Powerful Prayer for Rescue from Enemies — Psalm 17
“Hear, Lord, my plea for justice;
pay heed to my cry;
Listen to my prayer
from lips without guile.
From You let my vindication come;
Your eyes see what is right.
You have tested my heart,
searched it in the night.
You have tried me by fire,
but find no malice in me.
My mouth has not transgressed
as others often do.
As Your lips have instructed me,
I have kept from the way of the lawless.
My steps have kept to Your paths;
my feet have not faltered.
I call upon You; answer me, O God.
Turn Your ear to me; hear my speech.
Show Your wonderful mercy,
You who deliver with Your right arm
those who seek refuge from their foes.
Keep me as the apple of Your eye;
hide me in the shadow of Your wings
from the wicked who despoil me.
My ravenous enemies press upon me;
they close their hearts,
they fill their mouths with proud roaring.
Their steps even now encircle me;
they watch closely, keeping low to the ground,
Like lions eager for prey,
like a young lion lurking in ambush.
Rise, O Lord, confront and cast them down;
rescue my soul from the wicked.
Slay them with Your sword;
with Your hand, Lord, slay them;
snatch them from the world in their prime.
Their bellies are being filled with Your friends;
their children are satisfied too,
for they share what is left with their young.
I am just—let me see Your face;
when I awake, let me be filled with Your presence.”
Psalm 17 is a powerful prayer to be recited during times of unjust attacks and persecution. When the psalmist was under attack, he did not rely on his own strength; nor did he retreat to his own defenses. Instead, he sought the Lord’s intervention. He knew above all else that he could do nothing apart from God and His will.
If you are being wrongfully persecuted or unfairly treated today, do as King David did and cry out to the Lord. Spend some time prayerfully reciting His own Words to Him (this psalm). In so doing, and by seeking Him first, your faith is on full display — trusting in the Lord alone for help and deliverance — and that faith not only pleases Him, but moves Him to act on your behalf.
What is imprecatory prayer?
Imprecatory Psalms (prayer) are those psalms which invoke judgment, calamity or curses upon one’s enemies or those perceived as enemies of God.
What does the Bible say about your enemies?
In the Gospel of Matthew (Matt. 5:44-45), Jesus directly states: “But I say to you, love your enemies, and pray for those who persecute you … that you may be children of your Heavenly Father, for He makes His sun rise on the bad and the good, and causes rain to fall on the just and the unjust.”