A model prayer for victims of abuse — Psalm 109
[September 8, 2022: There have been some changes made to this post. For more information, read the Editors’ notes at the bottom of the post. Editors.]
1 God of my praise, do not be silent.
2 For wicked and deceitful mouths open against me;
they speak against me with lying tongues.
3 They surround me with hateful words
and attack me without cause.
4 In return for my love they accuse me,
but I continue to pray.
5 They repay me evil for good,
and hatred for my love.
David now prays that God will afflict his abuser:
(Psalm 109:6-9, 11-12, 14-15)
6 Set a wicked person over him;
let an accuser stand at his right hand.
7 When he is judged, let him be found guilty,
and let his prayer be counted as sin.
8 Let his days be few;
let another take over his position.
9 Let his children be fatherless
and his wife a widow….
11 Let a creditor seize all he has;
let strangers plunder what he has worked for.
12 Let no one show him kindness….
14 Let his ancestors’ guilt
be remembered before the LORD,
and do not let his mother’s sin be blotted out.
15 Let their sins always remain before the LORD,
and let Him erase all memory of them from the earth.
David now describes in more detail the abuser’s wicked behaviour, showing why his prayer request is justified:
16 For he did not think to show kindness,
but pursued the afflicted, poor, and brokenhearted
in order to put them to death.
17 He loved cursing — let it fall on him;
he took no delight in blessing — let it be far from him.
18 He wore cursing like his coat —
let it enter his body like water
and go into his bones like oil.
19 Let it be like a robe he wraps around himself,
like a belt he always wears.
20 Let this be the LORD’s payment to my accusers,
to those who speak evil against me.
David now laments by pouring out his suffering and distress:
21 But You, Yahweh my Lord,
deal kindly with me because of Your name;
deliver me because of the goodness of Your faithful love.
22 For I am afflicted and needy;
my heart is wounded within me.
23 I fade away like a lengthening shadow;
I am shaken off like a locust.
24 My knees are weak from fasting,
and my body is emaciated.
25 I have become an object of ridicule to my accusers
when they see me, they shake their heads in scorn.
And lastly, David affirms God’s goodness and faithfulness:
26 Help me, LORD my God;
save me according to Your faithful love
27 so they may know that this is Your hand
and that You, LORD, have done it.
28 Though they curse, You will bless.
When they rise up, they will be put to shame,
but Your servant will rejoice.
29 My accusers will be clothed with disgrace;
they will wear their shame like a cloak.
30 I will fervently thank the LORD with my mouth;
I will praise Him in the presence of many.
31 For He stands at the right hand of the needy
to save him from those who would condemn him.
Psalm 109, Holman Christian Standard Bible
A Davidic psalm.
[September 8, 2022: Editors’ notes:
—For some comments made prior to September 8, 2022 that quoted from the post, the text in the comment that was quoted from the post might no longer be an exact match.
—For some comments made prior to September 8, 2022 that quoted from the post, the text in the comment that was quoted from the post might no longer be found in the post.
If you would like to compare the text in the comments made prior to September 8, 2022 that quoted from the post to the post as it is now (September 8, 2022), click here [Internet Archive link] for the most recent Internet Archive copy of the post.]