The People of Jerusalem Pray:
1 O Lord, reflect on what has happened to us;
consider and look at our disgrace.
2 Our inheritance is turned over to strangers;
foreigners now occupy our homes.
3 We have become fatherless orphans;
our mothers have become widows.
4 We must pay money for our own water;
we must buy our own wood at a steep price.
5 We are pursued – they are breathing down our necks;
we are weary and have no rest.
6 We have submitted to Egypt and Assyria
in order to buy food to eat.
7 Our forefathers sinned and are dead,
but we suffer their punishment.
8 Slaves rule over us;
there is no one to rescue us from their power.
9 At the risk of our lives we get our food
because robbers lurk in the countryside.
10 Our skin is hot as an oven
due to a fever from hunger.
11 They raped women in Zion,
virgins in the towns of Judah.
12 Princes were hung by their hands;
elders were mistreated.
13 The young men perform menial labour;
boys stagger from their labour.
14 The elders are gone from the city gate;
the young men have stopped playing their music.
15 Our hearts no longer have any joy;
our dancing is turned to mourning.
16 The crown has fallen from our head;
woe to us, for we have sinned!
17 Because of this, our hearts are sick;
because of these things, we can hardly see through our tears.
18 For wild animals are prowling over Mount Zion,
which lies desolate.
19 But you, O Lord, reign forever;
your throne endures from generation to generation.
20 Why do you keep on forgetting us?
Why do you forsake us so long?
21 Bring us back to yourself, O Lord, so that we may return to you;
renew our life as in days before,
22 unless you have utterly rejected us
and are angry with us beyond measure.