A prayer of the weak and oppressed, when he turns his complaints to the Eternal.
1 Hear me, O Eternal One, hear my prayer! Hear my lonely desperate cry for help. 2 Do not hide from me when my days are filled with anguish; Lend Your ear to my wailing, and answer me quickly when I call.
3 For my days come and go, vanishing like smoke, and my bones are charred like bricks of a hearth. 4 My heart is beaten down like grass withered and scorched in the summer heat; I can’t even remember to eat. 5 My body is shaken by my groans; my bones cling to my skin, holding on for dear life. 6 I am like a solitary owl in the wilderness; I am a lost and lonely screech owl at home in the rubble. 7 I stare at the ceiling, awake in my bed; I am alone, a defenseless sparrow perched on a roof. 8 All day long my enemies chide me; those who mock me spit out my name as a curse. 9 For ashes have become my bread; my tears fall into my drink 10 Because of the depth of Your wrath. You have brought me up and then hurled me aside. 11 My days go by like a long shadow—stretched thin and disappearing— I shrivel up like grass baked in the hot sun.
12 But You, O Eternal One, remain forever, and Your name endures to all generations. 13 You will rise up once again and remember Your love for Zion; it is time to have mercy on Your city; yes, it is the divinely appointed time. 14 Your faithful servants take pleasure in her every stone; they even delight in the dust of her streets. 15 Days are coming when nations will tremble at the name of the Eternal; all the rulers of the earth will bow down to Your glory. 16 For He will return to rebuild His city, Zion; He will be seen in His splendor. 17 He will listen to the prayer of the impoverished and welcome their prayers.
18 Let this record be kept for posterity so that people not yet born may praise the Eternal. 19 Tell them that He looked down from holy heights, His heavenly sanctuary; the Eternal looked down from heaven and closely watched the earth, 20 Hearing the prisoners’ groans— releasing those awaiting execution— 21 That the name of the Eternal would resound in Zion, and His praise would be proclaimed in Jerusalem 22 When the peoples gather and the nations’ leaders assemble to worship the Eternal.
23 Along my way He has sapped my strength; He has shortened my days here on earth. 24 I said, “O my True God, don’t take me away in the middle of my life; Unlike me, Your years continually unfold throughout all generations.”
25 In the beginning, You laid the foundation of the earth and set the skies above us with Your own hands. 26 But while they will someday pass away, You remain forever; when they wear out like old clothes, You will roll them up and change them into something new, and they will pass away. 27 But You are the same, You will never change; Your years will never come to an end.[a] 28 The children of those who serve You will enjoy a good, long life; their offspring will stand strong before You.
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