Affliction in light of Eternity
A prayer of a suffering person who is weak and pours out his lament before the Lord.
1Lord, hear my prayer;
let my cry for help come before you.
2Do not hide your face from me in my day of trouble.
Listen closely to me;
answer me quickly when I call.
3For my days vanish like smoke,
and my bones burn like a furnace.
4My heart is suffering, withered like grass;
I even forget to eat my food.
5Because of the sound of my groaning,
my flesh sticks to my bones.
6I am like an eagle owl,
like a little owl among the ruins.
7I stay awake;
I am like a solitary bird on a roof.
8My enemies taunt me all day long;
they ridicule and use my name as a curse.
9I eat ashes like bread
and mingle my drinks with tears
10because of your indignation and wrath;
for you have picked me up and thrown me aside.
11My days are like a lengthening shadow,
and I wither away like grass.
12But you, Lord, are enthroned forever;
your fame endures to all generations.
13You will rise up and have compassion on Zion,
for it is time to show favor to her —
the appointed time has come.
14For your servants take delight in its stones
and favor its dust.
15Then the nations will fear the name of the Lord,
and all the kings of the earth your glory,
16for the Lord will rebuild Zion;
he will appear in his glory.
17He will pay attention to the prayer of the destitute
and will not despise their prayer.
18This will be written for a later generation,
and a people who have not yet been created will praise the Lord:
19He looked down from his holy heights —
the Lord gazed out from heaven to earth —
20to hear a prisoner’s groaning,
to set free those condemned to die,
21so that they might declare
the name of the Lord in Zion
and his praise in Jerusalem
22when peoples and kingdoms are assembled
to serve the Lord.
23He has broken my strength in midcourse;
he has shortened my days.
24I say, “My God, do not take me
in the middle of my life!
Your years continue through all generations.
25Long ago you established the earth,
and the heavens are the work of your hands.
26They will perish, but you will endure;
all of them will wear out like clothing.
You will change them like a garment,
and they will pass away.
27But you are the same,
and your years will never end.
28Your servants’ children will dwell securely,
and their offspring will be established before you.”