39
(A psalm by David for Jeduthun, the music leader.)
A Prayer for Forgiveness
1I told myself, “I'll be careful
not to sin by what I say,
and I'll muzzle my mouth
when evil people are near.”
2I kept completely silent,
but it did no good,#39.2 but … good: One possible meaning for the difficult Hebrew text.
and I hurt even worse.
3I felt a fire burning inside,
and the more I thought,
the more it burned,
until at last I said:
4“Please, Lord,
show me my future.
Will I soon be gone?
5You made my life short,
so brief that the time
means nothing to you.
“Human life is but a breath,
6and it disappears
like a shadow.
Our struggles are senseless;
we store up more and more,
without ever knowing
who will get it all.
7“What am I waiting for?
I depend on you, Lord!
8Save me from my sins.
Don't let fools sneer at me.
9You treated me like this,
and I kept silent,
not saying a word.
10“Won't you stop punishing me?
You have worn me down.
11You punish us severely
because of our sins.
Like a moth, you destroy
what we treasure most.
We are as frail as a breath.
12“Listen, Lord, to my prayer!
My eyes are flooded with tears,
as I pray to you.
I am merely a stranger
visiting in your home
as my ancestors did.
13Stop being angry with me
and let me smile again
before I am dead and gone.”
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