A Prayer for Mercy
1Remember, 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 [a]We have to pay for our drinking water,
Our wood comes to us at a price.
5 [b]Our pursuers are at our necks;
We are worn out, there is no rest for us.
6 We have [c]submitted to Egypt and Assyria [d]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 [e]at the risk of our lives
[f]Because of the sword in the wilderness.
10 Our skin has become as hot as an oven,
Because of [g]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;
[h]Elders were not respected.
13 Young men [i]worked at the grinding mill,
And youths stumbled under loads of wood.
14 Elders [j]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.