(A psalm by David for the music leader.)
A Prayer for the Lord's Help
1 I praise you, God!
Don't keep silent.
2 Destructive and deceitful lies
are told about me,
3 and hateful things are said
for no reason.
4 I had pity and prayed
for my enemies,
but their words to me
were harsh and cruel.
5 For being friendly and kind,
they paid me back
with meanness and hatred.

6 My enemies said,
“Find some worthless fools
to accuse him of a crime.
7 Try him and find him guilty!
Consider his prayers a lie.
8 Cut his life short
and let someone else
have his job.
9 Make orphans of his children
and a widow of his wife;
10 make his children beg for food
and live in the slums.

11 “Let the people he owes
take everything he owns.
Give it all to strangers.
12 Don't let anyone be kind to him
or have pity on the children
he leaves behind.
13 Bring an end to his family,
and from now on let him be
a forgotten man.

14 “Don't let the Lord forgive
the sins of his parents
and his ancestors.
15 Don't let the Lord forget
the sins of his family,
or let anyone remember
his family ever lived.
16 He was so cruel to the poor,
homeless, and discouraged
that they died young.

17 “He cursed others.
Now place a curse on him!
He never wished others well.
Wish only trouble for him!
18 He cursed others more often
than he dressed himself.
Let his curses strike him deep,
just as water and olive oil
soak through to our bones.
19 Let his curses surround him,
just like the belt and clothes
he wears each day.”

20 Those are the cruel things
my enemies wish for me.
Let it all happen to them!
21 Be true to your name, Lord God!
Show your great kindness
and rescue me.

22 I am poor and helpless,
and I have lost all hope.
23 I am fading away
like an evening shadow;
I am tossed aside
like a crawling insect.
24 I have gone without eating,
until my knees are weak,
and my body is bony.
25 When my enemies see me,
they say cruel things
and shake their heads.

26 Please help me, Lord God!
Come and save me
because of your love.
27 Let others know that you alone
have saved me.
28 I don't care if they curse me,
as long as you bless me.
You will make my enemies fail
when they attack,
and you will make me glad
to be your servant.
29 You will cover them with shame,
just as their bodies
are covered with clothes.

30 I will sing your praises
and thank you, Lord,
when your people meet.
31 You help everyone in need,
and you save them from death.