1 O Lord, hear my prayer ♦
and let my crying come before you.
2 Hide not your face from me ♦
in the day of my distress.
3 Incline your ear to me; ♦
when I call, make haste to answer me,
4 For my days are consumed in smoke ♦
and my bones burn away as in a furnace.
5 My heart is smitten down and withered like grass, ♦
so that I forget to eat my bread.
6 From the sound of my groaning ♦
my bones cleave fast to my skin.
7 I am become like a vulture in the wilderness, ♦
like an owl that haunts the ruins.
8 I keep watch and am become like a sparrow ♦
solitary upon the housetop.
9 My enemies revile me all the day long, ♦
and those who rage at me have sworn together against me.
10 I have eaten ashes for bread ♦
and mingled my drink with weeping,
11 Because of your indignation and wrath, ♦
for you have taken me up and cast me down.
12 My days fade away like a shadow, ♦
and I am withered like grass.
13 But you, O Lord, shall endure for ever ♦
and your name through all generations.
14 You will arise and have pity on Zion; ♦
it is time to have mercy upon her;
surely the time has come.
15 For your servants love her very stones ♦
and feel compassion for her dust.
16 Then shall the nations fear your name, O Lord, ♦
and all the kings of the earth your glory,
17 When the Lord has built up Zion ♦
and shown himself in glory;
18 When he has turned to the prayer of the destitute ♦
and has not despised their plea.
19 This shall be written for those that come after, ♦
and a people yet unborn shall praise the Lord.
20 For he has looked down from his holy height; ♦
from the heavens he beheld the earth,
21 That he might hear the sighings of the prisoner ♦
and set free those condemned to die;
22 That the name of the Lord may be proclaimed in Zion ♦
and his praises in Jerusalem,
23 When peoples are gathered together ♦
and kingdoms also, to serve the Lord.
24 He has brought down my strength in my journey ♦
and has shortened my days.
25 I pray, ‘O my God, do not take me in the midst of my days; ♦
your years endure throughout all generations.
26 ‘In the beginning you laid the foundations of the earth, ♦
and the heavens are the work of your hands;
27 ‘They shall perish, but you will endure; ♦
they all shall wear out like a garment.
28 ‘You change them like clothing, and they shall be changed; ♦
but you are the same, and your years will not fail.
29 ‘The children of your servants shall continue, ♦
and their descendants shall be established in your sight.’
Common Worship: Services and Prayers for the Church of England, material from which is included here,
is copyright © The Archbishops' Council 2000 and published by Church House Publishing.