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A Prayer for Deliverance

Lord, remember what has happened to us.
    Pay attention, and look at our shame!

Our inheritance has[a] been turned over to strangers,
    and our homes to foreigners.

We are now orphans—without fathers—
    and our mothers are like widows.

We pay to drink our own water,
    and our own wood is sold to us at high price.

Our pursuers breathe down[b] our necks;
    we are weary, but there is no rest for us.

We made a deal with the Egyptians and the Assyrians
    for the price of food.[c]

Our ancestors sinned and no longer exist
    yet we continue to bear the consequences of their sin.

Slaves rule over us,
    and no one delivers us from their control.[d]

We risk our lives to obtain our food,
    facing death[e] in the desert.

10 Our skin blisters[f] as from an oven,
    due to ravaging blasts of the famine.

11 They have raped women in Zion,
    young women[g] in the towns of Judah.

12 Princes they have hung by their hands;
    elders[h] they have disrespected.

13 Our[i] young men must grind grain with a millstone;
    our[j] youths stumble under the weight of wood.

14 Our[k] elders have ceased ruling[l] at the gate;
    our[m] young men have abandoned[n] their music.

15 The joy of our hearts has ceased,
    and our dancing has turned into dirges.

16 The crown has fallen from our head—
    woe to us, because we have sinned!

17 This is why our hearts faint,
    and why our eyes grow dim:
18 Because Mount Zion is desolate;
    foxes roam around it.

19 You, Lord, are forever—
    your throne endures from generation to generation.

20 So why have you completely forgotten us,
    forsaking us for so long?

21 Restore us to yourself, Lord,
    so that we may return.
Renew our days as before,
22 unless you have utterly rejected us
        and are angry with us without limit.


  1. Lamentations 5:2 Or possessions have
  2. Lamentations 5:5 Lit. pursuers are on
  3. Lamentations 5:6 Lit. Assyrians, being satisfied with bread
  4. Lamentations 5:8 Lit. hand
  5. Lamentations 5:9 Lit. facing the sword
  6. Lamentations 5:10 Lit. blackens
  7. Lamentations 5:11 Lit. the virgins
  8. Lamentations 5:12 Lit. the faces of the elders
  9. Lamentations 5:13 The Heb. lacks Our
  10. Lamentations 5:13 The Heb. lacks our
  11. Lamentations 5:14 The Heb. lacks Our
  12. Lamentations 5:14 The Heb. lacks ruling
  13. Lamentations 5:14 The Heb. lacks our
  14. Lamentations 5:14 The Heb. lacks have abandoned