Wednesday, February 11, 2009
Prayer for healing
But you, O Lord, are enthroned forever;
your name endures to all generations.
You will rise up and have compassion on Zion,
for it is time to favor it;
the appointed time has come.
For your servants hold its stones dear,
and have pity on its dust.
The nations will fear the name of the Lord,
and all the kings of the earth your glory.
For the Lord will build up Zion;
he will appear in his glory.
He will regard the prayer of the destitute,
and will not despise their prayer.
Let this be recorded for a generation to come,
so that a people yet unborn may praise the Lord:
that he looked down from his holy height,
from heaven the Lord looked at the earth,
to hear the groans of the prisoners,
to set free those who were doomed to die;
so that the name of the Lord may be declared in Zion,
and his praise in Jerusalem,
when peoples gather together,
and kingdoms, to worship the Lord.
He has broken my strength in midcourse;
he has shortened my days.
"O my God," I say, "do not take me away
at the mid-point of my life,
you whose years endure
throughout all generations."
Long ago you laid the foundation of the earth,
and the heavens are the work of your hands.
They will perish, but you endure;
they will all wear out like a garment.
You change them like clothing, and they pass away;
but you are the same, and your years have no end.
The children of your servants shall live secure;
their offspring shall be established in your presence.
Comments: I looked this psalm up in the Jewish Study Bible and I like its translation better than the NRSV. This is the last half of a lament of someone who is waiting for the Temple to be restored after the Exile. What is important from this lament is that the psalmist is secure in the knowledge of the permanence of God. Ill, and perhaps fearing that his life will be cut short, the psalmist is petitioning God that his health may be restored. But at the center of his prayer is contentment and surrender to the will of God. His praise is consistent even if his prayer is not answered the way that he wants. It is God’s sustaining presence that is important.