Psalm 102

This is the prayer of a man who is weak and in trouble. He tells the Lord that he is very sad.

A young man's prayer

102:1The writer is weak and ill. He thinks that he will soon die while he is still a young man. But he hopes for a time when God will make his home in Jerusalem strong again. He prays that God will come to make his people safe from their enemies.

1 Lord, please hear my prayer!

Listen to me when I call to you for help.

2 Now that I am in trouble,

please do not turn away from me.

Listen carefully to me.

Now that I am calling to you for help,

please answer me quickly.

3 My life is quickly disappearing,

like smoke from a fire.

My bones hurt very much,

as if they were burning in an oven.

102:3His illness makes him feel hot.

4 I am very weak and upset,

like dry grass that will soon die.

I even forget to eat my food.

5 I cry aloud with pain,

so that I am just skin and bones.

102:5Skin and bones is a way to say ‘very, very thin.’

6 I am like a wild bird in the desert.

I am like an owl in the wilderness.

7 I am awake in the night,

like a bird that sits alone on the roof.

8 All day my enemies insult me.

They laugh at me

and they use my name as a curse.

9-10 Because you are so angry with me,

I eat ashes as my food.

My tears drop

into the water that I drink.

It seems that you have picked me up,

and then you have thrown me away.

11 My days are disappearing,

like a shadow in the evening.

Like dry grass,

I will soon die.

12 But you, Lord, rule for ever as king.

People will always remember you.

13 You will soon be kind to Zion again.

Now it is time to forgive her.

Yes, the time is now right for you to do that.

14 Her buildings have become broken stones and dust.

But your servants still love your city.

We are sad to see that it is broken down.

15 The nations will respect the Lord's name.

All the kings of the world

will praise your glory.

16 That will happen when the Lord builds Zion again

and he appears there in his glory.

17 He will answer the prayers

of poor people who have nothing.

He will not refuse to help them.

18 Write these things down

for people who live in future times to read.

Then they too will praise the Lord.

19 Tell them that the Lord looked down

from his home in heaven.

He saw what was happening on the earth.

20 He heard the prisoners call out in pain.

He saved the lives of prisoners

so they could go free before their enemies could kill them.

21 As a result, people will shout the Lord's name in Zion.

Yes, they will praise him in Jerusalem!

22 At that time, people from all nations

will meet together.

The kingdoms of the world

will come to serve the Lord.

23 But God has made me weak

before I have reached old age.

He has made my life short.

24 So I pray, ‘My God, please do not let me die now,

in the middle of my life.

The years of your life continue for ever!

25 Long ago, you built the world on a strong foundation.

You created the heavens with your own hands.

26 They will all disappear one day,

but you will remain.

They will become spoiled,

like old clothes.

Like clothes, you will remove them,

so that they disappear.

27 But you remain the same, Lord.

The years of your life will never finish.

28 As your servants,

our children will live here safely.

Their children too will be safe,

as they live near to you.’