Prayer for Divine Favor
1For the leader. A psalm of the Korahites.
2You once favored, LORD, your land,
restored the captives of Jacob.a
3You forgave the guilt of your people,
pardoned all their sins.
4You withdrew all your wrath,
turned back from your burning anger.b
5Restore us, God of our salvation;
let go of your displeasure with us.c
6Will you be angry with us forever,
prolong your anger for all generations?d
7Certainly you will again restore our life,
that your people may rejoice in you.
8Show us, LORD, your mercy;
grant us your salvation.
9*I will listen for what God, the LORD, has to say;
surely he will speak of peace
To his people and to his faithful.
May they not turn to foolishness!
10Near indeed is his salvation for those who fear him;
glory will dwell in our land.
11*Love and truth will meet;
justice and peace will kiss.e
12Truth will spring from the earth;
justice will look down from heaven.f
13Yes, the LORD will grant his bounty;
our land will yield its produce.g
14Justice will march before him,
and make a way for his footsteps.
* [Psalm 85] A national lament reminding God of past favors and forgiveness (Ps 85:2–4) and begging for forgiveness and grace now (Ps 85:5–8). A speaker represents the people who wait humbly with open hearts (Ps 85:9–10): God will be active on their behalf (Ps 85:11–13). The situation suggests the conditions of Judea during the early postexilic period, the fifth century B.C.; the thoughts are similar to those of postexilic prophets (Hg 1:5–11; 2:6–9).
* [85:9] The prophet listens to God’s revelation, cf. Heb 2:1.
* [85:11–13] Divine activity is personified as pairs of virtues.
b. [85:4] Ps 78:38; Ex 32:14; Is 48:9.
g. [85:13] Ps 67:7; Lv 26:4; Ez 34:27; Hos 2:23–24; Zec 8:12.