A Prayer for Mercy
1 Remember, O LORD, what has befallen us;
Look, and see our reproach!
2 Our inheritance has been turned over to strangers,
Our houses to aliens.
3 We have become orphans without a father,
Our mothers are like widows.
4 We have to pay for our drinking water,
Our wood comes to us at a price.
5 Our pursuers are at our necks;
We are worn out, there is no rest for us.
6 We have submitted to Egypt and Assyria to get enough bread.
7 Our fathers sinned, and are no more;
It is we who have borne their iniquities.
8 Slaves rule over us;
There is no one to deliver us from their hand.
9 We get our bread at the risk of our lives
Because of the sword in the wilderness.
10 Our skin has become as hot as an oven,
Because of the burning heat of famine.
11 They ravished the women in Zion,
The virgins in the cities of Judah.
12 Princes were hung by their hands;
Elders F86 were not respected.
13 Young men worked F87 at the grinding mill,
And youths stumbled under loads of wood.
14 Elders are gone from the gate,
Young men from their music.
15 The joy of our hearts has ceased;
Our dancing has been turned into mourning.
16 The crown has fallen from our head;
Woe to us, for we have sinned!
17 Because of this our heart is faint,
Because of these things our eyes are dim;
18 Because of Mount Zion which lies desolate,
Foxes prowl in it.
19 You, O LORD, rule forever;
Your throne is from generation to generation.
20 Why do You forget us forever?
Why do You forsake us so long?
21 Restore us to You, O LORD, that we may be restored;
Renew our days as of old,
22 Unless You have utterly rejected us
And are exceedingly angry with us.