Psalm 17

Ask God to listen to your prayer: ‘Hear a just cause, O Lord; attend to my cry! Give ear to my prayer from lips free of deceit! From your presence let my vindication come! Let your eyes behold the right!’ (verses 1-2).

Thank God if you are faithful: ‘You have tried my heart, you have visited me by night, you have tested me, and you will find nothing; I have purposed that my mouth will not transgress. With regard to the works of man, by the word of your lips I have avoided the ways of the violent. My steps have held fast to your paths; my feet have not slipped’ (verses 3-5).

Ask God for something special: ‘I call upon you, for you will answer me, O God; incline your ear to me; hear my words. Wondrously show your steadfast love, O Saviour of those who seek refuge from their adversaries at your right hand’ (verses 6-7).

Remind yourself how precious you are to God: Keep me as the apple of your eye; hide me in the shadow of your wings, from the wicked who do me violence, my deadly enemies who surround me’ (verses 8-9).

Describe your problems to God: ‘They close their hearts to pity; with their mouths they speak arrogantly. They have now surrounded our steps; they set their eyes to cast us to the ground. He is like a lion eager to tear, as a young lion lurking in ambush’ (verses 10-11).

Pray for protection for yourself and others: ‘Arise, O Lord! Confront him, subdue him! Deliver my soul from the wicked by your sword, from men by your hand, O Lord, from men of the world whose portion is in this life’ (verses 12-13).

Think of the difference God has made in your life, and destiny: ‘You fill their womb with treasure; they are satisfied with children, and they leave their abundance to their infants. As for me, I shall behold your face in righteousness; when I awake, I shall be satisfied with your likeness’ (verses 14-15).

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