A prayer of a suffering man when he is weak and pours out his problems to the Lord.
1Lord, hear my prayer.
Listen to my cry for help.
2Don't turn your face away from me
when I'm in trouble.
Pay attention to me.
When I call out for help, answer me quickly.
3My days are disappearing like smoke.
My body burns like glowing coals.
4My strength has dried up like grass.
I even forget to eat my food.
5I groan out loud because of my suffering.
I'm nothing but skin and bones.
6I'm like a desert owl.
I'm like an owl among destroyed buildings.
7I can't sleep. I've become
like a bird alone on a roof.
8All day long my enemies laugh at me.
Those who make fun of me use my name as a curse.
9I eat ashes as my food.
My tears fall into what I'm drinking.
10You were very angry with me.
So you picked me up and threw me away.
11The days of my life are like an evening shadow.
I dry up like grass.
12But Lord, you are seated on your throne forever.
Your fame will continue for all time to come.
13You will rise up and show deep concern for Zion.
The time has come for you to show favor to it.
14The stones of your destroyed city are priceless to us.
Even its dust brings deep concern to us.
15The nations will worship the Lord.
All of the kings on earth will respect his glorious power.
16The Lord will build Zion again.
He will appear in his glory.
17He will answer the prayer of those who don't have anything.
He won't say no to their cry for help.
18Let this be written down for those born after us.
Then people who are not yet born can praise the Lord.
19Here is what should be written.
"The Lord looked down from his temple in heaven.
From heaven he viewed the earth.
20He heard the groans of the prisoners.
He set free those who were sentenced to death."
21So people will talk about him in Zion.
They will praise him in Jerusalem.
22Nations and kingdoms
will gather there to worship the Lord.
23When I was still young, he took away my strength.
He wasn't going to let me live much longer.
24So I said, "My God, don't let me die in the middle of my life.
You will live for all time to come.
25In the beginning you made the earth secure.
You placed it on its foundations.
Your hands created the heavens.
26They will pass away. But you will remain.
They will all wear out like a piece of clothing.
You will make them like clothes
that are taken off and thrown away.
27But you remain the same.
Your years will never end.
28Our children will live with you.
Their sons and daughters will be safe in your care."