Prayer for Mercy and Help
1Oh, that You would tear open the heavens and come down,
That the mountains might quake at Your presence—
2As [sure as] fire kindles the brushwood, as fire causes water to boil—
To make Your name known to Your adversaries,
That the nations may tremble at Your presence!
3When You did awesome and amazing things which we did not expect,
You came down [at Sinai]; the mountains quaked at Your presence.
4For from days of old no one has heard, nor has ear perceived,
Nor has the eye seen a God besides You,
Who works and acts in behalf of the one who [gladly] waits for Him.
5You meet him who rejoices in doing that which is morally right,
Who remembers You in Your ways.
Indeed, You were angry, for we sinned;
We have long continued in our sins [prolonging Your anger].
And shall we be saved [under such circumstances]?
6For we all have become like one who is [ceremonially] unclean [like a leper],
And all our deeds of righteousness are like filthy rags;
We all wither and decay like a leaf,
And our wickedness [our sin, our injustice, our wrongdoing], like the wind, takes us away [carrying us far from God’s favor, toward destruction].
7There is no one who calls on Your name,
Who awakens and causes himself to take hold of You;
For You have hidden Your face from us
And have handed us over to the [consuming and destructive] power of our wickedness [our sin, our injustice, our wrongdoing].
8Yet, O Lord, You are our Father;
We are the clay, and You our Potter,
And we all are the work of Your hand.
9Do not be angry beyond measure, O Lord,
Do not remember our wickedness [our sin, our injustice, our wrongdoing] forever.
Now look, consider, for we are all Your people.
10Your holy cities have become a wilderness,
Zion has become a wilderness,
Jerusalem a desolation.
11Our holy and beautiful house [the temple built by Solomon],
Where our fathers praised You,
Has been burned by fire;
And all our precious objects are in ruins.
12Considering these [tragedies], will You restrain Yourself, O Lord [and not help us]?
Will You keep silent and humiliate and oppress us beyond measure?