Prayer in Time of Distress
1The prayer of one afflicted and wasting away whose anguish is poured out before the Lord.
2Lord, hear my prayer;
let my cry come to you.
3Do not hide your face from me
in the day of my distress.#Ps 69:18; 143:7.
Turn your ear to me;
when I call, answer me quickly.
4For my days vanish like smoke;#Ps 38:7–9.
my bones burn away as in a furnace.
5My heart is withered, dried up like grass,
too wasted to eat my food.
6From my loud groaning
I become just skin and bones.
7I am like a desert owl,
like an owl among the ruins.
8I lie awake and moan,
like a lone sparrow on the roof.
9All day long my enemies taunt me;
in their rage, they make my name a curse.#They make my name a curse: enemies use the psalmist’s name in phrases such as, “May you be as wretched as this person!”
10I eat ashes like bread,
mingle my drink with tears.#Ps 42:4; 80:6.
11Because of your furious wrath,
you lifted me up just to cast me down.
12#Ps 109:23; 144:4; Jb 8:9; 14:2; Eccl 6:12; Wis 2:5.My days are like a lengthening shadow;#Ps 90:5–6.
I wither like the grass.
13But you, Lord, are enthroned forever;
your renown is for all generations.#Ps 55:20; 90:2; 93:2; 135:13; 145:13; Lam 5:19; Heb 1:12.
14You will again show mercy to Zion;
now is the time for pity;
the appointed time has come.
15Its stones are dear to your servants;
its dust moves them to pity.
16The nations shall fear your name, Lord,
all the kings of the earth, your glory,#Is 59:19; 66:18.
17Once the Lord has rebuilt Zion
and appeared in glory,
18Heeding the plea of the lowly,
not scorning their prayer.
19Let this be written for the next generation,
for a people not yet born,
that they may praise the Lord:#Ps 22:31–32.
20#Both Ps 102:20–21 and Ps 102:22–23 depend on Ps 102:19.“The Lord looked down from the holy heights,
viewed the earth from heaven,#Ps 11:4; 14:2.
21To attend to the groaning of the prisoners,
to release those doomed to die.”#Ps 79:11.
22Then the Lord’s name will be declared on Zion,
his praise in Jerusalem,
23When peoples and kingdoms gather
to serve the Lord.#Is 60:3–4; Zec 2:15; 8:22.
24He has shattered my strength in mid-course,
has cut short my days.
25I plead, O my God,
do not take me in the midst of my days.#In the midst of my days: when the normal span of life is but half completed, cf. Is 38:10; Jer 17:11.#Ps 39:5; 90:10; Jb 14:5.
Your years last through all generations.
26Of old you laid the earth’s foundations;#Heb 1:10–12.
the heavens are the work of your hands.
27They perish, but you remain;
they all wear out like a garment;
Like clothing you change them and they are changed,
28but you are the same, your years have no end.
29May the children of your servants live on;
may their descendants live in your presence.#Ps 69:36–37.