The Prayer of the Afflicted1 A prayer of one who is afflicted, when he grows faint and pours out his lament before the LORD. Hear my prayer, O LORD; let my cry for help come before You. 2 Do not hide Your face from me in the day of my distress. Incline Your ear to me; answer me quickly when I call. 3 For my days vanish like smoke, and my bones burn like glowing embers. 4 My heart is afflicted, and withered like grass; I even forget to eat my bread. 5 Through my loud groaning, my flesh clings to my bones. 6 I am like a desert owl, like an owl among the ruins. 7 I lie awake; I am like a lone bird on a housetop. 8 All day long my enemies taunt me; they ridicule and curse me. 9 For I have eaten ashes like bread and mixed my drink with tears, 10 because of Your indignation and wrath; for You have picked me up and cast me aside. 11 My days are like lengthening shadows, and I wither away like grass. 12 But You, O LORD, sit enthroned forever; Your renown endures to all generations. 13 You will rise up and have compassion on Zion, for it is time to show her favor— the appointed time has come. 14 For Your servants delight in her stones and take pity on her dust. 15 So the nations will fear the name of the LORD, and all the kings of the earth [will fear] Your glory, 16 for the LORD will rebuild Zion; He has appeared in His glory. 17 He will turn toward the prayer of the destitute; He will not despise their prayer. 18 Let this be written for the generation to come, that a people not yet created may praise the LORD. 19 For He looked down from the heights of His sanctuary; the LORD gazed out from heaven to earth, 20 to hear a prisoner’s groaning, to release those condemned to death, 21 that they may proclaim the name of the LORD in Zion and His praise in Jerusalem, 22 when peoples and kingdoms assemble to serve the LORD. 23 He has broken my strength on the way; He has shortened my days. 24 I say: “O my God, do not take me in the midst of my days! Your years [go on] through all generations. 25 In the beginning You laid the foundations of the earth, and the heavens are the work of Your hands. 26 They will perish, but You remain; they will all wear out like a garment. Like clothing You will change them, and they will be passed on. 27 But You remain the same, and Your years will never end. 28 The children of Your servants will dwell securely, and their descendants will be established before You.”
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