Psalms

PSALM 13*

Prayer for Help

1For the leader. A psalm of David.

I

2How long, LORD? Will you utterly forget me?

How long will you hide your face from me?a

3How long must I carry sorrow in my soul,

grief in my heart day after day?

How long will my enemy triumph over me?

II

4Look upon me, answer me, LORD, my God!

Give light to my eyes lest I sleep in death,

5Lest my enemy say, “I have prevailed,”

lest my foes rejoice at my downfall.b

III

6But I trust in your mercy.

Grant my heart joy in your salvation,

I will sing to the LORD,

for he has dealt bountifully with me!c

* [Psalm 13] A typical lament, in which the psalmist feels forgotten by God (Ps 13:23)—note the force of the repetition of “How long.” The references to enemies may suggest some have wished evil on the psalmist. The heartfelt prayer (Ps 13:45) passes on a statement of trust (Ps 13:6a), intended to reinforce the prayer, and a vow to thank God when deliverance has come (Ps 13:6b).

a. [13:2] Ps 6:4; 44:25; 77:8; 79:5; 89:47; 94:3; Lam 5:20.

b. [13:5] Ps 38:17.

c. [13:6] Ps 116:7.

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