Prayer in misfortune
Prayer of the downtrodden telling Yahweh their troubles at a moment of distress.
Yahweh, hear my prayer,
let my cry for help reach You;
do not hide Your face from me
when I am in trouble;
bend down to listen to me,
when I call, be quick to answer me!
For my days are vanishing like smoke,
my bones smoldering like logs,
my heart shriveling like scorched grass
and my appetite has gone;
whenever I heave a sigh,
my bones stick through my skin.
I live in a desert like the pelican,
in a ruin like the screech owl,
I stay awake lamenting
like a lone bird on the roof;
my enemies insult me all day long,
those who used to praise me now use me as a curse.
Ashes are the bread I eat,
what I drink I lace with tears,
under Your furious anger,
since You only picked me up to throw me down;
my days dwindle away like a shadow,
I am as dry as hay.
Whereas, Yahweh, You remain for ever;
each generation in turn remembers You!
Rise, take pity on Zion!—
the time has come to have mercy on her,
the hour has come;
for Your servants prize her stones
and are moved to pity by her dust.
Then will the nations fear the name of Yahweh
and all kings on earth respect Your glory;
when Yahweh builds Zion anew,
He will be seen in His glory;
He will answer the prayer of the abandoned,
He will not scorn their petitions.
Put this on record for the next generation,
so that a race still to be born can praise God:
Yahweh has leaned down from the heights of His sanctuary,
has looked down at earth from heaven,
to hear the sighing of the captive,
and to set free those doomed to die.
Your servants' sons will have a permanent home,
and their descendants be in Your presence always,
to proclaim the name of Yahweh in Zion,
His praise in Jerusalem;
nations and kingdoms will be united
and offer worship to Yahweh together.
My strength has already run out;
tell me how much longer I have left.
Do not take me prematurely,
when Your own life lasts for ever.
Aeons ago, You laid the earth's foundations,
the heavens are the work of Your hands;
all will vanish, though You remain,
all wear out like a garment,
like clothes that need changing, You will change them;
but Yourself, You never change,
and Your years are unending.