Psalm 140; Psalm 141; Psalm 142; 1 Corinthians 14:1-20

1 Save me, Lord, from evildoers; keep me safe from violent people. 2 They are always plotting evil, always stirring up quarrels. 3 Their tongues are like deadly snakes; their words are like a cobra's poison. 4 Protect me, Lord, from the power of the wicked; keep me safe from violent people who plot my downfall. 5 The proud have set a trap for me; they have laid their snares, and along the path they have set traps to catch me. 6 I say to the Lord, "You are my God." Hear my cry for help, Lord! 7 My Sovereign Lord, my strong defender, you have protected me in battle. 8 Lord, don't give the wicked what they want; don't let their plots succeed. 9 Don't let my enemies be victorious; make their threats against me fall back on them. 10 May red-hot coals fall on them; may they be thrown into a pit and never get out. 11 May those who accuse others falsely not succeed; may evil overtake violent people and destroy them. 12 Lord, I know that you defend the cause of the poor and the rights of the needy. 13 The righteous will praise you indeed; they will live in your presence.
1 I call to you, Lord; help me now! Listen to me when I call to you. 2 Receive my prayer as incense, my uplifted hands as an evening sacrifice. 3 Lord, place a guard at my mouth, a sentry at the door of my lips. 4 Keep me from wanting to do wrong and from joining evil people in their wickedness. May I never take part in their feasts. 5 Good people may punish me and rebuke me in kindness, but I will never accept honor from evil people, because I am always praying against their evil deeds. 6 When their rulers are thrown down from rocky cliffs, the people will admit that my words were true. 7 Like wood that is split and chopped into bits, so their bones are scattered at the edge of the grave. 8 But I keep trusting in you, my Sovereign Lord. I seek your protection; don't let me die! 9 Protect me from the traps they have set for me, from the snares of those evildoers. 10 May the wicked fall into their own traps while I go by unharmed.
1 I call to the Lord for help; I plead with him. 2 I bring him all my complaints; I tell him all my troubles. 3 When I am ready to give up, he knows what I should do. In the path where I walk, my enemies have hidden a trap for me. 4 When I look beside me, I see that there is no one to help me, no one to protect me. No one cares for me. 5 Lord, I cry to you for help; you, Lord, are my protector; you are all I want in this life. 6 Listen to my cry for help, for I am sunk in despair. Save me from my enemies; they are too strong for me. 7 Set me free from my distress; then in the assembly of your people I will praise you because of your goodness to me.
1 It is love, then, that you should strive for. Set your hearts on spiritual gifts, especially the gift of proclaiming God's message. 2 Those who speak in strange tongues do not speak to others but to God, because no one understands them. They are speaking secret truths by the power of the Spirit. 3 But those who proclaim God's message speak to people and give them help, encouragement, and comfort. 4 Those who speak in strange tongues help only themselves, but those who proclaim God's message help the whole church. 5 I would like for all of you to speak in strange tongues; but I would rather that you had the gift of proclaiming God's message. For the person who proclaims God's message is of greater value than the one who speaks in strange tongues - unless there is someone present who can explain what is said, so that the whole church may be helped. 6 So when I come to you, my friends, what use will I be to you if I speak in strange tongues? Not a bit, unless I bring you some revelation from God or some knowledge or some inspired message or some teaching. 7 Take such lifeless musical instruments as the flute or the harp - how will anyone know the tune that is being played unless the notes are sounded distinctly? 8 And if the one who plays the bugle does not sound a clear call, who will prepare for battle? 9 In the same way, how will anyone understand what you are talking about if your message given in strange tongues is not clear? Your words will vanish in the air! 10 There are many different languages in the world, yet none of them is without meaning. 11 But if I do not know the language being spoken, those who use it will be foreigners to me and I will be a foreigner to them. 12 Since you are eager to have the gifts of the Spirit, you must try above everything else to make greater use of those which help to build up the church. 13 The person who speaks in strange tongues, then, must pray for the gift to explain what is said. 14 For if I pray in this way, my spirit prays indeed, but my mind has no part in it. 15 What should I do, then? I will pray with my spirit, but I will pray also with my mind; I will sing with my spirit, but I will sing also with my mind. 16 When you give thanks to God in spirit only, how can ordinary people taking part in the meeting say "Amen" to your prayer of thanksgiving? They have no way of knowing what you are saying. 17 Even if your prayer of thanks to God is quite good, other people are not helped at all. 18 I thank God that I speak in strange tongues much more than any of you. 19 But in church worship I would rather speak five words that can be understood, in order to teach others, than speak thousands of words in strange tongues. 20 Do not be like children in your thinking, my friends; be children so far as evil is concerned, but be grown up in your thinking.
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