A prayer of an afflicted person who has grown weak and pours out a lament before the Lord.
1Hear my prayer, Lord;
let my cry for help come to you.
2Do not hide your face from me
when I am in distress.
Turn your ear to me;
when I call, answer me quickly.
3For my days vanish like smoke;
my bones burn like glowing embers.
4My heart is blighted and withered like grass;
I forget to eat my food.
5In my distress I groan aloud
and am reduced to skin and bones.
6I am like a desert owl,
like an owl among the ruins.
7I lie awake; I have become
like a bird alone on a roof.
8All day long my enemies taunt me;
those who rail against me use my name as a curse.
9For I eat ashes as my food
and mingle my drink with tears
10because of your great wrath,
for you have taken me up and thrown me aside.
11My days are like the evening shadow;
I wither away like grass.
12But you, Lord, sit enthroned for ever;
your renown endures through all generations.
13You will arise and have compassion on Zion,
for it is time to show favour to her;
the appointed time has come.
14For her stones are dear to your servants;
her very dust moves them to pity.
15The nations will fear the name of the Lord,
all the kings of the earth will revere your glory.
16For the Lord will rebuild Zion
and appear in his glory.
17He will respond to the prayer of the destitute;
he will not despise their plea.
18Let this be written for a future generation,
that a people not yet created may praise the Lord:
19‘The Lord looked down from his sanctuary on high,
from heaven he viewed the earth,
20to hear the groans of the prisoners
and release those condemned to death.’
21So the name of the Lord will be declared in Zion
and his praise in Jerusalem
22when the peoples and the kingdoms
assemble to worship the Lord.
23In the course of my life#Or By his power he broke my strength;
he cut short my days.
24So I said:
‘Do not take me away, my God, in the midst of my days;
your years go on through all generations.
25In the beginning you laid the foundations of the earth,
and the heavens are the work of your hands.
26They will perish, but you remain;
they will all wear out like a garment.
Like clothing you will change them
and they will be discarded.
27But you remain the same,
and your years will never end.
28The children of your servants will live in your presence;
their descendants will be established before you.’