A Prayer for Protection
1With our own ears we have heard it, O God—
our ancestors have told us about it,
about the great things you did in their time,
in the days of long ago:
2how you yourself drove out the heathen
and established your people in their land;
how you punished the other nations
and caused your own to prosper.
3Your people did not conquer the land with their swords;
they did not win it by their own power;
it was by your power and your strength,
by the assurance of your presence,
which showed that you loved them.
4You are my king and my God;
you give victory to your people,
5and by your power we defeat our enemies.
6I do not trust in my bow
or in my sword to save me;
7but you have saved us from our enemies
and defeated those who hate us.
8We will always praise you
and give thanks to you forever.
9But now you have rejected us and let us be defeated;
you no longer march out with our armies.
10You made us run from our enemies,
and they took for themselves what was ours.
11You allowed us to be slaughtered like sheep;
you scattered us in foreign countries.
12You sold your own people for a small price
as though they had little value.
13Our neighbors see what you did to us,
and they mock us and laugh at us.
14You have made us a joke among the nations;
they shake their heads at us in scorn.
15I am always in disgrace;
I am covered with shame
16from hearing the sneers and insults
of my enemies and those who hate me.
17All this has happened to us,
even though we have not forgotten you
or broken the covenant you made with us.
18We have not been disloyal to you;
we have not disobeyed your commands.
19Yet you left us helpless among wild animals;
you abandoned us in deepest darkness.
20If we had stopped worshiping our God
and prayed to a foreign god,
21you would surely have discovered it,
because you know our secret thoughts.
22 But it is on your account that we are being killed all the time,
that we are treated like sheep to be slaughtered.
23Wake up, Lord! Why are you asleep?
Rouse yourself! Don't reject us forever!
24Why are you hiding from us?
Don't forget our suffering and trouble!
25We fall crushed to the ground;
we lie defeated in the dust.
26Come to our aid!
Because of your constant love save us!