The Prayer of a Troubled Youth
1Listen to my prayer, O Lord,
and hear my cry for help!
2When I am in trouble,
don't turn away from me!
Listen to me,
and answer me quickly when I call!
3My life is disappearing like smoke;
my body is burning like fire.
4I am beaten down like dry grass;
I have lost my desire for food.
5I groan aloud;
I am nothing but skin and bones.
6I am like a wild bird in the desert,
like an owl in abandoned ruins.
7I lie awake;
I am like a lonely bird on a housetop.
8All day long my enemies insult me;
those who mock me use my name in cursing.
9-10Because of your anger and fury,
ashes are my food,
and my tears are mixed with my drink.
You picked me up and threw me away.
11My life is like the evening shadows;
I am like dry grass.
12But you, O Lord, are king forever;
all generations will remember you.
13You will rise and take pity on Zion;
the time has come to have mercy on her;
this is the right time.
14Your servants love her,
even though she is destroyed;
they have pity on her,
even though she is in ruins.
15The nations will fear the Lord;
all the kings of the earth will fear his power.
16When the Lord rebuilds Zion,
he will reveal his greatness.
17He will hear his forsaken people
and listen to their prayer.
18Write down for the coming generation what the Lord has done,
so that people not yet born will praise him.
19The Lord looked down from his holy place on high,
he looked down from heaven to earth.
20He heard the groans of prisoners
and set free those who were condemned to die.
21And so his name will be proclaimed in Zion,
and he will be praised in Jerusalem
22when nations and kingdoms come together
and worship the Lord.
23The Lord has made me weak while I am still young;
he has shortened my life.
24O God, do not take me away now
before I grow old.
O Lord, you live forever;
25 long ago you created the earth,
and with your own hands you made the heavens.
26They will disappear, but you will remain;
they will all wear out like clothes.
You will discard them like clothes,
and they will vanish.
27But you are always the same,
and your life never ends.
28Our children will live in safety,
and under your protection
their descendants will be secure.