Monday, March 19, 2007

Prayer of Praise

O God, Truly you are good to your people, to those who are pure in heart.
But as for us, our feet had almost stumbled, our steps had nearly slipped.

For we were envious of the arrogant when we saw the prosperity of the wicked.
For they have no pangs until death; their bodies are fat and sleek.
They are not in trouble as others are; they are not stricken like the rest of mankind.
Therefore pride is their necklace; violence covers them as a garment.
Their eyes swell out through fatness; their hearts overflow with follies.
They scoff and speak with malice; loftily they threaten oppression.
They set their mouths against the heavens, and their tongue struts through the earth.
Therefore your people turn back to them, and find no fault in them.
And they say, “How can God know? Is there knowledge in the Most High?”

Behold, these are the wicked; always at ease, they increase in riches.
All in vain have we kept our heart clean and washed our hands in innocence.
For all the day long we have been stricken and rebuked every morning.
If we had said, “we will speak thus,” we would have betrayed the generation of your children.
But when we thought how to understand this, it seemed to us a wearisome task,
until we went into your sanctuary O God; then we discerned their end.

Truly you set them in slippery places; you make them fall to ruin.
How they are destroyed in a moment, swept away utterly by terrors!
Like a dream when one awakes, O Lord, when you rouse yourself, you despise them as phantoms.
When our soul was embittered, when we were pricked in heart, we were brutish and ignorant; we were like a beast toward you.
Nevertheless, we are continually with you; you hold our right hand.
You guide us with your counsel, and afterward you will receive us to glory.

Who have we in heaven but you? There is nothing on earth that we desire besides you.
Our flesh and our heart may fail, but you, O Lord, are the strength of our heart and our portion forever.
For behold, those who are far from you shall perish; you put an end to everyone who is unfaithful to you.
But for us it is good to be near you Mighty God; we have made the Lord GOD our refuge, that we may tell of all your works. And Amen!

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