Readings from the Old Testament / Hebrew Scriptures
The people of ancient Israel cried out to God in their time of need, trusting in God’s unfailing love.
We cried out for help to the LORD, the God
of our ancestors. He heard us and saw our
suffering, hardship, and misery.
I lie down and try to rest; I look for relief from my pain.
The LORD is good to everyone who trusts in him.
Many of the psalms include prayers of those who turned to God in times of suffering and pain. God hears the cries of all who call upon him for help.
“Now I will come,” says the LORD, “because the needy are oppressed
and the persecuted groan in pain. I will give them the security they long for.”
The promises of the LORD can be trusted; they are as genuine as silver
refined seven times in the furnace.
“He does not neglect the poor or ignore their suffering;
he does not turn away from them, but answers when they call for help.”
Turn to me, LORD, and be merciful to me, because I am lonely and weak.
Relieve me of my worries and save me from all my troubles.
Consider my distress and suffering and forgive all my sins.
I place myself in your care.
You will save me, LORD; you are a faithful God.
I will be glad and rejoice because of your constant love.
You see my suffering; you know my trouble.
O LORD, you know what I long for; you hear all my groans.
But I trust in you, O LORD; and you, O LORD my God, will answer me.
I am about to fall and am in constant pain.
Answer me, LORD, in the goodness of your constant love;
in your great compassion turn to me!
Don’t hide yourself from your servant;
I am in great trouble – answer me now!
In the midst of suffering, the prophets Isaiah and Daniel prayed to God on behalf of the people of ancient Israel, trusting in God’s mercy and constant love.
The LORD will give the people of Israel relief
from their pain and suffering and from the hard
work they were forced to do.
I will tell of the LORD’s unfailing love;
I praise him for all he has done for us.
He has richly blessed the people of Israel
because of his mercy and constant love.
The LORD said, “They are my people; they will
not deceive me.” And so he saved them from
all their suffering. It was not an angel, but the
LORD himself who saved them. In his love and
compassion he rescued them.
“Lord God, you are great, and we honor you.
You are faithful to your covenant and show
constant love to those who love you and do
what you command.
Listen to us, O God; look at us, and see the
trouble we are in and the suffering of the city that
bears your name. We are praying to you because
you are merciful, not because we have done right.
Lord, hear us. Lord, forgive us. Lord, listen to us,
and act! In order that everyone will know that
you are God, do not delay! This city and these
people are yours.”