Augustine. Exposition on the Book of Psalms. Schaff, Philip (editor). New York: Christian Literature Publishing Co, 1886. Nicene and Post-Nicene Church Fathers: Series 1: Volume VIII. Re-published 2014, Catholic Way Publishing. Kindle electronic edition, ISBN-13: 978-1-78379-372-3.
Augustine applies Psalm 143, though by David and set when he was pursued by his son, to speak of Christ when he was suffering persecution (Augustine Psalms, loc. 342329, par. 1). Therefore, in verse one, he sees it as a call from God the Son to the Father, asking that He would hear him. It is out of God's righteousness that prayers are heard, not from our own righteousness (Augustine Psalms, loc. 342339, par. 2). Realizing this, all our prayers ask the righteous God not to enter judgment against us (v. 2).
The reality of persecution appears in verse three, as Augustine sees the devil as active not only in persecuting Jesus but also in continuing to attack the Church (Augustine Psalms, loc. 342359, par. 4). Verses four and five speak of the weariness caused as we face persecution. Again, Augustine finds this significant of both Christ and His people, as verse five depicts a retrospective in time, not only the particular time of Jesus' earthly ministry in Palestine (Augustine Psalms, loc. 342375, par. 6).
Verse six speaks of reaching out to God, as a dry land in need of rain. Augustine reflects that we thirst for God (Augustine Psalms, loc. 342388, par. 7) and that we eagerly need God to hear us (v. 7). Augustine discusses this need in terms of the presence of God. When we act in arrogance, God turns his face from us. We become dy and humble, then ask for the Lord's presence (Augustine Psalms, loc. 342395, par. 9). Augustine then notes that the same situation is described in verse eight, where we look for God's mercy in the morning. Again, night is the time of trial and day is the time of hope (Augustine Psalms, loc. 342405, par. 10).
Verse nine returns to the call that God would bring rescue from enemies. Augustine observes that we, like Adam, flee from God only to find ourselves in the power of our enemies. We need God's rescue (Augustine Psalms, loc. 342415, par. 11). In this, verse 10 describes us as learning to do God's will, receiving patronage from him, not from earthly rulers (Augustine Psalms, loc. 34242, par. 12). In verse eleven, then, all this is for the sake of God's name, not ours. He is the ruler, we are the servants (v. 12).