The prayer of an oppressed man, as he grows faint and pours out his lament before the Lord.
1O Lord, hear my prayer!
Pay attention to my cry for help!
2Do not ignore me in my time of trouble!
Listen to me!
When I call out to you, quickly answer me!
3For my days go up in smoke,
and my bones are charred like a fireplace.
4My heart is parched and withered like grass,
for I am unable to eat food.
5Because of the anxiety that makes me groan,
my bones protrude from my skin.
6I am like an owl in the wilderness;
I am like a screech owl among the ruins.
7I stay awake;
I am like a solitary bird on a roof.
8All day long my enemies taunt me;
those who mock me use my name in their curses.
9For I eat ashes as if they were bread,
and mix my drink with my tears,
10because of your anger and raging fury.
Indeed, you pick me up and throw me away.
11My days are coming to an end,
and I am withered like grass.
12But you, O Lord, rule forever,
and your reputation endures.
13You will rise up and have compassion on Zion.
For it is time to have mercy on her,
for the appointed time has come.
14Indeed, your servants take delight in her stones,
and feel compassion for the dust of her ruins.
15The nations will respect the reputation of the Lord,
and all the kings of the earth will respect his splendor,
16when the Lord rebuilds Zion,
and reveals his splendor,
17when he responds to the prayer of the destitute,
and does not reject their request.
18The account of his intervention will be recorded for future generations;
people yet to be born will praise the Lord.
19For he will look down from his sanctuary above;
from heaven the Lord will look toward earth,
20in order to hear the painful cries of the prisoners,
and to set free those condemned to die,
21so they may proclaim the name of the Lord in Zion,
and praise him in Jerusalem,
22when the nations gather together,
and the kingdoms pay tribute to the Lord.
23He has taken away my strength in the middle of life;
he has cut short my days.
24I say, “O my God, please do not take me away in the middle of my life!
You endure through all generations.
25In earlier times you established the earth;
the skies are your handiwork.
26They will perish,
but you will endure.
They will wear out like a garment;
like clothes you will remove them and they will disappear.
27But you remain;
your years do not come to an end.
28The children of your servants will settle down here,
and their descendants will live securely in your presence.”