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Prayer for Divine Help

1For the leader; with wind instruments. A psalm of David.


2Give ear to my words, O LORD;

understand my sighing.a

3Attend to the sound of my cry,

my king and my God!

For to you I will pray, LORD;

4in the morning you will hear my voice;

in the morning I will plead before you and wait.b


5You are not a god who delights in evil;

no wicked person finds refuge with you;

6the arrogant cannot stand before your eyes.

You hate all who do evil;

7you destroy those who speak falsely.c

A bloody and fraudulent man

the LORD abhors.


8But I, through the abundance of your mercy,*

will enter into your house.

I will bow down toward your holy sanctuary

out of fear of you.d

9LORD, guide me in your justice because of my foes;

make straight your way before me.e


10For there is no sincerity in their mouth;

their heart is corrupt.

Their throat* is an open grave;f

on their tongue are subtle lies.

11Declare them guilty, God;

make them fall by their own devices.g

Drive them out for their many sins;

for they have rebelled against you.


12Then all who trust in you will be glad

and forever shout for joy.h

You will protect them and those will rejoice in you

who love your name.

13For you, LORD, bless the just one;

you surround him with favor like a shield.

* [Psalm 5] A lament contrasting the security of the house of God (Ps 5:89, 1213) with the danger of the company of evildoers (Ps 5:57, 1011). The psalmist therefore prays that God will hear (Ps 5:24) and grant the protection and joy of the Temple.

* [5:8] Mercy: used to translate the Hebrew word, hesed. This term speaks to a relationship between persons. It is manifested in concrete actions to persons with some need or desire. The one who offers hesed has the ability to respond to that need of the other person. Other possible ways to translate hesed include “steadfast love” and “loving kindness.”

* [5:10] Their throat: their speech brings harm to their hearers (cf. Jer 5:16). The verse mentions four parts of the body, each a source of evil to the innocent.

a. [5:2] Ps 86:6; 130:12.

b. [5:4] Wis 16:28.

c. [5:7] Ps 101:7; Wis 14:9; Heb 1:13.

d. [5:8] Ps 138:2; Jon 2:5.

e. [5:9] Ps 23:3; Prv 4:11; Is 26:7.

f. [5:10] Rom 3:13.

g. [5:11] Ps 141:10.

h. [5:12] Ps 64:11.

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