A Prayer to the Lord
1Remember, Lord, what happened to us.
Look and see our disgrace.
2Our land has been turned over to strangers;
our houses have been given to foreigners.
3We are like orphans with no father;
our mothers are like widows.
4We have to buy the water we drink;
we must pay for the firewood.
5Those who chase after us want to catch us by the neck.
We are tired and find no rest.
6We made an agreement with Egypt
and with Assyria to get enough food.
7Our ancestors sinned against you, but they are gone;
now we suffer because of their sins.
8Slaves have become our rulers,
and no one can save us from them.
9We risk our lives to get our food;
we face death in the desert.
10Our skin is hot like an oven;
we burn with starvation.
11The enemy abused the women of Jerusalem
and the girls in the cities of Judah.
12Princes were hung by the hands;
they did not respect our elders.
13The young men ground grain at the mill,
and boys stumbled under loads of wood.
14The elders no longer sit at the city gates;
the young men no longer sing.
15We have no more joy in our hearts;
our dancing has turned to sadness.
16The crown has fallen from our head.
How terrible it is because we sinned.
17Because of this we are afraid,
and now our eyes are dim.
18Mount Zion is empty,
and wild dogs wander around it.
19But you rule forever, Lord.
You will be King from now on.
20Why have you forgotten us for so long?
Have you left us forever?
21Bring us back to you, Lord, and we will return.
Make our days as they were before,
22or have you completely rejected us?
Are you so angry with us?