Psalm 102 (NRSV)
(a penitential psalm)
Prayer to the Eternal King for Help
A plea for the presence of God.
1Hear my prayer, O Lord; let my cry come to you.
From Psalm 102, HERE is the Taize song, “O Lord, Hear My Prayer,” sung by the Taize Community Choir.
O Lord, hear my prayer,
hear my prayer
When I call answer me
O Lord, hear my prayer,
hear my prayer
Come and listen to me
2Do not hide your face from me in the day of my distress. Incline your ear to me; answer me speedily in the day when I call.
The agony of being afflicted in health.
3For my days pass away like smoke, and my bones burn like a furnace.
4My heart is stricken and withered like grass; I am too wasted to eat my bread.
5Because of my loud groaning my bones cling to my skin.
6I am like an owl of the wilderness, like a little owl of the waste places.
7I lie awake; I am like a lonely bird on the housetop.
The agony of being afflicted by enemies.
8All day long my enemies taunt me; those who deride me use my name for a curse.
9For I eat ashes like bread, and mingle tears with my drink,
10because of your indignation and anger; for you have lifted me up and thrown me aside.
11My days are like an evening shadow; I wither away like grass.
Recognizing the everlasting God.
12But you, O Lord, are enthroned forever; your name endures to all generations.
Recognizing the favor of God to Jerusalem.
13You will rise up and have compassion on Zion, for it is time to favor it; the appointed time has come.
2 Corinthians 6:2 (NIV)
For God says,
“In the time of my favor I heard you,
and in the day of salvation I helped you.”
I tell you, now is the time of God’s favor, now is the day of salvation.
14For your servants hold its stones dear, and have pity on its dust.
Recognizing God’s exaltation among the nations.
15The nations will fear the name of the Lord, and all the kings of the earth your glory.
16For the Lord will build up Zion; he will appear in his glory.
17He will regard the prayer of the destitute, and will not despise their prayer.
Recognizing the great deliverance God brings.
18Let this be recorded for a generation to come, so that a people yet unborn may praise the Lord:
This is an interesting suggestion: that God considers and plans for those yet to be created. We don’t enter into the consciousness of God when we are conceived in our mother’s womb, but when we are conceived in the heart and mind of God.
19that he looked down from his holy height, from heaven the Lord looked at the earth,
20to hear the groans of the prisoners, to set free those who were doomed to die;
21so that the name of the Lord may be declared in Zion, and his praise in Jerusalem,
22when peoples gather together, and kingdoms, to worship the Lord.
A confession of weakness and its cause.
23He has broken my strength in midcourse; he has shortened my days.
A prayer from the afflicted Psalmist.
24“O my God,” I say, “do not take me away at the mid-point of my life, you whose years endure throughout all generations.”
Psalm 90:1-2 (NIV)
Lord, you have been our dwelling place
throughout all generations.
Before the mountains were born
or you brought forth the whole world,
from everlasting to everlasting you are God.
25Long ago you laid the foundation of the earth, and the heavens are the work of your hands.
26They will perish, but you endure; they will all wear out like a garment. You change them like clothing, and they pass away;
27but you are the same, and your years have no end.
28The children of your servants shall live secure; their offspring shall be established in your presence.
This is a remarkable declaration of trust in God’s promise to make all things right and good, if not in the present day, then in days to come. It shows a wonderful progression in Psalm 102.
· He began with honest declaration of his own misery.
· Then he looked outside himself to his community
· Then he looked outside his community to the world
· Then he looked outside his time to future generations
The New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989 by the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved.