Always be joyful, pray continually;
give thanks, whatever happens.
1-3 Dignify those who are down on their luck; you’ll feel good—that’s what God does. God looks after us all, makes us robust with life— Lucky to be in the land, we’re free from enemy worries. Whenever we’re sick and in bed, God becomes our nurse, nurses us back to health. 4-7 I said, “God, be gracious! Put me together again— my sins have torn me to pieces.” My enemies are wishing the worst for me; they make bets on what day I will die. If someone comes to see me, he mouths empty platitudes, All the while gathering gossip about me to entertain the street-corner crowd. These “friends” who hate me whisper slanders all over town. They form committees to plan misery for me. 8-9 The rumor goes out, “He’s got some dirty, deadly disease. The doctors have given up on him.” Even my best friend, the one I always told everything —he ate meals at my house all the time!— has bitten my hand. 10 God, give grace, get me up on my feet. I’ll show them a thing or two. 11-12 Meanwhile, I’m sure you’re on my side— no victory shouts yet from the enemy camp! You know me inside and out, you hold me together, you never fail to stand me tall in your presence so I can look you in the eye. 13 Blessed is God, Israel’s God, always, always, always. Yes. Yes. Yes.
The Armour of God
grant us your wisdom and favour,
give us the grace to cast off the works of darkness
and put on the full armour of God,
now in the time of this mortal life,
Place on us the belt of truth, because you are the way,
and the truth and the life,
the breastplate of righteousness,
because we have no righteousness of our own,
but you became our righteousness on the cross.
Place on us shoes of the Gospel of peace
that we miss no opportunity to share your love with others.
Put on us the shield of faith,
that the fiery darts of the enemy do not harm us in any way.
Put on us the helmet of salvation,
that our minds be protected and renewed daily in You.
Put on us the sword of the Spirit,
which is the word of God;
and may the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ,
the Love of God
and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit
be with us all for ever more.