David’s Prayer

David’s Prayer for Protection Psalm 3[a]

A psalm of David. When he fled from his son Absalom.

Lord, how many are my foes!
    How many rise up against me!
Many are saying of me,
    “God will not deliver him.”[b]

But you, Lord, are a shield around me,
    my glory, the One who lifts my head high.
I call out to the Lord,
    and he answers me from his holy mountain.

I lie down and sleep;
    I wake again, because the Lord sustains me.
I will not fear though tens of thousands
    assail me on every side.

Arise, Lord!
    Deliver me, my God!
Strike all my enemies on the jaw;
    break the teeth of the wicked.

From the Lord comes deliverance.
    May your blessing be on your people.

Footnotes:

  1. Psalm 3:1 In Hebrew texts 3:1-8 is numbered 3:2-9.
  2. Psalm 3:2 The Hebrew has Selah (a word of uncertain meaning) here and at the end of verses 4 and 8.

David’s Prayer for Favor Psalm 4[a]

For the director of music. With stringed instruments. A psalm of David.

Answer me when I call to you,
    my righteous God.
Give me relief from my distress;
    have mercy on me and hear my prayer.

How long will you people turn my glory into shame?
    How long will you love delusions and seek false gods[b]?[c]
Know that the Lord has set apart his faithful servant for himself;
    the Lord hears when I call to him.

Tremble and[d] do not sin;
    when you are on your beds,
    search your hearts and be silent.
Offer the sacrifices of the righteous
    and trust in the Lord.

Many, Lord, are asking, “Who will bring us prosperity?”
    Let the light of your face shine on us.
Fill my heart with joy
    when their grain and new wine abound.

In peace I will lie down and sleep,
    for you alone, Lord,
    make me dwell in safety.

Footnotes:

  1. Psalm 4:1 In Hebrew texts 4:1-8 is numbered 4:2-9.
  2. Psalm 4:2 Or seek lies
  3. Psalm 4:2 The Hebrew has Selah (a word of uncertain meaning) here and at the end of verse 4.
  4. Psalm 4:4 Or In your anger (see Septuagint)

David’s Prayer for Guidance Psalm 5[a]

For the director of music. For pipes. A psalm of David.

Listen to my words, Lord,
    consider my lament.
Hear my cry for help,
    my King and my God,
    for to you I pray.

In the morning, Lord, you hear my voice;
    in the morning I lay my requests before you
    and wait expectantly.
For you are not a God who is pleased with wickedness;
    with you, evil people are not welcome.
The arrogant cannot stand
    in your presence.
You hate all who do wrong;
    you destroy those who tell lies.
The bloodthirsty and deceitful
    you, Lord, detest.
But I, by your great love,
    can come into your house;
in reverence I bow down
    toward your holy temple.

Lead me, Lord, in your righteousness
    because of my enemies—
    make your way straight before me.
Not a word from their mouth can be trusted;
    their heart is filled with malice.
Their throat is an open grave;
    with their tongues they tell lies.
10 Declare them guilty, O God!
    Let their intrigues be their downfall.
Banish them for their many sins,
    for they have rebelled against you.
11 But let all who take refuge in you be glad;
    let them ever sing for joy.
Spread your protection over them,
    that those who love your name may rejoice in you.

12 Surely, Lord, you bless the righteous;
    you surround them with your favor as with a shield.

Footnotes:

  1. Psalm 5:1 In Hebrew texts 5:1-12 is numbered 5:2-13.

David’s Prayer for Mercy Psalm 6[a]

For the director of music. With stringed instruments. According to sheminith.[b] A psalm of David.

Lord, do not rebuke me in your anger
    or discipline me in your wrath.
Have mercy on me, Lord, for I am faint;
    heal me, Lord, for my bones are in agony.
My soul is in deep anguish.
    How long, Lord, how long?

Turn, Lord, and deliver me;
    save me because of your unfailing love.
Among the dead no one proclaims your name.
    Who praises you from the grave?

I am worn out from my groaning.

All night long I flood my bed with weeping
    and drench my couch with tears.
My eyes grow weak with sorrow;
    they fail because of all my foes.

Away from me, all you who do evil,
    for the Lord has heard my weeping.
The Lord has heard my cry for mercy;
    the Lord accepts my prayer.
10 All my enemies will be overwhelmed with shame and anguish;
    they will turn back and suddenly be put to shame.

Footnotes:

  1. Psalm 6:1 In Hebrew texts 6:1-10 is numbered 6:2-11.
  2. Psalm 6:1 Title: Probably a musical term

David’s Prayer from Persecution Psalm 7[a]

shiggaion[b] of David, which he sang to the Lord concerning Cush, a Benjamite.

Lord my God, I take refuge in you;
    save and deliver me from all who pursue me,
or they will tear me apart like a lion
    and rip me to pieces with no one to rescue me.

Lord my God, if I have done this
    and there is guilt on my hands—
if I have repaid my ally with evil
    or without cause have robbed my foe—
then let my enemy pursue and overtake me;
    let him trample my life to the ground
    and make me sleep in the dust.[c]

Arise, Lord, in your anger;
    rise up against the rage of my enemies.
    Awake, my God; decree justice.
Let the assembled peoples gather around you,
    while you sit enthroned over them on high.
    Let the Lord judge the peoples.
Vindicate me, Lord, according to my righteousness,
    according to my integrity, O Most High.
Bring to an end the violence of the wicked
    and make the righteous secure—
you, the righteous God
    who probes minds and hearts.

10 My shield[d] is God Most High,
    who saves the upright in heart.
11 God is a righteous judge,
    a God who displays his wrath every day.
12 If he does not relent,
    he[e] will sharpen his sword;
    he will bend and string his bow.
13 He has prepared his deadly weapons;
    he makes ready his flaming arrows.

14 Whoever is pregnant with evil
    conceives trouble and gives birth to disillusionment.
15 Whoever digs a hole and scoops it out
    falls into the pit they have made.
16 The trouble they cause recoils on them;
    their violence comes down on their own heads.

17 I will give thanks to the Lord because of his righteousness;
    I will sing the praises of the name of the Lord Most High.

Footnotes:

  1. Psalm 7:1 In Hebrew texts 7:1-17 is numbered 7:2-18.
  2. Psalm 7:1 Title: Probably a literary or musical term
  3. Psalm 7:5 The Hebrew has Selah (a word of uncertain meaning) here.
  4. Psalm 7:10 Or sovereign
  5. Psalm 7:12 Or If anyone does not repent, / God

David’s Prayer for God’s Help Psalm 13[a]

For the director of music. A psalm of David.

How long, Lord? Will you forget me forever?
    How long will you hide your face from me?
How long must I wrestle with my thoughts
    and day after day have sorrow in my heart?
    How long will my enemy triumph over me?

Look on me and answer, Lord my God.
    Give light to my eyes, or I will sleep in death,
and my enemy will say, “I have overcome him,”
    and my foes will rejoice when I fall.

But I trust in your unfailing love;
    my heart rejoices in your salvation.
I will sing the Lord’s praise,
    for he has been good to me.

Footnotes:

  1. Psalm 13:1 In Hebrew texts 13:1-6 is numbered 13:2-6.

David’s Prayer Psalm 23

A psalm of David.

The Lord is my shepherd, I lack nothing.
    He makes me lie down in green pastures,
he leads me beside quiet waters,
    he refreshes my soul.
He guides me along the right paths
    for his name’s sake.
Even though I walk
    through the darkest valley,[a]
I will fear no evil,
    for you are with me;
your rod and your staff,
    they comfort me.

You prepare a table before me
    in the presence of my enemies.
You anoint my head with oil;
    my cup overflows.
Surely your goodness and love will follow me
    all the days of my life,
and I will dwell in the house of the Lord
    forever.

Footnotes:

  1. Psalm 23:4 Or the valley of the shadow of death

David’s Prayer For Trust Psalm 25[a]

Of David.

In you, Lord my God,
    I put my trust.

I trust in you;
    do not let me be put to shame,
    nor let my enemies triumph over me.
No one who hopes in you
    will ever be put to shame,
but shame will come on those
    who are treacherous without cause.

Show me your ways, Lord,
    teach me your paths.
Guide me in your truth and teach me,
    for you are God my Savior,
    and my hope is in you all day long.
Remember, Lord, your great mercy and love,
    for they are from of old.
Do not remember the sins of my youth
    and my rebellious ways;
according to your love remember me,
    for you, Lord, are good.

Good and upright is the Lord;
    therefore he instructs sinners in his ways.
He guides the humble in what is right
    and teaches them his way.
10 All the ways of the Lord are loving and faithful
    toward those who keep the demands of his covenant.
11 For the sake of your name, Lord,
    forgive my iniquity, though it is great.

12 Who, then, are those who fear the Lord?
    He will instruct them in the ways they should choose.[b]
13 They will spend their days in prosperity,
    and their descendants will inherit the land.
14 The Lord confides in those who fear him;
    he makes his covenant known to them.
15 My eyes are ever on the Lord,
    for only he will release my feet from the snare.

16 Turn to me and be gracious to me,
    for I am lonely and afflicted.
17 Relieve the troubles of my heart
    and free me from my anguish.
18 Look on my affliction and my distress
    and take away all my sins.
19 See how numerous are my enemies
    and how fiercely they hate me!

20 Guard my life and rescue me;
    do not let me be put to shame,
    for I take refuge in you.
21 May integrity and uprightness protect me,
    because my hope, Lord,[c] is in you.

22 Deliver Israel, O God,
    from all their troubles!

Footnotes:

  1. Psalm 25:1 This psalm is an acrostic poem, the verses of which begin with the successive letters of the Hebrew alphabet.
  2. Psalm 25:12 Or ways he chooses
  3. Psalm 25:21 Septuagint; Hebrew does not have Lord.

David’s Prayer & Fasting Psalm 35

Of David.

Contend, Lord, with those who contend with me;
    fight against those who fight against me.
Take up shield and armor;
    arise and come to my aid.
Brandish spear and javelin[a]
    against those who pursue me.
Say to me,
    “I am your salvation.”

May those who seek my life
    be disgraced and put to shame;
may those who plot my ruin
    be turned back in dismay.
May they be like chaff before the wind,
    with the angel of the Lord driving them away;
may their path be dark and slippery,
    with the angel of the Lord pursuing them.

Since they hid their net for me without cause
    and without cause dug a pit for me,
may ruin overtake them by surprise—
    may the net they hid entangle them,
    may they fall into the pit, to their ruin.
Then my soul will rejoice in the Lord
    and delight in his salvation.
10 My whole being will exclaim,
    “Who is like you, Lord?
You rescue the poor from those too strong for them,
    the poor and needy from those who rob them.”

11 Ruthless witnesses come forward;
    they question me on things I know nothing about.
12 They repay me evil for good
    and leave me like one bereaved.
13 Yet when they were ill, I put on sackcloth
    and humbled myself with fasting.
When my prayers returned to me unanswered,
14     I went about mourning
    as though for my friend or brother.
I bowed my head in grief
    as though weeping for my mother.
15 But when I stumbled, they gathered in glee;
    assailants gathered against me without my knowledge.
    They slandered me without ceasing.
16 Like the ungodly they maliciously mocked;[b]
    they gnashed their teeth at me.

17 How long, Lord, will you look on?
    Rescue me from their ravages,
    my precious life from these lions.
18 I will give you thanks in the great assembly;
    among the throngs I will praise you.
19 Do not let those gloat over me
    who are my enemies without cause;
do not let those who hate me without reason
    maliciously wink the eye.
20 They do not speak peaceably,
    but devise false accusations
    against those who live quietly in the land.
21 They sneer at me and say, “Aha! Aha!
    With our own eyes we have seen it.”

22 Lord, you have seen this; do not be silent.
    Do not be far from me, Lord.
23 Awake, and rise to my defense!
    Contend for me, my God and Lord.
24 Vindicate me in your righteousness, Lord my God;
    do not let them gloat over me.
25 Do not let them think, “Aha, just what we wanted!”
    or say, “We have swallowed him up.”

26 May all who gloat over my distress
    be put to shame and confusion;
may all who exalt themselves over me
    be clothed with shame and disgrace.
27 May those who delight in my vindication
    shout for joy and gladness;
may they always say, “The Lord be exalted,
    who delights in the well-being of his servant.”

28 My tongue will proclaim your righteousness,
    your praises all day long.

Footnotes:

  1. Psalm 35:3 Or and block the way
  2. Psalm 35:16 Septuagint; Hebrew may mean Like an ungodly circle of mockers,

David’s Prayer For Forgiveness Psalm 51[a]

For the director of music. A psalm of David. When the prophet Nathan came to him after David had committed adultery with Bathsheba.

Have mercy on me, O God,
    according to your unfailing love;
according to your great compassion
    blot out my transgressions.
Wash away all my iniquity
    and cleanse me from my sin.

For I know my transgressions,
    and my sin is always before me.
Against you, you only, have I sinned
    and done what is evil in your sight;
so you are right in your verdict
    and justified when you judge.
Surely I was sinful at birth,
    sinful from the time my mother conceived me.
Yet you desired faithfulness even in the womb;
    you taught me wisdom in that secret place.

Cleanse me with hyssop, and I will be clean;
    wash me, and I will be whiter than snow.
Let me hear joy and gladness;
    let the bones you have crushed rejoice.
Hide your face from my sins
    and blot out all my iniquity.

10 Create in me a pure heart, O God,
    and renew a steadfast spirit within me.
11 Do not cast me from your presence
    or take your Holy Spirit from me.
12 Restore to me the joy of your salvation
    and grant me a willing spirit, to sustain me.

13 Then I will teach transgressors your ways,
    so that sinners will turn back to you.
14 Deliver me from the guilt of bloodshed, O God,
    you who are God my Savior,
    and my tongue will sing of your righteousness.
15 Open my lips, Lord,
    and my mouth will declare your praise.
16 You do not delight in sacrifice, or I would bring it;
    you do not take pleasure in burnt offerings.
17 My sacrifice, O God, is[b] a broken spirit;
    a broken and contrite heart
    you, God, will not despise.

18 May it please you to prosper Zion,
    to build up the walls of Jerusalem.
19 Then you will delight in the sacrifices of the righteous,
    in burnt offerings offered whole;
    then bulls will be offered on your altar.

Footnotes:

  1. Psalm 51:1 In Hebrew texts 51:1-19 is numbered 51:3-21.
  2. Psalm 51:17 Or The sacrifices of God are

Book of Psalms Chapter 64

64:1 Hear my voice, O God, in my prayer: preserve my life from fear of the enemy.

64:2 Hide me from the secret counsel of the wicked; from the insurrection of the workers of iniquity:

64:3 Who whet their tongue like a sword, and bend their bows to shoot their arrows, even bitter words:

64:4 That they may shoot in secret at the perfect: suddenly do they shoot at him, and fear not.

64:5 They encourage themselves in an evil matter: they commune of laying snares privily; they say, Who shall see them?

64:6 They search out iniquities; they accomplish a diligent search: both the inward thought of every one of them, and the heart, is deep.

64:7 But God shall shoot at them with an arrow; suddenly shall they be wounded.

64:8 So they shall make their own tongue to fall upon themselves: all that see them shall flee away.

64:9 And all men shall fear, and shall declare the work of God; for they shall wisely consider of his doing.

64:10 The righteous shall be glad in the LORD, and shall trust in him; and all the upright in heart shall glory

Book of Psalms Chapter 140

140:1 Deliver me, O LORD, from the evil man: preserve me from the violent man;

140:2 Which imagine mischiefs in their heart; continually are they gathered together for war.

140:3 They have sharpened their tongues like a serpent; adders’ poison is under their lips. Selah.

140:4 Keep me, O LORD, from the hands of the wicked; preserve me from the violent man; who have purposed to overthrow my goings.

140:5 The proud have hid a snare for me, and cords; they have spread a net by the wayside; they have set gins for me. Selah.

140:6 I said unto the LORD, Thou art my God: hear the voice of my supplications, O LORD.

140:7 O GOD the Lord, the strength of my salvation, thou hast covered my head in the day of battle.

140:8 Grant not, O LORD, the desires of the wicked: further not his wicked device; lest they exalt themselves. Selah.

140:9 As for the head of those that compass me about, let the mischief of their own lips cover them.

140:10 Let burning coals fall upon them: let them be cast into the fire; into deep pits, that they rise not up again.

140:11 Let not an evil speaker be established in the earth: evil shall hunt the violent man to overthrow him.

140:12 I know that the LORD will maintain the cause of the afflicted, and the right of the poor.

140:13 Surely the righteous shall give thanks unto thy name: the upright shall dwell in thy presence.

Book of 2 Samuel

7:18 Then went king David in, and sat before the LORD, and he said, Who am I, O Lord GOD? and what is my house, that thou hast brought me hitherto?

7:19 And this was yet a small thing in thy sight, O Lord GOD; but thou hast spoken also of thy servant’s house for a great while to come. And is this the manner of man, O Lord GOD?

7:20 And what can David say more unto thee? for thou, Lord GOD, knowest thy servant.

7:21 For thy word’s sake, and according to thine own heart, hast thou done all these great things, to make thy servant know them.

7:22 Wherefore thou art great, O LORD God: for there is none like thee, neither is there any God beside thee, according to all that we have heard with our ears.

7:23 And what one nation in the earth is like thy people, even like Israel, whom God went to redeem for a people to himself, and to make him a name, and to do for you great things and terrible, for thy land, before thy people, which thou redeemedst to thee from Egypt, from the nations and their gods?

7:24 For thou hast confirmed to thyself thy people Israel to be a people unto thee for ever: and thou, LORD, art become their God.

7:25 And now, O LORD God, the word that thou hast spoken concerning thy servant, and concerning his house, establish it for ever, and do as thou hast said.

7:26 And let thy name be magnified for ever, saying, The LORD of hosts is the God over Israel: and let the house of thy servant David be established before thee.

7:27 For thou, O LORD of hosts, God of Israel, hast revealed to thy servant, saying, I will build thee an house: therefore hath thy servant found in his heart to pray this prayer unto thee.

7:28 And now, O Lord GOD, thou art that God, and thy words be true, and thou hast promised this goodness unto thy servant:

7:29 Therefore now let it please thee to bless the house of thy servant, that it may continue for ever before thee: for thou, O Lord GOD, hast spoken it: and with thy blessing let the house of thy servant be blessed for ever.

Prayer for Mercy, with Meditation on the Excellencies of the Lord

A Prayer of David.

86:1 Bow down Your ear, O Lord, hear me;
For I am poor and needy.
86:2 Preserve my [a]life, for I am holy;
You are my God;
Save Your servant who trusts in You!
86:3 Be merciful to me, O Lord,
For I cry to You all day long.
86:4 Rejoice the soul of Your servant,
For to You, O Lord, I lift up my soul.
86:5 For You, Lord, are good, and ready to forgive,
And abundant in mercy to all those who call upon You.

86:6 Give ear, O Lord, to my prayer;
And attend to the voice of my supplications.
86:7 In the day of my trouble I will call upon You,
For You will answer me.

86:8 Among the gods there is none like You, O Lord;
Nor are there any works like Your works.
86:9 All nations whom You have made
Shall come and worship before You, O Lord,
And shall glorify Your name.
86:10 For You are great, and do wondrous things;
You alone are God.

86:11 Teach me Your way, O Lord;
I will walk in Your truth;
[c]Unite my heart to fear Your name.
86:12 I will praise You, O Lord my God, with all my heart,
And I will glorify Your name forevermore.
86:13 For great is Your mercy toward me,
And You have delivered my soul from the depths of [d]Sheol.

86:14 O God, the proud have risen against me,
And a mob of violent men have sought my life,
And have not set You before them.
86:15 But You, O Lord, are a God full of compassion, and gracious,
Long suffering and abundant in mercy and truth.

86:16 Oh, turn to me, and have mercy on me!
Give Your strength to Your servant,
And save the son of Your maidservant.
86:17 Show me a sign for good,
That those who hate me may see it and be ashamed,
Because You, Lord, have helped me and comforted me.


Trusting in God, looking to Him, and enjoying God’s life

David was a man who trusted in God and looked to Him (1 Samuel 17:37, 45; 30:6). The secret of David’s life was that he desired to dwell continually in the house of God and to behold His beauty (Psalms 27:4, 8, 14). This means that he enjoyed the presence of God. Moreover, he enjoyed God as the fatness and as the river of joy (Psalms 36:8-9). David said, “With thee is the fountain of life.” This proves that even in ancient times David enjoyed God’s life as the tree of life and as the river flowing within him. This enjoyment of God made him such a great king among the children of Israel.


The Prayer of David (Dawud in Islam)

David’s Fasting and Praying

David fasted every other day. ‘Abdullah Ibn Amr Ibn Al-As narrated: “Allah’s Apostle said to me: ‘The most beloved fasting to Allah was the fasting of (the Prophet) David, who used to fast alternate days. And the most beloved prayer to Allah was the prayer of David, who used to sleep for (the first) half of the night and pray for one third of it and (again) sleep for a sixth of it.”

Abdullah Ibn Amr Ibn Al-As also narrated: ‘The Prophet said to me: ‘I have been informed that you pray all the nights and observe fast all the days; is this true?’ I replied: ‘Yes.’ He said: ‘If you do so, your eyes will be weak and you will get bored. So fast three days a month, for this will be the fasting of a whole year. (Or equal to the fasting of a whole year).’ I said: ‘I find myself able to fast more.’ He said: ‘Then fast like the fasting of (the Prophet) David who used to fast on alternate days and would not flee on facing the enemy.”


David mourning the death of Absalom, by Gustave Doré

David (דָּוִד) is described in the Hebrew Bible as the second king of the United Kingdom of Israel and Judah after Saul and Ish-bosheth.

In the biblical narrative, David is a young shepherd who gains fame first as a musician and later by killing the enemy champion Goliath. He becomes a favorite of King Saul and a close friend of Saul’s son Jonathan. Worried that David is trying to take his throne, Saul turns on David. After Saul and Jonathan are killed in battle, David is anointed as King. David conquers Jerusalem, taking the Ark of the Covenant into the city, and establishing the kingdom founded by Saul. As king, David commits adultery with Bathsheba, leading him to arrange the death of her husband Uriah the Hittite. Because of this sin, God denies David the opportunity to build the temple, and his son Absalom tries to overthrow him. David flees Jerusalem during Absalom’s rebellion, but after Absalom’s death he returns to the city to rule Israel. Before his peaceful death, he chooses his son Solomon as successor. He is honored in the prophetic literature as an ideal king and an ancestor of a future Messiah, and many psalms are ascribed to him.

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