Prayer of an Afflicted Man for Mercy on Himself and on Zion.
A Prayer of the Afflicted when he is faint and pours out his complaint before the Lord.
102 Hear my prayer, O Lord! And let my cry for help come to You. 2 Do not hide Your face from me in the day of my distress; Incline Your ear to me; In the day when I call answer me quickly. 3 For my days have been consumed in smoke, And my bones have been scorched like a hearth. 4 My heart has been smitten like grass and has withered away, Indeed, I forget to eat my bread. 5 Because of the loudness of my groaning My bones cling to my flesh. 6 I resemble a pelican of the wilderness; I have become like an owl of the waste places. 7 I lie awake, I have become like a lonely bird on a housetop.
8 My enemies have reproached me all day long; Those who deride me have used my name as a curse. 9 For I have eaten ashes like bread And mingled my drink with weeping 10 Because of Your indignation and Your wrath, For You have lifted me up and cast me away. 11 My days are like a lengthened shadow, And I wither away like grass.
12 But You, O Lord, abide forever, And Your name to all generations. 13 You will arise and have compassion on Zion; For it is time to be gracious to her, For the appointed time has come. 14 Surely Your servants find pleasure in her stones And feel pity for her dust. 15 So the nations will fear the name of the Lord And all the kings of the earth Your glory. 16 For the Lord has built up Zion; He has appeared in His glory. 17 He has regarded the prayer of the destitute And has not despised their prayer.
18 This will be written for the generation to come, That a people yet to be created may praise the Lord. 19 For He looked down from His holy height; From heaven the Lord gazed upon the earth, 20 To hear the groaning of the prisoner, To set free those who were doomed to death, 21 That men may tell of the name of the Lord in Zion And His praise in Jerusalem, 22 When the peoples are gathered together, And the kingdoms, to serve the Lord.
23 He has weakened my strength in the way; He has shortened my days. 24 I say, “O my God, do not take me away in the midst of my days, Your years are throughout all generations. 25 “Of old You founded the earth, And the heavens are the work of Your hands. 26 “Even they will perish, but You endure; And all of them will wear out like a garment; Like clothing You will change them and they will be changed. 27 “But You are the same, And Your years will not come to an end. 28 “The children of Your servants will continue, And their descendants will be established before You.”
Praise for the Lord’s Mercies.
A Psalm of David.
103 Bless the Lord, O my soul, And all that is within me, bless His holy name. 2 Bless the Lord, O my soul, And forget none of His benefits; 3 Who pardons all your iniquities, Who heals all your diseases; 4 Who redeems your life from the pit, Who crowns you with lovingkindness and compassion; 5 Who satisfies your years with good things, So that your youth is renewed like the eagle.
6 The Lord performs righteous deeds And judgments for all who are oppressed. 7 He made known His ways to Moses, His acts to the sons of Israel. 8 The Lord is compassionate and gracious, Slow to anger and abounding in lovingkindness. 9 He will not always strive with us, Nor will He keep His anger forever. 10 He has not dealt with us according to our sins, Nor rewarded us according to our iniquities. 11 For as high as the heavens are above the earth, So great is His lovingkindness toward those who fear Him. 12 As far as the east is from the west, So far has He removed our transgressions from us. 13 Just as a father has compassion on his children, So the Lord has compassion on those who fear Him. 14 For He Himself knows our frame; He is mindful that we are but dust.
15 As for man, his days are like grass; As a flower of the field, so he flourishes. 16 When the wind has passed over it, it is no more, And its place acknowledges it no longer. 17 But the lovingkindness of the Lord is from everlasting to everlasting on those who fear Him, And His righteousness to children’s children, 18 To those who keep His covenant And remember His precepts to do them.
19 The Lord has established His throne in the heavens, And His sovereignty rules over all. 20 Bless the Lord, you His angels, Mighty in strength, who perform His word, Obeying the voice of His word! 21 Bless the Lord, all you His hosts, You who serve Him, doing His will. 22 Bless the Lord, all you works of His, In all places of His dominion; Bless the Lord, O my soul!
The Lord’s Care over All His Works.
104 Bless the Lord, O my soul! O Lord my God, You are very great; You are clothed with splendor and majesty, 2 Covering Yourself with light as with a cloak, Stretching out heaven like a tent curtain. 3 He lays the beams of His upper chambers in the waters; He makes the clouds His chariot; He walks upon the wings of the wind; 4 He makes the winds His messengers, Flaming fire His ministers.
5 He established the earth upon its foundations, So that it will not totter forever and ever. 6 You covered it with the deep as with a garment; The waters were standing above the mountains. 7 At Your rebuke they fled, At the sound of Your thunder they hurried away. 8 The mountains rose; the valleys sank down To the place which You established for them. 9 You set a boundary that they may not pass over, So that they will not return to cover the earth.
10 He sends forth springs in the valleys; They flow between the mountains; 11 They give drink to every beast of the field; The wild donkeys quench their thirst. 12 Beside them the birds of the heavens dwell; They lift up their voices among the branches. 13 He waters the mountains from His upper chambers; The earth is satisfied with the fruit of His works.
14 He causes the grass to grow for the cattle, And vegetation for the labor of man, So that he may bring forth food from the earth, 15 And wine which makes man’s heart glad, So that he may make his face glisten with oil, And food which sustains man’s heart. 16 The trees of the Lord drink their fill, The cedars of Lebanon which He planted, 17 Where the birds build their nests, And the stork, whose home is the fir trees.
18 The high mountains are for the wild goats; The cliffs are a refuge for the shephanim. 19 He made the moon for the seasons; The sun knows the place of its setting. 20 You appoint darkness and it becomes night, In which all the beasts of the forest prowl about. 21 The young lions roar after their prey And seek their food from God. 22 When the sun rises they withdraw And lie down in their dens. 23 Man goes forth to his work And to his labor until evening.
24 O Lord, how many are Your works! In wisdom You have made them all; The earth is full of Your possessions. 25 There is the sea, great and broad, In which are swarms without number, Animals both small and great. 26 There the ships move along, And Leviathan, which You have formed to sport in it.
27 They all wait for You To give them their food in due season. 28 You give to them, they gather it up; You open Your hand, they are satisfied with good. 29 You hide Your face, they are dismayed; You take away their spirit, they expire And return to their dust. 30 You send forth Your Spirit, they are created; And You renew the face of the ground.
31 Let the glory of the Lord endure forever; Let the Lord be glad in His works; 32 He looks at the earth, and it trembles; He touches the mountains, and they smoke. 33 I will sing to the Lord as long as I live; I will sing praise to my God while I have my being. 34 Let my meditation be pleasing to Him; As for me, I shall be glad in the Lord. 35 Let sinners be consumed from the earth And let the wicked be no more. Bless the Lord, O my soul. Praise the Lord!
Scripture quotations taken from the NASB © The Lockman Foundation (www.lockman.org)