1 Why stand so far off, O Lord? ♦
Why hide yourself in time of trouble?
2 The wicked in their pride persecute the poor; ♦
let them be caught in the schemes they have devised.
3 The wicked boast of their heart’s desire; ♦
the covetous curse and revile the Lord.
4 The wicked in their arrogance say, ‘God will not avenge it’; ♦
in all their scheming God counts for nothing.
5 They are stubborn in all their ways,
for your judgements are far above out of their sight; ♦
they scoff at all their adversaries.
6 They say in their heart, ‘I shall not be shaken; ♦
no harm shall ever happen to me.’
7 Their mouth is full of cursing, deceit and fraud; ♦
under their tongue lie mischief and wrong.
8 They lurk in the outskirts
and in dark alleys they murder the innocent; ♦
their eyes are ever watching for the helpless.
9 They lie in wait, like a lion in his den;
they lie in wait to seize the poor; ♦
they seize the poor when they get them into their net.
10 The innocent are broken and humbled before them; ♦
the helpless fall before their power.
11 They say in their heart, ‘God has forgotten; ♦
he hides his face away; he will never see it.’
12 Arise, O Lord God, and lift up your hand; ♦
forget not the poor.
13 Why should the wicked be scornful of God? ♦
Why should they say in their hearts, ‘You will not avenge it’?
14 Surely, you behold trouble and misery; ♦
you see it and take it into your own hand.
15 The helpless commit themselves to you, ♦
for you are the helper of the orphan.
16 Break the power of the wicked and malicious; ♦
search out their wickedness until you find none.
17 The Lord shall reign for ever and ever; ♦
the nations shall perish from his land.
18 Lord, you will hear the desire of the poor; ♦
you will incline your ear to the fullness of their heart,
19 To give justice to the orphan and oppressed, ♦
so that people are no longer driven in terror from the land.
Common Worship: Services and Prayers for the Church of England, material from which is included here,
is copyright © The Archbishops' Council 2000 and published by Church House Publishing.