Prayer against an Enemy
For the choir director. A psalm of David.
1God of my praise, do not be silent.
2For wicked and deceitful mouths open against me;
they speak against me with lying tongues.
3They surround me with hateful words
and attack me without cause.
4In return for my love they accuse me,
but I continue to pray.
5They repay me evil for good,
and hatred for my love.
6Set a wicked person over him;
let an accuser stand at his right hand.
7When he is judged, let him be found guilty,
and let his prayer be counted as sin.
8Let his days be few;
let another take over his position.
9Let his children be fatherless
and his wife a widow.
10Let his children wander as beggars,
searching for food far from their demolished homes.
11Let a creditor seize all he has;
let strangers plunder what he has worked for.
12Let no one show him kindness,
and let no one be gracious to his fatherless children.
13Let the line of his descendants be cut off;
let their name be blotted out in the next generation.
14Let the iniquity of his fathers
be remembered before the Lord,
and do not let his mother’s sin be blotted out.
15Let their sins always remain before the Lord,
and let him remove all memory of them from the earth.
16For he did not think to show kindness,
but pursued the suffering, needy, and brokenhearted
in order to put them to death.
17He loved cursing — let it fall on him;
he took no delight in blessing — let it be far from him.
18He wore cursing like his coat —
let it enter his body like water
and go into his bones like oil.
19Let it be like a robe he wraps around himself,
like a belt he always wears.
20Let this be the Lord’s payment to my accusers,
to those who speak evil against me.
21But you, Lord, my Lord,
deal kindly with me for your name’s sake;
because your faithful love is good, rescue me.
22For I am suffering and needy;
my heart is wounded within me.
23I fade away like a lengthening shadow;
I am shaken off like a locust.
24My knees are weak from fasting,
and my body is emaciated.
25I have become an object of ridicule to my accusers;
when they see me, they shake their heads in scorn.
26Help me, Lord my God;
save me according to your faithful love
27so they may know that this is your hand
and that you, Lord, have done it.
28Though they curse, you will bless.
When they rise up, they will be put to shame,
but your servant will rejoice.
29My accusers will be clothed with disgrace;
they will wear their shame like a cloak.
30I will fervently thank the Lord with my mouth;
I will praise him in the presence of many.
31For he stands at the right hand of the needy
to save him from those who would condemn him.