Prayer for Restoration
1Lord, remember what has happened to us.
See how we have been disgraced!
2Our inheritance has been turned over to strangers,
our homes to foreigners.
3We are orphaned and fatherless.
Our mothers are widowed.
4We have to pay for water to drink,
and even firewood is expensive.
5Those who pursue us are at our heels;
we are exhausted but are given no rest.
6We submitted to Egypt and Assyria
to get enough food to survive.
7Our ancestors sinned, but they have died—
and we are suffering the punishment they deserved!
8Slaves have now become our masters;
there is no one left to rescue us.
9We hunt for food at the risk of our lives,
for violence rules the countryside.
10The famine has blackened our skin
as though baked in an oven.
11Our enemies rape the women in Jerusalem
and the young girls in all the towns of Judah.
12Our princes are being hanged by their thumbs,
and our elders are treated with contempt.
13Young men are led away to work at millstones,
and boys stagger under heavy loads of wood.
14The elders no longer sit in the city gates;
the young men no longer dance and sing.
15Joy has left our hearts;
our dancing has turned to mourning.
16The garlands have fallen from our heads.
Weep for us because we have sinned.
17Our hearts are sick and weary,
and our eyes grow dim with tears.
18For Jerusalem is empty and desolate,
a place haunted by jackals.
19But Lord, you remain the same forever!
Your throne continues from generation to generation.
20Why do you continue to forget us?
Why have you abandoned us for so long?
21Restore us, O Lord, and bring us back to you again!
Give us back the joys we once had!
22Or have you utterly rejected us?
Are you angry with us still?