(A special psalm by Asaph.)
A Prayer for the Nation in Times of Trouble
1 Our God, why have you
completely rejected us?
Why are you so angry
with the ones you care for?
2 Remember the people
you rescued long ago,
the tribe you chose
for your very own.

Think of Mount Zion,
your home;
3 walk over to the temple
left in ruins forever
by those who hate us.

4 Your enemies roared like lions
in your holy temple,
and they have placed
their banners there.
5 It looks like a forest
chopped to pieces.
6 They used axes and hatchets
to smash the carvings.
7 They burned down your temple
and badly disgraced it.
8 They said to themselves,
“We'll crush them!”
Then they burned every one
of your meeting places
all over the country.
9 There are no more miracles
and no more prophets.
Who knows how long
it will be like this?

10 Our God, how much longer
will our enemies sneer?
Won't they ever stop
insulting you?
11 Why don't you punish them?
Why are you holding back?

12 Our God and King,
you have ruled
since ancient times;
you have won victories
everywhere on this earth.
13 By your power you made a path
through the sea,
and you smashed the heads
of sea monsters.
14 You crushed the heads
of the monster Leviathan,
then fed him to wild creatures
in the desert.
15 You opened the ground
for streams and springs
and dried up mighty rivers.
16 You rule the day and the night,
and you put the moon
and the sun in place.
17 You made summer and winter
and gave them to the earth.

18 Remember your enemies, Lord!
They foolishly sneer
and won't respect you.
19 You treat us like pet doves,
but they mistreat us.
Don't keep forgetting us
and letting us be fed
to those wild animals.
20 Remember the agreement
you made with us.
Violent enemies are hiding
in every dark corner
of the earth.
21 Don't disappoint those in need
or make them turn from you,
but help the poor and homeless
to shout your praises.
22 Do something, God!
Defend yourself.
Remember how those fools
sneer at you all day long.
23 Don't forget the loud shouts
of your enemies.