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Psalm 102

Prayer to the Eternal King for Help

A prayer of one afflicted, when faint and pleading before the Lord.

Hear my prayer, O Lord;
    let my cry come to you.
Do not hide your face from me
    on the day of my distress.
Incline your ear to me;
    answer me speedily on the day when I call.

For my days pass away like smoke,
    and my bones burn like a furnace.
My heart is stricken and withered like grass;
    I am too wasted to eat my bread.
Because of my loud groaning
    my bones cling to my skin.
I am like an owl of the wilderness,
    like a little owl of the waste places.
I lie awake;
    I am like a lonely bird on the housetop.
All day long my enemies taunt me;
    those who deride me use my name for a curse.
For I eat ashes like bread,
    and mingle tears with my drink,
10 because of your indignation and anger;
    for you have lifted me up and thrown me aside.
11 My days are like an evening shadow;
    I wither away like grass.

12 But you, O Lord, are enthroned for ever;
    your name endures to all generations.
13 You will rise up and have compassion on Zion,
    for it is time to favour it;
    the appointed time has come.
14 For your servants hold its stones dear,
    and have pity on its dust.
15 The nations will fear the name of the Lord,
    and all the kings of the earth your glory.
16 For the Lord will build up Zion;
    he will appear in his glory.
17 He will regard the prayer of the destitute,
    and will not despise their prayer.

18 Let this be recorded for a generation to come,
    so that a people yet unborn may praise the Lord:
19 that he looked down from his holy height,
    from heaven the Lord looked at the earth,
20 to hear the groans of the prisoners,
    to set free those who were doomed to die;
21 so that the name of the Lord may be declared in Zion,
    and his praise in Jerusalem,
22 when peoples gather together,
    and kingdoms, to worship the Lord.

23 He has broken my strength in mid-course;
    he has shortened my days.
24 ‘O my God,’ I say, ‘do not take me away
    at the mid-point of my life,
you whose years endure
    throughout all generations.’

25 Long ago you laid the foundation of the earth,
    and the heavens are the work of your hands.
26 They will perish, but you endure;
    they will all wear out like a garment.
You change them like clothing, and they pass away;
27     but you are the same, and your years have no end.
28 The children of your servants shall live secure;
    their offspring shall be established in your presence.

Psalm 102[a]

A prayer of an afflicted person who has grown weak and pours out a lament before the Lord.

Hear my prayer,(A) Lord;
    let my cry for help(B) come to you.
Do not hide your face(C) from me
    when I am in distress.
Turn your ear(D) to me;
    when I call, answer me quickly.

For my days vanish like smoke;(E)
    my bones(F) burn like glowing embers.
My heart is blighted and withered like grass;(G)
    I forget to eat my food.(H)
In my distress I groan aloud(I)
    and am reduced to skin and bones.
I am like a desert owl,(J)
    like an owl among the ruins.
I lie awake;(K) I have become
    like a bird alone(L) on a roof.
All day long my enemies(M) taunt me;(N)
    those who rail against me use my name as a curse.(O)
For I eat ashes(P) as my food
    and mingle my drink with tears(Q)
10 because of your great wrath,(R)
    for you have taken me up and thrown me aside.
11 My days are like the evening shadow;(S)
    I wither(T) away like grass.

12 But you, Lord, sit enthroned forever;(U)
    your renown endures(V) through all generations.(W)
13 You will arise(X) and have compassion(Y) on Zion,
    for it is time(Z) to show favor(AA) to her;
    the appointed time(AB) has come.
14 For her stones are dear to your servants;
    her very dust moves them to pity.
15 The nations will fear(AC) the name of the Lord,
    all the kings(AD) of the earth will revere your glory.
16 For the Lord will rebuild Zion(AE)
    and appear in his glory.(AF)
17 He will respond to the prayer(AG) of the destitute;
    he will not despise their plea.

18 Let this be written(AH) for a future generation,
    that a people not yet created(AI) may praise the Lord:
19 “The Lord looked down(AJ) from his sanctuary on high,
    from heaven he viewed the earth,
20 to hear the groans of the prisoners(AK)
    and release those condemned to death.”
21 So the name of the Lord will be declared(AL) in Zion
    and his praise(AM) in Jerusalem
22 when the peoples and the kingdoms
    assemble to worship(AN) the Lord.

23 In the course of my life[b] he broke my strength;
    he cut short my days.(AO)
24 So I said:
“Do not take me away, my God, in the midst of my days;
    your years go on(AP) through all generations.
25 In the beginning(AQ) you laid the foundations of the earth,
    and the heavens(AR) are the work of your hands.(AS)
26 They will perish,(AT) but you remain;
    they will all wear out like a garment.
Like clothing you will change them
    and they will be discarded.
27 But you remain the same,(AU)
    and your years will never end.(AV)
28 The children of your servants(AW) will live in your presence;
    their descendants(AX) will be established before you.”

Footnotes

  1. Psalm 102:1 In Hebrew texts 102:1-28 is numbered 102:2-29.
  2. Psalm 102:23 Or By his power

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