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A Cry for Help

A prayer of a person who is suffering when he is ·discouraged [faint; disturbed] and ·tells the Lord his complaints [L pours out his concerns before the Lord].

102 Lord, listen to my prayer;
    let my cry for help come to you.
Do not hide your ·presence [L face] from me
    in my time of ·trouble [distress].
·Pay attention [L Extend your ear] to me.
    ·When I cry for help [L On the day I call], answer me quickly.

My ·life [L days] is ·passing away [vanishing] like smoke,
    and my bones are burned up ·with fire [L like a furnace/oven/or glowing embers].
My heart is like grass
    that has been ·cut [stricken] and dried.
    I forget to eat my ·food [or bread].
Because of ·my grief [L the sounds of my groans],
    my ·skin hangs on my bones [L bones cling to my flesh].
I am like a ·desert [wilderness] owl,
    like an owl living among the ·ruins [wastelands; Is. 34:10–15; Zeph. 2:13–15].
I ·lie awake [or keep watch].
    I am like a lonely bird on a ·housetop [roof].
All day long enemies ·insult [scorn; reproach] me;
    those who ·make fun of [mock] me use my name as a curse.
I eat ashes for ·food [or bread],
    and my tears ·fall into [mingle with] my drinks.
10 Because of your ·great anger [L wrath and indignation],
    you have picked me up and thrown me away.
11 My days are like a passing shadow;
    I am like dried grass.

12 But, Lord, you ·rule [L are enthroned] forever,
    and your ·fame [memory] ·goes on and on [L throughout the generations].
13 You will ·come [L rise up] and have ·mercy [compassion] on ·Jerusalem [L Zion; C the location of the Temple],
    because the time has now come to be ·kind [gracious] to her;
    the ·right [appointed] time has come.
14 Your servants ·love even [are pleased/delighted with] her stones;
    they even ·care about [L have pity/compassion for] her dust.
15 Nations will fear the name of the Lord,
    and all the kings on earth ·will honor you [L your glory; C God’s manifest presence].
16 The Lord will rebuild ·Jerusalem [L Zion; C the location of the Temple];
    there his glory [C manifest presence] will be seen.
17 He will answer the prayers of the ·needy [lowly; L naked];
    he will not ·reject [despise] their prayers.

18 Write these things for ·the future [L a future generation]
    so that people who are not yet ·born [created] will praise the Lord.
19 The Lord looked down from his holy place above;
    from heaven he ·looked [gazed] down at the earth.
20 He heard the ·moans [groans] of the prisoners,
    and he ·freed [released] those sentenced to die.
21 The name of the Lord will be ·heard [recounted] in ·Jerusalem [L Zion; C the location of the Temple];
    his praise ·will be heard there [L in Jerusalem].
22 People will ·come [gather] together,
    and kingdoms will serve the Lord.

23 ·God has made me tired of living [He broke my strength in midcourse/L the way];
    he has cut short my ·life [L days].
24 So I said, “My God, do not take me in the middle of my ·life [L days].
    Your years ·go on and on [endure for generations].
25 In the beginning you ·made [founded] the earth,
    and ·your hands made the skies [L the heavens are the work of your hands; Gen. 1].
26 They will be destroyed, but you will ·remain [endure].
    They will all wear out like ·clothes [garments].
And, like clothes, you will change them
    and throw them away.
27 But you ·never change [are the same/L he],
    and your ·life [L years] will never end.
28 ·Our children [L The children of your servants] will live in your presence,
    and their ·children [offspring; L seed] will remain with you.”