Prayer: Holy God, let your Word lift our hearts and guide our actions. In Jesus’ name. Amen.
A lifetime for the drowning
33 For the Lord hears the needy,
The psalmist describes someone who has been overwhelmed by a flood of bad news. Like the flooding of the Mississippi our devotion writer has seen, flooding can sometime wipe out entire towns and people’s houses and lives.
But even in the shadow of this bad news, the psalmist still clings to God. Our devotion writer explains; “However, even in the despairing state, the psalmist still turns to God for hope and help…some have described God as being like a life line or a raft. God can carry us to safety; God alone can preserve us when the waters rise around us. Floods leave wreckage and damage. God is our help when we are faced with the task of putting our lives back together. Christ never abandons our side.”
Prayer: “O God, our refuge, protect us and be our living hope in all things, through Christ Jesus. Amen.”
New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)
Prayer for Deliverance from Persecution
To the leader: according to Lilies. Of David.
1 Save me, O God, for the waters have come up to my neck. 2 I sink in deep mire, where there is no foothold; I have come into deep waters, and the flood sweeps over me. 3 I am weary with my crying; my throat is parched. My eyes grow dim with waiting for my God.
4 More in number than the hairs of my head are those who hate me without cause; many are those who would destroy me, my enemies who accuse me falsely. What I did not steal must I now restore? 5 O God, you know my folly; the wrongs I have done are not hidden from you.
6 Do not let those who hope in you be put to shame because of me, O Lord God of hosts; do not let those who seek you be dishonored because of me, O God of Israel. 7 It is for your sake that I have borne reproach, that shame has covered my face. 8 I have become a stranger to my kindred, an alien to my mother’s children.
9 It is zeal for your house that has consumed me; the insults of those who insult you have fallen on me. 10 When I humbled my soul with fasting, they insulted me for doing so. 11 When I made sackcloth my clothing, I became a byword to them. 12 I am the subject of gossip for those who sit in the gate, and the drunkards make songs about me.
13 But as for me, my prayer is to you, O Lord. At an acceptable time, O God, in the abundance of your steadfast love, answer me. With your faithful help 14 rescue me from sinking in the mire; let me be delivered from my enemies and from the deep waters. 15 Do not let the flood sweep over me, or the deep swallow me up, or the Pit close its mouth over me.
16 Answer me, O Lord, for your steadfast love is good; according to your abundant mercy, turn to me. 17 Do not hide your face from your servant, for I am in distress—make haste to answer me. 18 Draw near to me, redeem me, set me free because of my enemies.
19 You know the insults I receive, and my shame and dishonor; my foes are all known to you. 20 Insults have broken my heart, so that I am in despair. I looked for pity, but there was none; and for comforters, but I found none. 21 They gave me poison for food, and for my thirst they gave me vinegar to drink.
22 Let their table be a trap for them, a snare for their allies. 23 Let their eyes be darkened so that they cannot see, and make their loins tremble continually. 24 Pour out your indignation upon them, and let your burning anger overtake them. 25 May their camp be a desolation; let no one live in their tents. 26 For they persecute those whom you have struck down, and those whom you have wounded, they attack still more. 27 Add guilt to their guilt; may they have no acquittal from you. 28 Let them be blotted out of the book of the living; let them not be enrolled among the righteous. 29 But I am lowly and in pain; let your salvation, O God, protect me.
30 I will praise the name of God with a song; I will magnify him with thanksgiving. 31 This will please the Lord more than an ox or a bull with horns and hoofs. 32 Let the oppressed see it and be glad; you who seek God, let your hearts revive. 33 For the Lord hears the needy, and does not despise his own that are in bonds.
34 Let heaven and earth praise him, the seas and everything that moves in them. 35 For God will save Zion and rebuild the cities of Judah; and his servants shall live there and possess it; 36 the children of his servants shall inherit it, and those who love his name shall live in it.