A prayer written by someone who was afflicted, when he was discouraged and pleaded for Yahweh to help him
1 Yahweh, listen to what I am praying;
hear me while I cry out to you!
2 Do not ◄turn away/hide yourself► from me when I ◄have troubles/am distressed►!
Listen to me,
and answer me quickly now, when I am calling out to you!
3 My life is ending, like smoke that disappears [SIM];
I have a high fever which burns my body like a fire burns [SIM].
4 I feel like I am drying up like grass [SIM] that has been beaten/trampled down,
and I no longer have a desire to eat food.
5 I groan loudly,
and my bones can be seen under my skin because I have become very thin.
6 I am like a lonely and despised vulture in the desert,
like an owl by itself in the abandoned ruins of a building/city.
7 I lie awake at night;
because there is no one to comfort me,
I am like a lonely bird sitting on a housetop [SIM].
8 All during the day my enemies insult me;
those who make fun of me mention my name
and say, “May you be like him” when they curse people.
9-10 Because you are very angry [DOU] with me,
now I sit in ashes while I am suffering greatly;
and those ashes fall on the bread/food that I eat,
and what I drink has my tears mixed with it.
It is as though you have picked me up and thrown me away!
11 My time to remain alive is like an evening shadow that will soon be gone [SIM].
I am withering like grass withers in the hot sun.
12 But Yahweh, you are our king who rules [MTY] forever;
people who are not yet born will remember you.
13 You will arise and be merciful to the people of [MTY] Jerusalem;
it is now time for you to do that;
this is the time for you to be kind to them.
14 Even though ◄the city has been destroyed/our enemies have destroyed our city►,
we who serve you still love the stones that were formerly in the city walls;
because now there is rubble everywhere,
we, your people, are very sad when we see it.
15 Yahweh, some day the people of other nations will revere you [MTY];
all the kings on earth will see that you are very glorious/great.
16 You will rebuild Jerusalem,
and you will appear there with your glory/brightness.
17 You will listen to the prayers of your people who are homeless,
and you will ◄not ignore them/do what they request► [LIT]
when they plead with you to help them.
18 Yahweh, I want to write these words
in order that people in future years will know what you have done,
in order that people who are not born yet will praise you.
19 They will know that you looked down from your holy/sacred place in heaven [DOU]
and saw what was happening on the earth.
20 They will know that you hear prisoners groaning
and that you will set free those who have been told, “You will be executed.”
21 As a result, people in Jerusalem will praise you [DOU] for what you have done
22 when many people from other people-groups and those who are citizens of other kingdoms gather to worship you.
23 But now you have caused me to become weak while I am still young;
I think that I will ◄not live much longer/ very long/soon die►.
24 I say to you, “My God, do not cause me to die now,
before I become old!
You live forever!
25 You created the world long ago,
and you made ◄the heavens/everything in the sky► with your own hands.
26 The earth and the heavens/sky will disappear, but you will remain.
They will wear out like clothes wear out.
You will get rid of them like people get rid of old clothes,
and they will no longer exist,
27 but you are not like the things that you created,
because you are always the same;
you never die.
28 Some day our children will live safely in Jerusalem,
and their descendants will be protected in your presence.”