A Prayer for Mercy
The People of Jerusalem Pray:
1 Our Lord, don't forget
how we have suffered
and been disgraced.
2 Foreigners and strangers
have taken our land
and our homes.
3 We are like children
whose mothers are widows.
4 The water we drink
and the wood we burn
cost far too much.
5 We are terribly mistreated;
we are worn out
and can find no rest.
6 We had to surrender
to Egypt and Assyria
because we were hungry.

7 Our ancestors sinned,
but they are dead,
and we are left to pay
for their sins.
8 Slaves are now our rulers,
and there is no one
to set us free.
9 We are in danger
from brutal desert tribes;
we must risk our lives
just to bring in our crops.
10 Our skin is scorched
from fever and hunger.

11 On Zion and everywhere in Judah
our wives and daughters
are being raped.
12 Our rulers are strung up
by their arms,
and our nation's advisors
are treated shamefully.
13 Young men are forced
to do the work of slaves;
boys must carry
heavy loads of wood.
14 Our leaders are not allowed
to decide cases in court,
and young people
no longer play music.

15 Our hearts are sad;
instead of dancing,
we mourn.
16 Zion's glory has disappeared!
And we are doomed
because of our sins.
17 We feel sick all over
and can't even see straight;
18 our city is in ruins,
overrun by wild dogs.

19 You will rule forever, Lord!
You are King for all time.
20 Why have you forgotten us
for so long?
21 Bring us back to you!
Give us a fresh start.
22 Or do you despise us so much
that you don't want us?