lord and our God, you save us! Please bring us back home and don’t be angry. 5 Will you always be angry with us and our families? 6 Won’t you give us fresh life and let your people be glad because of you? 7 Show us your love and save us!
8 I will listen to you, Lord God, because you promise peace to those who are faithful and no longer foolish. 9 You are ready to rescue everyone who worships you, so that you will live with us in all of your glory.
10 Love and loyalty will come together; goodness and peace will unite. 11 Loyalty will sprout from the ground; justice will look down from the sky above.
12 Our Lord, you will bless us; our land will produce wonderful crops. 13 Justice will march in front, making a path for you to follow.
(A prayer by David.)
A Prayer for Help
86 Please listen, Lord, and answer my prayer! I am poor and helpless. 2 Protect me and save me because you are my God. I am your faithful servant, and I trust you. 3 Be kind to me! I pray to you all day. 4 Make my heart glad! I serve you, and my prayer is sincere. 5 You willingly forgive, and your love is always there for those who pray to you. 6 Please listen, Lord! Answer my prayer for help. 7 When I am in trouble, I pray, knowing you will listen.
8 No other gods are like you; only you work miracles. 9 You created each nation, and they will all bow down to worship and honor you. 10 You perform great wonders because you alone are God.
11 Teach me to follow you, and I will obey your truth. Always keep me faithful. 12 With all my heart I thank you. I praise you, Lord God. 13 Your love for me is so great that you protected me from death and the grave.
14 Proud and violent enemies, who don’t care about you, have ganged up to attack and kill me. 15 But you, the Lord God, are kind and merciful. You don’t easily get angry, and your love can always be trusted. 16 I serve you, Lord, and I am the child of one of your servants. Look on me with kindness. Make me strong and save me. 17 Show that you approve of me! Then my hateful enemies will feel like fools, because you have helped and comforted me.
12 Dear friends, God is good. So I beg you to offer your bodies to him as a living sacrifice, pure and pleasing. That’s the most sensible way to serve God. 2 Don’t be like the people of this world, but let God change the way you think. Then you will know how to do everything that is good and pleasing to him.
3 I realize how kind God has been to me, and so I tell each of you not to think you are better than you really are. Use good sense and measure yourself by the amount of faith that God has given you. 4 A body is made up of many parts, and each of them has its own use. 5 That’s how it is with us. There are many of us, but we each are part of the body of Christ, as well as part of one another.
6 God has also given each of us different gifts to use. If we can prophesy, we should do it according to the amount of faith we have. 7 If we can serve others, we should serve. If we can teach, we should teach. 8 If we can encourage others, we should encourage them. If we can give, we should be generous. If we are leaders, we should do our best. If we are good to others, we should do it cheerfully.
Rules for Christian Living
9 Be sincere in your love for others. Hate everything that is evil and hold tight to everything that is good. 10 Love each other as brothers and sisters and honor others more than you do yourself. 11 Never give up. Eagerly follow the Holy Spirit and serve the Lord. 12 Let your hope make you glad. Be patient in time of trouble and never stop praying. 13 Take care of God’s needy people and welcome strangers into your home.
14 Ask God to bless everyone who mistreats you. Ask him to bless them and not to curse them. 15 When others are happy, be happy with them, and when they are sad, be sad. 16 Be friendly with everyone. Don’t be proud and feel that you are smarter than others. Make friends with ordinary people.[a]17 Don’t mistreat someone who has mistreated you. But try to earn the respect of others, 18 and do your best to live at peace with everyone.
19 Dear friends, don’t try to get even. Let God take revenge. In the Scriptures the Lord says,
“I am the one to take revenge and pay them back.”
20 The Scriptures also say,
“If your enemies are hungry, give them something to eat. And if they are thirsty, give them something to drink. This will be the same as piling burning coals on their heads.”
21 Don’t let evil defeat you, but defeat evil with good.
12.16Make friends with ordinary people: Or “Do ordinary jobs.”
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