A prayer of an oppressed person, when weak and pouring out grief to the Lord.
1Lord, hear my prayer!
Let my cry reach you!
2Don’t hide your face from me
in my time of trouble!
Listen to me!
Answer me quickly as I cry out!
3Because my days disappear like smoke,
my bones are burned up as if in an oven;
4my heart is smashed like dried-up grass.
I even forget to eat my food
5because of my intense groans.
My bones are protruding from my skin.
6I’m like some wild owl—
like some screech owl in the desert.
7I lie awake all night.
I’m all alone like a bird on a roof.
8All day long my enemies make fun of me;
those who mock me curse using my name!
9I’ve been eating ashes instead of bread.
I’ve been mixing tears into my drinks
10because of your anger and wrath,
because you picked me up and threw me away.
11My days are like a shadow soon gone.
I’m dried up like dead grass.
12But you, Lord, rule forever!
Your fame lasts from one generation to the next!
13You will stand up—
you’ll have compassion on Zion
because it is time to have mercy on her—
the time set for that has now come!
14Your servants cherish Zion’s stones;
they show mercy even to her dirt.
15The nations will honor the Lord’s name;
all the earth’s rulers will honor your glory
16because the Lord will rebuild Zion;
he will be seen there in his glory.
17God will turn to the prayer of the impoverished;
he won’t despise their prayers.
18Let this be written down for the next generation
so that people not yet created will praise the Lord:
19The Lord looked down from his holy summit,
surveyed the earth from heaven,
20to hear the prisoners’ groans,
to set free those condemned to death,
21that the Lord’s name may be declared in Zion
and his praise declared in Jerusalem,
22when all people are gathered together—
all kingdoms—to serve the Lord.
23God broke my strength in midstride,
cutting my days short.
24I said, "My God, don’t take me away in the prime of life—
your years go on from one generation to the next!
25You laid the earth’s foundations long ago;
the skies are your handiwork.
26These things will pass away, but you will last.
All of these things will wear out like clothing;
you change them like clothes, and they pass on.
27But you are the one!
Your years never end!
28Let your servants’ children live safe;
let your servants’ descendants live secure in your presence."