1 Hear my prayer, O God; ♦
hide not yourself from my petition.
2 Give heed to me and answer me; ♦
I am restless in my complaining.
3 I am alarmed at the voice of the enemy ♦
and at the clamour of the wicked;
4 For they would bring down evil upon me ♦
and are set against me in fury.
5 My heart is disquieted within me, ♦
and the terrors of death have fallen upon me.
6 Fearfulness and trembling are come upon me, ♦
and a horrible dread has overwhelmed me.
7 And I said: ‘O that I had wings like a dove, ♦
for then would I fly away and be at rest.
8 ‘Then would I flee far away ♦
and make my lodging in the wilderness.
9 ‘I would make haste to escape ♦
from the stormy wind and tempest.’
10 Confuse their tongues, O Lord, and divide them, ♦
for I have seen violence and strife in the city.
11 Day and night they go about on her walls; ♦
mischief and trouble are in her midst.
12 Wickedness walks in her streets; ♦
oppression and guile never leave her squares.
13 For it was not an open enemy that reviled me, ♦
for then I could have borne it;
14 Nor was it my adversary that puffed himself up against me, ♦
for then I would have hid myself from him.
15 But it was even you, one like myself, ♦
my companion and my own familiar friend.
16 We took sweet counsel together ♦
and walked with the multitude in the house of God.
17 Let death come suddenly upon them;
let them go down alive to the Pit; ♦
for wickedness inhabits their dwellings, their very hearts.
18 As for me, I will call upon God ♦
and the Lord will deliver me.
19 In the evening and morning and at noonday
I will pray and make my supplication, ♦
and he shall hear my voice.
20 He shall redeem my soul in peace
from the battle waged against me, ♦
for many have come upon me.
21 God, who is enthroned of old,
will hear and bring them down; ♦
they will not repent, for they have no fear of God.
22 My companion stretched out his hands against his friend ♦
and has broken his covenant;
23 His speech was softer than butter, though war was in his heart; ♦
his words were smoother than oil, yet are they naked swords.
24 Cast your burden upon the Lord and he will sustain you, ♦
and will not let the righteous fall for ever.
25 But those that are bloodthirsty and deceitful, O God, ♦
you will bring down to the pit of destruction.
26 They shall not live out half their days, ♦
but my trust shall be in you, O Lord.
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.