Prayer to Marduk for Protection Against Enemies

This is a story of what happened before anything happened,
when Tiamat rose against the gods,
the great emptiness threatening to swallow them all.
The gods, defeated, huddled fearfully in their shining halls.
Desperate, they turned to the great champion,
the caster of the thunderbolt,
supreme in war:
Marduk!
They prayed to him for help.
Can you imagine it, the gods praying?
In fear the great ones came to him,
asking him to save them from the Great Deep.
The Roaring One, with lightning playing around his head,
the Arrogant One,
agreed with their prayer.
He promised to save them,
but asked something in return.
(He deserved it, he who was to set his face against all-encompassing darkness.)
This is what he asked:
the kingship of all, gods and men.
He did not, actually, ask this:
he demanded it, as would only be fair for one who could stand up to the Abyss.
And how could the gods refuse him?
They of great might were cowering in fear,
dreading the smothering sea,
greatly fearing Tiamat;
how could they say no?
They gave it to him, then,
the kingship, the lordship over gods and men.
With relief they put it into his hands,
singing in joy for the strength of Marduk.
He took up his mace and set forth.
Terrible was he to see.
Humans could not have borne the sight,
so strongly did the light of heaven shine from him.
His mace was lightning, his feet shook heaven.
With his quick-striking mace he lashed out.
He killed Apsu, who foolishly sought to stand in his way,
seeking to protect Tiamat.
Cruelly she had sent him out to face the world ruling hero,
and Marduk slew him, quickly and easily.
It was no great work for the Great One;
a little thing, like brushing aside an insect that sought to bite him.
Then, with her hero gone (could he really be called a hero? Marduk showed what a hero really was),
Tiamat herself came against Marduk,
putting herself at risk.
Stretching wide her mouth, he killed her too.
The one who had cast dark fears on the hearts of the gods
died under the flashing power of Marduk.
He made short work of her, the Great Champion.
He split her wide open and formed from her earth and sky, and all between it.
He formed land and water, and men to serve the gods.
From emptiness, he formed presence,
from Chaos, there rose Cosmos under his extended hand.
The gods, seeing his complete victory over she whom they had feared,
gladly put into his keeping the lordship over all,
over gods and men.
They made him willingly, with gratitude for the great deed he had done,
the great king, to rule forever.
Those who know this,
those people, those lands,
that recognize his power,
are given his protection and blessings.
His mace is withheld from them,
and turned instead against their enemies.
That is why we turn with confidence to Marduk.
We have poured out beer to the Great Champion,
dutifully worshiped him,
and he will place his hand over us.
Marduk! King! Champion! Warrior! Hero!
If our words today have pleased you
If the offered beer has inflamed your heart
Remember us.
May our names not pass from your mind.
When you distribute blessings, hold us in your thoughts.
When you seek to punish, though,
when your mace urges you to cast it,
then forget us.
May we be hidden from your sight and from your memory.
Or, if you remember us,
may it be only to strike our enemies.
Marduk,
we have been loyal servants to you:
Be a good king over us.