The Message

Psalm 102

A Prayer of One Whose Life Is Falling to Pieces, and Who Lets God Know Just How Bad It Is

11-2 God, listen! Listen to my prayer,
    listen to the pain in my cries.
Don’t turn your back on me
    just when I need you so desperately.
Pay attention! This is a cry for help!
    And hurry—this can’t wait!

3-11 I’m wasting away to nothing,
    I’m burning up with fever.
I’m a ghost of my former self,
    half-consumed already by terminal illness.
My jaws ache from gritting my teeth;
    I’m nothing but skin and bones.
I’m like a buzzard in the desert,
    a crow perched on the rubble.
Insomniac, I twitter away,
    mournful as a sparrow in the gutter.
All day long my enemies taunt me,
    while others just curse.
They bring in meals—casseroles of ashes!
    I draw drink from a barrel of my tears.
And all because of your furious anger;
    you swept me up and threw me out.
There’s nothing left of me—
    a withered weed, swept clean from the path.

12-17 Yet you, God, are sovereign still,
    always and ever sovereign.
You’ll get up from your throne and help Zion—
    it’s time for compassionate help.
Oh, how your servants love this city’s rubble
    and weep with compassion over its dust!
The godless nations will sit up and take notice
    —see your glory, worship your name—
When God rebuilds Zion,
    when he shows up in all his glory,
When he attends to the prayer of the wretched.
    He won’t dismiss their prayer.

18-22 Write this down for the next generation
    so people not yet born will praise God:
God looked out from his high holy place;
    from heaven he surveyed the earth.
He listened to the groans of the doomed,
    he opened the doors of their death cells.”
Write it so the story can be told in Zion,
    so God’s praise will be sung in Jerusalem’s streets
And wherever people gather together
    along with their rulers to worship him.

23-28 God sovereignly brought me to my knees,
    he cut me down in my prime.
“Oh, don’t,” I prayed, “please don’t let me die.
    You have more years than you know what to do with!
You laid earth’s foundations a long time ago,
    and handcrafted the very heavens;
You’ll still be around when they’re long gone,
    threadbare and discarded like an old suit of clothes.
You’ll throw them away like a worn-out coat,
    but year after year you’re as good as new.
Your servants’ children will have a good place to live
    and their children will be at home with you.”

King James Version

Psalm 102

1Hear my prayer, O Lord, and let my cry come unto thee.

Hide not thy face from me in the day when I am in trouble; incline thine ear unto me: in the day when I call answer me speedily.

For my days are consumed like smoke, and my bones are burned as an hearth.

My heart is smitten, and withered like grass; so that I forget to eat my bread.

By reason of the voice of my groaning my bones cleave to my skin.

I am like a pelican of the wilderness: I am like an owl of the desert.

I watch, and am as a sparrow alone upon the house top.

Mine enemies reproach me all the day; and they that are mad against me are sworn against me.

For I have eaten ashes like bread, and mingled my drink with weeping.

10 Because of thine indignation and thy wrath: for thou hast lifted me up, and cast me down.

11 My days are like a shadow that declineth; and I am withered like grass.

12 But thou, O Lord, shall endure for ever; and thy remembrance unto all generations.

13 Thou shalt arise, and have mercy upon Zion: for the time to favour her, yea, the set time, is come.

14 For thy servants take pleasure in her stones, and favour the dust thereof.

15 So the heathen shall fear the name of the Lord, and all the kings of the earth thy glory.

16 When the Lord shall build up Zion, he shall appear in his glory.

17 He will regard the prayer of the destitute, and not despise their prayer.

18 This shall be written for the generation to come: and the people which shall be created shall praise the Lord.

19 For he hath looked down from the height of his sanctuary; from heaven did the Lord behold the earth;

20 To hear the groaning of the prisoner; to loose those that are appointed to death;

21 To declare the name of the Lord in Zion, and his praise in Jerusalem;

22 When the people are gathered together, and the kingdoms, to serve the Lord.

23 He weakened my strength in the way; he shortened my days.

24 I said, O my God, take me not away in the midst of my days: thy years are throughout all generations.

25 Of old hast thou laid the foundation of the earth: and the heavens are the work of thy hands.

26 They shall perish, but thou shalt endure: yea, all of them shall wax old like a garment; as a vesture shalt thou change them, and they shall be changed:

27 But thou art the same, and thy years shall have no end.

28 The children of thy servants shall continue, and their seed shall be established before thee.