Psalm 55 - Prayer to God by a Persecuted




[New International Version] Psalm 55 belongs to Book II of the Book of Psalms. In this prayer, the Psalmist speaks of the grief and hurt caused by the betrayal and asks God for help to have the courage to face those who cause him so much anguish.

The PS 55 belong to Book II of the book of PS composed of a collection of texts 150 arranged by 5 poetry books. The Book of Psalms, for its wisdom and basic principles of human action , is considered the heart of the Old Testament. Book II comprises the PS 42 the 72 . The PS 55 is divided into 24 verses.

The Psalms are poems-prayers addressed to God, being the privileged way to address and speak to Him. These prayers represent human experiences and religious conscience . They portray the common man , with his faults, insecurities, fears and hopes and, even today, we can identify with the Psalmist and draw inspiration from these texts to pray and plead with God when we feel lost and anguished or to express our gratitude for any blessing received.

“There are enemies or friends, there is life or death, health or illness, pain or joy and, most of the time, there are no changes or gradations. Words are like stones and poetry like boulders carved by chisel”; “The Psalms are a bit like mountain paths, simple, especially when walking on snow, but they lead to the peaks; they are paths toward the peaks of meeting the Lord.” - Carlo Maria Martini, Cardinal of Milan

Psalm 55 - Prayer of the Persecuted

1  To the director. With stringed instruments.
Poem of David .

2  Give ear, O God, to my prayer;
do not hide yourself before my supplication.

3  Pay attention to me and answer me;
I am tormented in my anguish.

4  I am disturbed by the voice of the enemy
and by the oppression of evildoers.
They bring disgrace upon me
and pursue me furiously.

5  My heart tightens in my chest,
and the terrors of death fall upon me.

6  Fear and trembling seize me;
dread covers me completely.

7  And I exclaim, “I wish I had wings like a dove; I
could fly and find shelter.”

8  Yes, he would flee far away
and dwell in the wilderness.

9 I  hastened to seek refuge for myself
from the fury of the wind and the storm.

10  Confuse them, Lord, divide their tongues,
for I have seen much violence and discord in the city.

11  Day and night they roam the walls,
and within the city crime and intrigue reign.

12  Inside it is only calamities;
oppression and fraud do not disappear from their streets.

13  If an adversary offended me, I would endure;
if an enemy rose against me,
I hid from him.

14  But not you, a human being like me,
my friend and confidant!

15  We who shared pleasant secrets together
and excitedly walked to the house of God!

16  Let death fall upon them,
and let them descend alive into the underworld,
for only evils lodge within them.

17  As for me, I address my appeal to God;
and the Lord will save me.

18  In the afternoon, in the morning, and at noon,
I weep and sigh;
and He hears my voice.

19 He  redeemed my soul, putting me in peace;
and approached me,
because against me they were many.

20  God listens to me and will repay them,
for it is He who reigns from the beginning.

They show no signs of mending
nor fear of God.

21 They  raise their hand against their allies
and violate the covenant they have made.

22 They  are softer in mouth than butter,
but they have war in their hearts.
Your words are softer than oil;
but, after all, they are unsheathed swords.

23  Give your care to the Lord and He will support you;
He never allows the righteous to succumb.

24  And Thou, O God, shalt hurl them into the abyss of perdition.
Blood and fake people don’t live half their days.
I, however, trust you.

Meaning and interpretation

The Psalm 55 is a single prayer of supplication . The Psalmist complains of a grief that afflicts him, and feels the urge to escape, fleeing into the desert. The suffering he complains about seems to be due to the betrayal of a very close friend, involved in an environment of great disagreements in the city.

Throughout the Psalm, in addition to affirming his trust in God , he speaks of the consequences and moral lessons of his painful experience. He asks God for courage and confidence to courageously overcome the hurt that afflicts him.

The Psalms of Supplication are very present in the Book of Psalms. They speak of human frailty and the most basic feelings of your mortal condition. Times of peace and plenty contrast with war and individual or community destruction. The Psalmist pleads for God’s help and asks him to end his situation of affliction , ending with the certainty of having been heard .

In spiritual practice, the supplication and request to God reflects a lot the meaning of prayer, being the privileged way to establish contact and raise the voice to the Divine. In numerous Psalms, supplication seems to be the most immediate motivation and the greatest concern. When turning to God, the speaker / Psalmist finds tenderness, justice, compassion, reconciliation, purification, in short, peace itself.

The narratives and feelings involved in these prayers are varied and basic; affect humanity over the millennia, and are still current today. They reflect multiple interior , individual and collective experiences, and the relationship between people and peoples. They address topics such as the deadly threat of disease, persecution, aging, violence, war, betrayal, loneliness, enemy aggression and how these feelings alter consciousness we have of ourselves, of our relationship with others and with God.

Situations that prompt supplication can be bitter and desperate , but the Psalms generally express a state of mind of trust and end in thanksgiving . The Psalmist cries out to God for his help and forgiveness in a profound expression of limitless trust in divine compassion and justice. Even the cry of the Psalmist is already a fighting speech, change will, of inner transformation, confidence and hope for a free future evil, the suffering and the wicked .

The Psalms of Supplication they are classified as individual supplication and collective supplication. Those of Individual Supplication comprise Psalm 3; 5-7; 13; 17; 22; 26; 27; 28; 31; 35; 39; 42-43; 51; 54-57; 59; 61; 63; 64; 69-71; 88; 102; 109; 120; 130; 140-143. and those of  Collective Supplication Ps 12; 44; 58; 60; 74; 80; 83; 85; 90; 94; 108; 123; 127.

The Book of Psalms

The Joy and Happiness of the Righteous in Communion with God

The Psalms are prayer-poems addressed to God, being the privileged way to address and speak with Him. Depicting the common man , with his failures, insecurities, fears and hopes, we can still identify with the Psalmist and be inspired today in Psalms to make prayers and supplications to God in times of trouble or express our gratitude for some blessing received.

The Psalms, despite being written in Antiquity, still move , sensitize , awaken feelings , inspire and enchant . In them, we can identify anguish and joy , deeply human feelings, praises, supplications, teachings of reflection on spiritual wisdom and prophetic words.

Written for different situations , some Psalms are intimate, revealing the author’s personal relationship with God; others provide guidelines and advice for life, others are compositions for specific liturgical events such as rituals and pilgrimages.

The Book of Psalms is composed of a collection of 150 poetic texts and is divided into five parts, called Psalm Books or Booklets. Each Book closes with short hymns of praise to God . The division into five parts was considered to correspond to the five books of Moses and it is assumed that each passage in the Pentateuch (first five books of the Bible, called Torah by the Jews) was read in parallel with the corresponding Psalm. Its main forms are lamentation , supplication , praise, and gratitude .

The Power of Prayer in Dialogue with the Divine

The Psalms elevate our thoughts to the Divine and prayer is the power of the word . Prayer is the language of faith. Any thought, word or image addressed to God is called prayer . It is through it that we come into contact with our God within and, therefore, it is so powerful in transforming life . Prayer can produce miracles , turn dreams into reality, give us hope for change , harmony and peace with ourselves and the world.

Each Psalm has an intention that helps us meditate and walk with our God . For many theologians, the Book of Psalms has a prophetic or messianic tone as its verses refer to the coming of Christ into the world of men to guide them through the uncertainty and doubts of Human existence.

The prayer has the power to call the Spiritual Universe full mode, honest, sincere, conscious, for the purpose of spiritual self-protection, family protection and those who are dear to us, to have peace of mind, spiritual and physical, for prosperity and success, to protect health and relationships, to ward off negative energies and, above all, to connect us to something bigger than ourselves. From this peace , well-being, hope and goodness in front of everyone and everything result.

The faith can change our lives. It gives us tranquility and spiritual strength to face challenges. It helps us to meditate on our mission in life and to create a balanced and healthy environment for ourselves and those we love. When you pray, fill your heart with love and determination . The Psalms will guide you on a path of peace and communion with the higher energy.