Psalm 55

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.

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