1 O LORD, rescue me from evil people. Protect me from those who are violent, 2 those who plot evil in their hearts and stir up trouble all day long. 3 Their tongues sting like a snake; the venom of a viper drips from their lips. Interlude 4 O LORD, keep me out of the hands of the wicked. Protect me from those who are violent, for they are plotting against me. 5 The proud have set a trap to catch me; they have stretched out a net; they have placed traps all along the way. Interlude 6 I said to the LORD, “You are my God!” Listen, O LORD, to my cries for mercy! 7 O Sovereign LORD, the strong one who rescued me, you protected me on the day of battle. 8 LORD, do not let evil people have their way. Do not let their evil schemes succeed, or they will become proud. Interlude 9 Let my enemies be destroyed by the very evil they have planned for me. 10 Let burning coals fall down on their heads. Let them be thrown into the fire or into watery pits from which they can’t escape. 11 Don’t let liars prosper here in our land. Cause great disasters to fall on the violent. 12 But I know the LORD will help those they persecute; he will give justice to the poor. 13 Surely righteous people are praising your name; the godly will live in your presence.
1 O LORD, I am calling to you. Please hurry! Listen when I cry to you for help! 2 Accept my prayer as incense offered to you, and my upraised hands as an evening offering. 3 Take control of what I say, O LORD, and guard my lips. 4 Don’t let me drift toward evil or take part in acts of wickedness. Don’t let me share in the delicacies of those who do wrong. 5 Let the godly strike me! It will be a kindness! If they correct me, it is soothing medicine. Don’t let me refuse it. But I pray constantly against the wicked and their deeds. 6 When their leaders are thrown down from a cliff, the wicked will listen to my words and find them true. 7 Like rocks brought up by a plow, the bones of the wicked will lie scattered without burial. 8 I look to you for help, O Sovereign LORD . You are my refuge; don’t let them kill me. 9 Keep me from the traps they have set for me, from the snares of those who do wrong. 10 Let the wicked fall into their own nets, but let me escape.
1 I cry out to the LORD ; I plead for the LORD ’s mercy. 2 I pour out my complaints before him and tell him all my troubles. 3 When I am overwhelmed, you alone know the way I should turn. Wherever I go, my enemies have set traps for me. 4 I look for someone to come and help me, but no one gives me a passing thought! No one will help me; no one cares a bit what happens to me. 5 Then I pray to you, O LORD . I say, “You are my place of refuge. You are all I really want in life. 6 Hear my cry, for I am very low. Rescue me from my persecutors, for they are too strong for me. 7 Bring me out of prison so I can thank you. The godly will crowd around me, for you are good to me.”
1 Let love be your highest goal! But you should also desire the special abilities the Spirit gives—especially the ability to prophesy. 2 For if you have the ability to speak in tongues, you will be talking only to God, since people won’t be able to understand you. You will be speaking by the power of the Spirit, but it will all be mysterious. 3 But one who prophesies strengthens others, encourages them, and comforts them. 4 A person who speaks in tongues is strengthened personally, but one who speaks a word of prophecy strengthens the entire church. 5 I wish you could all speak in tongues, but even more I wish you could all prophesy. For prophecy is greater than speaking in tongues, unless someone interprets what you are saying so that the whole church will be strengthened. 6 Dear brothers and sisters, if I should come to you speaking in an unknown language, how would that help you? But if I bring you a revelation or some special knowledge or prophecy or teaching, that will be helpful. 7 Even lifeless instruments like the flute or the harp must play the notes clearly, or no one will recognize the melody. 8 And if the bugler doesn’t sound a clear call, how will the soldiers know they are being called to battle? 9 It’s the same for you. If you speak to people in words they don’t understand, how will they know what you are saying? You might as well be talking into empty space. 10 There are many different languages in the world, and every language has meaning. 11 But if I don’t understand a language, I will be a foreigner to someone who speaks it, and the one who speaks it will be a foreigner to me. 12 And the same is true for you. Since you are so eager to have the special abilities the Spirit gives, seek those that will strengthen the whole church. 13 So anyone who speaks in tongues should pray also for the ability to interpret what has been said. 14 For if I pray in tongues, my spirit is praying, but I don’t understand what I am saying. 15 Well then, what shall I do? I will pray in the spirit, and I will also pray in words I understand. I will sing in the spirit, and I will also sing in words I understand. 16 For if you praise God only in the spirit, how can those who don’t understand you praise God along with you? How can they join you in giving thanks when they don’t understand what you are saying? 17 You will be giving thanks very well, but it won’t strengthen the people who hear you. 18 I thank God that I speak in tongues more than any of you. 19 But in a church meeting I would rather speak five understandable words to help others than ten thousand words in an unknown language. 20 Dear brothers and sisters, don’t be childish in your understanding of these things. Be innocent as babies when it comes to evil, but be mature in understanding matters of this kind.