A prayer by someone who is suffering, when he is weary and pours out his troubles in the Lord’s presence.
1 O Lord, hear my prayer,
and let my cry for help come to you.
2 Do not hide your face from me when I am in trouble.
Turn your ear toward me.
Answer me quickly when I call.
3 My days disappear like smoke.
My bones burn like hot coals.
4 My heart is beaten down and withered like grass
because I have forgotten about eating.
5 I am nothing but skin and bones
because of my loud groans.
6 I am like a desert owl,
like an owl living in the ruins.
7 I lie awake.
I am like a lonely bird on a rooftop.
8 All day long my enemies insult me.
Those who ridicule me use my name as a curse.
9 I eat ashes like bread
and my tears are mixed with my drink
10 because of your hostility and anger,
because you have picked me up and thrown me away.
11 My days are like a shadow that is getting longer,
and I wither away like grass.
12 But you, O Lord, remain forever.
You are remembered throughout every generation.
13 You will rise and have compassion on Zion,
because it is time to grant a favor to it.
Indeed, the appointed time has come.
14 Your servants value Zion’s stones,
and they pity its rubble.
15 The nations will fear the Lord’s name.
All the kings of the earth will fear your glory.
16 When the Lord builds Zion,
he will appear in his glory.
17 He will turn his attention to the prayers
of those who have been abandoned.
He will not despise their prayers.
18 This will be written down for a future generation
so that a people yet to be created may praise the Lord:
19 “The Lord looked down from his holy place high above.
From heaven he looked at the earth.
20 He heard the groans of the prisoners
and set free those who were condemned to death.
21 The Lord’s name is announced in Zion
and his praise in Jerusalem
22 when nations and kingdoms gather
to worship the Lord.”
23 He has weakened my strength along the way.
He has reduced ⌊the number of⌋ my days.
24 I said, “My God, don’t take me now in the middle of my life.
Your years ⌊continue on⌋ throughout every generation.
25 Long ago you laid the foundation of the earth.
Even the heavens are the works of your hands.
26 They will come to an end, but you will still go on.
They will all wear out like clothing.
You will change them like clothes,
and they will be thrown away.
27 But you remain the same, and your life will never end.
28 The children of your servants will go on living ⌊here⌋.
Their descendants will be secure in your presence.”