A Prayer for Restoration
1 Remember, O LORD, what has happened to us.
Look and see our disgrace!
2 Our inheritance has been turned over to strangers,
our houses to foreigners.
3 We have become fatherless orphans;
our mothers are widows.
4 We must buy the water we drink;
our wood comes at a price.
5 We are closely pursued;
we are weary and find no rest.
6 We submitted to Egypt and Assyria
to get enough bread.
7 Our fathers sinned and are no more,
but we bear their punishment.
8 Slaves rule over us;
there is no one to deliver us from their hands.
9 We get our bread at the risk of our lives
because of the sword in the wilderness.
10 Our skin is as hot as an oven
with fever from our hunger.
11 Women have been ravished in Zion,
virgins in the cities of Judah.
12 Princes have been hung up by their hands;
elders receive no respect.
13 Young men toil at millstones;
boys stagger under loads of wood.
14 The elders have left the city gate;
the young men have stopped their music.
15 Joy has left our hearts;
our dancing has 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 faint;
because of these, our eyes grow dim—
18 because of Mount Zion, which lies desolate,
patrolled by foxes.
19 You, O LORD, reign forever;
Your throne endures from generation to generation.
20 Why have You forgotten us forever?
Why have You forsaken us for so long?
21 Restore us to Yourself, O LORD, so we may return;
renew our days as of old,
22 unless You have utterly rejected us
and remain angry with us beyond measure.