An Evening Prayer
King David’s poetic song
1Please, Lord, come close and come quickly to help me!
Listen to my prayer as I call out to you.
2Let my prayer be as the evening sacrifice
that burns like fragrant incense, rising as my offering to you
as I lift up my hands in surrendered worship!
3God, give me grace to guard my lips # 141:3 The Septuagint reads “Set a fortress door before my lips.”
from speaking what is wrong.
4Guide me away from temptation and doing evil.
Save me from sinful habits and from keeping company
with those who are experts in evil.
Help me not to share in their sin in any way!
5When one of your godly ones corrects me
or one of your faithful ones rebukes me,
I will accept it like an honor I cannot refuse.
It will be as healing medicine that I swallow
without an offended heart.
Even if they are mistaken, I will continue to pray. # 141:5 This is one of most difficult verses to translate, with scholars divided over the meaning of the Hebrew text. Another translation could be “Don’t let the oil of the wicked anoint my head, for I pray continually against their wickedness.”
6When the leaders and judges are condemned,
falling upon the rocks of justice, # 141:6 See 2 Chron. 25:12.
then they’ll know my words to them were true!
7Like an earthquake splits open the earth,
so the world of hell will open its mouth
to swallow their scattered bones.
8But you are my Lord and my God; I only have eyes for you!
I hide myself in you, so don’t leave me defenseless.
9Protect me! Keep me from the traps of wickedness they set for me.
10Let them all stumble into their own traps
while I escape without a scratch!