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Psalm 143

Prayer for Deliverance from Enemies

A Psalm of David.


Hear my prayer, O L ord;

give ear to my supplications in your faithfulness;

answer me in your righteousness.


Do not enter into judgment with your servant,

for no one living is righteous before you.



For the enemy has pursued me,

crushing my life to the ground,

making me sit in darkness like those long dead.


Therefore my spirit faints within me;

my heart within me is appalled.



I remember the days of old,

I think about all your deeds,

I meditate on the works of your hands.


I stretch out my hands to you;

my soul thirsts for you like a parched land. Selah



Answer me quickly, O L ord;

my spirit fails.

Do not hide your face from me,

or I shall be like those who go down to the Pit.


Let me hear of your steadfast love in the morning,

for in you I put my trust.

Teach me the way I should go,

for to you I lift up my soul.



Save me, O L ord, from my enemies;

I have fled to you for refuge.


Teach me to do your will,

for you are my God.

Let your good spirit lead me

on a level path.



For your name’s sake, O L ord, preserve my life.

In your righteousness bring me out of trouble.


In your steadfast love cut off my enemies,

and destroy all my adversaries,

for I am your servant.

6. I have stretched forth my hands to thee. Here appears the good effect of meditation, that it stirred David up to pray; for if we reflect seriously upon the acting’s of God towards his people, and towards ourselves in our own experience, this will necessarily lead out our minds to seek after him, under the alluring influence of his goodness. Prayer, indeed, springs from faith; but as practical proofs of the favor and mercy confirm this faith, they are means evidently fitted for dissipating languor. He makes use of a striking figure to set forth the ardor of his affection, comparing his soul to the parched earth. In great heats we see that the earth is cleft, and opens, as it were, its mouth to heaven for moisture. David therefore intimates, he drew near to God with vehement desire, as if the very sap of life failed him, as he shows more fully in the verse which follows. In this he gives another proof of his extraordinary faith. Feeling himself weak, and ready to sink into the very grave, he does not vacillate between this and the other hope of relief, but fixes his sole dependence upon God. And heavy as the struggle was that he underwent with his own felt weakness, the fainting of spirit he speaks of was a better stimulant to prayer than any stoical obstinacy he might have shown in suppressing fear, grief, or anxiety. We must not overlook the fact, how in order to induce himself to depend exclusively upon God, he dismisses all other hopes from his mind, and makes a chariot to himself of the extreme necessity of his case, in which he ascends upwards to God.

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