A Prayer for Mercy
1Remember, O Lord, what has befallen us;
Look, and see our reproach!
2Our inheritance has been turned over to strangers,
Our houses to aliens.
3We have become orphans without a father,
Our mothers are like widows.
4We have to pay for our drinking water,
Our wood comes to us at a price.
5Our pursuers are at our necks;
We are worn out, there is no rest for us.
6We have submitted to Egypt and Assyria to get enough bread.
7Our fathers sinned, and are no more;
It is we who have borne their iniquities.
8Slaves rule over us;
There is no one to deliver us from their hand.
9We get our bread at the risk of our lives
Because of the sword in the wilderness.
10Our skin has become as hot as an oven,
Because of the burning heat of famine.
11They ravished the women in Zion,
The virgins in the cities of Judah.
12Princes were hung by their hands;
Elders were not respected.
13Young men worked at the grinding mill,
And youths stumbled under loads of wood.
14Elders are gone from the gate,
Young men from their music.
15The joy of our hearts has ceased;
Our dancing has been turned into mourning.
16The crown has fallen from our head;
Woe to us, for we have sinned!
17Because of this our heart is faint,
Because of these things our eyes are dim;
18Because of Mount Zion which lies desolate,
Foxes prowl in it.
19You, O Lord, rule forever;
Your throne is from generation to generation.
20Why do You forget us forever?
Why do You forsake us so long?
21Restore us to You, O Lord, that we may be restored;
Renew our days as of old,
22Unless You have utterly rejected us
And are exceedingly angry with us.