A Cry in Distress
102 1 Give ear to my prayer, O Lord, and let my cry come to you. 2 Let not your face be veiled from me in the day of my trouble; give ear to me, and let my cry be answered quickly. 3 My days are wasted like smoke, and my bones are burned up as in a fire. 4 My heart is broken; it has become dry and dead like grass, so that I give no thought to food. 5 Because of the voice of my sorrow, my flesh is wasted to the bone. 6 I am like a bird living by itself in the waste places; like the night-bird in a waste of sand. 7 I keep watch like a bird by itself on the house-top. 8 My haters say evil of me all day; those who are violent against me make use of my name as a curse. 9 I have had dust for bread and my drink has been mixed with weeping: 10 Because of your passion and your wrath, for I have been lifted up and then made low by you. 11 My days are like a shade which is stretched out; I am dry like the grass.
12 But you, O Lord, are eternal; and your name will never come to an end. 13 You will again get up and have mercy on Zion: for the time has come for her to be comforted. 14 For your servants take pleasure in her stones, looking with love on her dust. 15 So the nations will give honour to the name of the Lord, and all the kings of the earth will be in fear of his glory: 16 When the Lord has put up the walls of Zion, and has been been in his glory; 17 When he has given ear to the prayer of the poor, and has not put his request on one side. 18 This will be put in writing for the coming generation, and the people of the future will give praise to the Lord. 19 For from his holy place the Lord has seen, looking down on the earth from heaven; 20 Hearing the cry of the prisoner, making free those for whom death is ordered; 21 So that they may give out the name of the Lord in Zion, and his praise in Jerusalem; 22 When the peoples are come together, and the kingdoms, to give worship to the Lord.
23 He has taken my strength from me in the way; he has made short my days. 24 I will say, O my God, take me not away before my time; your years go on through all generations: 25 In the past you put the earth on its base, and the heavens are the work of your hands. 26 They will come to an end, but you will still go on; they all will become old like a coat, and like a robe they will be changed: 27 But you are the unchanging One, and your years will have no end. 28 The children of your servants will have a safe resting-place, and their seed will be ever before you.
Praise for the LORD's Benefits
103 1 Give praise to the Lord, O my soul; let everything in me give praise to his holy name. 2 Give praise to the Lord, O my soul; let not all his blessings go from your memory. 3 He has forgiveness for all your sins; he takes away all your diseases; 4 He keeps back your life from destruction, crowning you with mercy and grace. 5 He makes your mouth full of good things, so that your strength is made new again like the eagle's.
6 The Lord gives decisions in righteousness for all who are in trouble. 7 He gave knowledge of his way to Moses, and made his acts clear to the children of Israel. 8 The Lord is kind and full of pity, not quickly made angry, but ever ready to have mercy. 9 His feeling will no longer be bitter; he will not keep his wrath for ever. 10 He has not given us the punishment for our sins, or the reward of our wrongdoing. 11 For as the heaven is high over the earth, so great is his mercy to his worshippers. 12 As far as the east is from the west, so far has he put our sins from us. 13 As a father has pity on his children, so the Lord has pity on his worshippers. 14 For he has knowledge of our feeble frame; he sees that we are only dust. 15 As for man, his days are as grass: his beautiful growth is like the flower of the field. 16 The wind goes over it and it is gone; and its place sees it no longer. 17 But the mercy of the Lord is eternal for his worshippers, and their children's children will see his righteousness; 18 If they keep his agreement, and have his laws in mind to do them.
19 The Lord has made ready his high seat in the heavens; his kingdom is ruling over all. 20 Give praise to the Lord, you his angels, who are great in strength, doing his orders, and waiting for his voice. 21 Give praise to the Lord, all you his armies; and you his servants who do his pleasure. 22 Give praise to the Lord, all his works, in all places under his rule: give praise to the Lord, O my soul.
The LORD's Care for His Creation
104 1 Give praise to the Lord, O my soul. O Lord my God, you are very great; you are robed with honour and power. 2 You are clothed with light as with a robe; stretching out the heavens like a curtain: 3 The arch of your house is based on the waters; you make the clouds your carriage; you go on the wings of the wind: 4 He makes winds his angels, and flames of fire his servants. 5 He has made the earth strong on its bases, so that it may not be moved for ever and ever; 6 Covering it with the sea as with a robe: the waters were high over the mountains; 7 At the voice of your word they went in flight; at the sound of your thunder they went away in fear; 8 The mountains came up and the valleys went down into the place which you had made ready for them. 9 You made a limit over which they might not go, so that the earth would never again be covered by them.
10 You sent the springs into the valleys; they are flowing between the hills. 11 They give drink to every beast of the field; the mountain asses come to them for water. 12 The birds of the air have their resting-places by them, and make their song among the branches. 13 He sends down rain from his store-houses on the hills: the earth is full of the fruit of his works. 14 He makes the grass come up for the cattle, and plants for the use of man; so that bread may come out of the earth; 15 And wine to make glad the heart of man, and oil to make his face shining, and bread giving strength to his heart. 16 The trees of the Lord are full of growth, the cedars of Lebanon of his planting; 17 Where the birds have their resting-places; as for the stork, the tall trees are her house. 18 The high hills are a safe place for the mountain goats, and the rocks for the small beasts.
19 He made the moon for a sign of the divisions of the year; teaching the sun the time of its going down. 20 When you make it dark, it is night, when all the beasts of the woods come quietly out of their secret places. 21 The young lions go thundering after their food; searching for their meat from God. 22 The sun comes up, and they come together, and go back to their secret places to take their rest. 23 Man goes out to his work, and to his business, till the evening. 24 O Lord, how great is the number of your works! in wisdom you have made them all; the earth is full of the things you have made. 25 There is the great, wide sea, where there are living things, great and small, more than may be numbered. 26 There go the ships; there is that great beast, which you have made as a plaything. 27 All of them are waiting for you, to give them their food in its time. 28 They take what you give them; they are full of the good things which come from your open hand. 29 If your face is veiled, they are troubled; when you take away their breath, they come to an end, and go back to the dust. 30 If you send out your spirit, they are given life; you make new the face of the earth.
31 Let the glory of the Lord be for ever; let the Lord have joy in his works: 32 At whose look the earth is shaking; at whose touch the mountains send out smoke. 33 I will make songs to the Lord all my life; I will make melody to my God while I have my being. 34 Let my thoughts be sweet to him: I will be glad in the Lord. 35 Let sinners be cut off from the earth, and let all evil-doers come to an end. Give praise to the Lord, O my soul. Give praise to the Lord.