1 Hear my prayer, O God;
do not hide yourself from my petition.
2 Listen to me and answer me;
I have no peace, because of my cares.
3 I am shaken by the noise of the enemy
and by the pressure of the wicked;
4 For they have cast an evil spell upon me
and are set against me in fury.
5 My heart quakes within me,
and the terrors of death have fallen upon me.
6 Fear and trembling have come over me,
and horror overwhelms me.
7 And I said, “Oh, that I had wings like a dove!
I would fly away and be at rest.
8 I would flee to a far-off place
and make my lodging in the wilderness.
9 I would hasten to escape
from the stormy wind and tempest.”
10 Swallow them up, O Lord;
confound their speech;
for I have seen violence and strife in the city.
11 Day and night the watchmen make their rounds
upon her walls,
but trouble and misery are in the midst of her.
12 There is corruption at her heart;
her streets are never free of oppression and deceit.
13 For had it been an adversary who taunted me,
then I could have borne it;
or had it been an enemy who vaunted himself against me,
then I could have hidden from him.
14 But it was you, a man after my own heart,
my companion, my own familiar friend.
15 We took sweet counsel together,
and walked with the throng in the house of God.
16 Let death come upon them suddenly;
let them go down alive into the grave;
for wickedness is in their dwellings, in their very midst.
17 But I will call upon God,
and the Lord will deliver me.
18 In the evening, in the morning, and at noonday,
I will complain and lament,
and he will hear my voice.
19 He will bring me safely back from the battle
waged against me;
for there are many who fight me.
20 God, who is enthroned of old, will hear me and
bring them down;
they never change; they do not fear God.
21 My companion stretched forth his hand against his comrade;
he has broken his covenant.
22 His speech is softer than butter,
but war is in his heart.
23 His words are smoother than oil,
but they are drawn swords.
24 Cast your burden upon the Lord,
and he will sustain you;
he will never let the righteous stumble.
25 For you will bring the bloodthirsty and deceitful
down to the pit of destruction, O God.
26 They shall not live out half their days,
but I will put my trust in you.
A Collect for Peace
Eternal God, in whose perfect kingdom no sword is drawn but the sword of righteousness, no strength known but the strength of love: So mightily spread abroad your Spirit, that all peoples may be gathered under the banner of the Prince of Peace, as children of one Father; to whom be dominion and glory, now and for ever. Amen.