1 Contend, O Lord, with those that contend with me; ♦
fight against those that fight against me.
2 Take up shield and buckler ♦
and rise up to help me.
3 Draw the spear and bar the way
against those who pursue me; ♦
say to my soul, ‘I am your salvation.’
4 Let those who seek after my life be shamed and disgraced; ♦
let those who plot my ruin fall back and be put to confusion.
5 Let them be as chaff before the wind, ♦
with the angel of the Lord thrusting them down.
6 Let their way be dark and slippery, ♦
with the angel of the Lord pursuing them.
7 For they have secretly spread a net for me without a cause; ♦
without any cause they have dug a pit for my soul.
8 Let ruin come upon them unawares; ♦
let them be caught in the net they laid;
let them fall in it to their destruction.
9 Then will my soul be joyful in the Lord ♦
and glory in his salvation.
10 My very bones will say, ‘Lord, who is like you? ♦
You deliver the poor from those that are too strong for them,
the poor and needy from those who would despoil them.’
11 False witnesses rose up against me; ♦
they charged me with things I knew not.
12 They rewarded me evil for good, ♦
to the desolation of my soul.
13 But as for me, when they were sick I put on sackcloth ♦
and humbled myself with fasting;
14 When my prayer returned empty to my bosom, ♦
it was as though I grieved for my friend or brother;
15 I behaved as one who mourns for his mother, ♦
bowed down and brought very low.
16 But when I stumbled, they gathered in delight;
they gathered together against me; ♦
as if they were strangers I did not know
they tore at me without ceasing.
17 When I fell they mocked me; ♦
they gnashed at me with their teeth.
18 O Lord, how long will you look on? ♦
Rescue my soul from their ravages,
and my poor life from the young lions.
19 I will give you thanks in the great congregation; ♦
I will praise you in the mighty throng.
20 Do not let my treacherous foes rejoice over me, ♦
or those who hate me without a cause
mock me with their glances.
21 For they do not speak of peace, ♦
but invent deceitful schemes against those that are quiet in the land.
22 They opened wide their mouths and derided me, saying ♦
‘We have seen it with our very eyes.’
23 This you have seen, O Lord; do not keep silent; ♦
go not far from me, O Lord.
24 Awake, arise, to my cause, ♦
to my defence, my God and my Lord!
25 Give me justice, O Lord my God,
according to your righteousness; ♦
let them not triumph over me.
26 Let them not say to themselves,
‘Our heart’s desire!’ ♦
Let them not say, ‘We have swallowed him up.’
27 Let all who rejoice at my trouble be put to shame and confusion; ♦
let those who boast against me
be clothed with shame and dishonour.
28 Let those who favour my cause rejoice and be glad; ♦
let them say always,
‘Great is the Lord, who delights in his servant’s well-being.’
29 So shall my tongue be talking of your righteousness ♦
and of your praise all the day long.
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.