A Prayer for Help
1Oppose those who oppose me, Lord,
and fight those who fight against me!
2Take your shield and armor
and come to my rescue.
3Lift up your spear and war ax
against those who pursue me.
Promise that you will save me.
4May those who try to kill me
be defeated and disgraced!
May those who plot against me
be turned back and confused!
5May they be like straw blown by the wind
as the angel of the Lord pursues them!
6May their path be dark and slippery
while the angel of the Lord strikes them down!
7Without any reason they laid a trap for me
and dug a deep hole to catch me.
8But destruction will catch them before they know it;
they will be caught in their own trap
and fall to their destruction!
9Then I will be glad because of the Lord;
I will be happy because he saved me.
10With all my heart I will say to the Lord,
“There is no one like you.
You protect the weak from the strong,
the poor from the oppressor.”
11Evil people testify against me
and accuse me of crimes I know nothing about.
12They pay me back evil for good,
and I sink in despair.
13But when they were sick, I dressed in mourning;
I deprived myself of food;
I prayed with my head bowed low,
14as I would pray for a friend or a brother.
I went around bent over in mourning,
as one who mourns for his mother.
15But when I was in trouble, they were all glad
and gathered around to make fun of me;
strangers beat me
and kept striking me.
16Like those who would mock a cripple,
they glared at me with hate.
17How much longer, Lord, will you just look on?
Rescue me from their attacks;
save my life from these lions!
18Then I will thank you in the assembly of your people;
I will praise you before them all.
19 Don't let my enemies, those liars,
gloat over my defeat.
Don't let those who hate me for no reason
smirk with delight over my sorrow.
20They do not speak in a friendly way;
instead they invent all kinds of lies about peace-loving people.
21They accuse me, shouting,
“We saw what you did!”
22But you, O Lord, have seen this.
So don't be silent, Lord;
don't keep yourself far away!
23Rouse yourself, O Lord, and defend me;
rise up, my God, and plead my cause.
24You are righteous, O Lord, so declare me innocent;
don't let my enemies gloat over me.
25Don't let them say to themselves,
“We are rid of him!
That's just what we wanted!”
26May those who gloat over my suffering
be completely defeated and confused;
may those who claim to be better than I am
be covered with shame and disgrace.
27May those who want to see me acquitted
shout for joy and say again and again,
“How great is the Lord!
He is pleased with the success of his servant.”
28Then I will proclaim your righteousness,
and I will praise you all day long.