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A Prayer for Help

10 Why are you far away, Lord?
    Why do you hide yourself
    when I am in trouble?
Proud and brutal people
    hunt down the poor.
    But let them get caught
    by their own evil plans!

The wicked brag about
    their deepest desires.
    Those greedy people hate
    and curse you, Lord.
The wicked are too proud
to turn to you
    or even think about you.
They are always successful,
though they can’t understand
    your teachings,
    and they keep sneering
    at their enemies.

In their hearts they say,
    “Nothing can hurt us!
    We’ll always be happy
    and free from trouble.”
They curse and tell lies,
and all they talk about
    is how to be cruel
    or how to do wrong.

They hide outside villages,
    waiting to strike and murder
    some innocent victim.
They are hungry lions
    hiding in the bushes,
    hoping to catch
    some helpless passerby.
They trap the poor in nets
    and drag them away.
10 They crouch down and wait
    to grab a victim.
11     They say, “God can’t see!
    He’s got on a blindfold.”

12 Do something, Lord God,
    and use your powerful arm
    to help those in need.
13 The wicked don’t respect you.
    In their hearts they say,
    “God won’t punish us!”

14 But you see the trouble
and the distress,
    and you will do something.
The poor can count on you,
    and so can orphans.
15 Now break the arms
    of all merciless people.
    Punish them for doing wrong
    and make them stop.

16 Our Lord, you will always rule,
    but nations will vanish
    from the earth.
17 You listen to the longings
    of those who suffer.
You offer them hope,
    and you pay attention
    to their cries for help.
18 You defend orphans
    and everyone else in need,
    so that no one on earth
    can terrify others again.

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