A Prayer for Mercy The People of Jerusalem Pray:[X] 5 1Our LORD, don't forget how we have suffered and been disgraced. 2Foreigners and strangers have taken our land and our homes. 3We are like children whose mothers are widows. 4The water we drink and the wood we burn cost far too much. 5We are terribly mistreated;[Y] we are worn out and can find no rest. 6We had to surrender to[Z] Egypt and Assyria because we were hungry.   7Our ancestors sinned, but they are dead, and we are left to pay for their sins. 8Slaves are now our rulers, and there is no one to set us free. 9We are in danger from brutal desert tribes; we must risk our lives just to bring in our crops.[A] 10Our skin is scorched from fever and hunger.   11On Zion and everywhere in Judah our wives and daughters are being raped. 12Our rulers are strung up by their arms, and our nation's advisors are treated shamefully. 13Young men are forced to do the work of slaves; boys must carry heavy loads of wood. 14Our leaders are not allowed to decide cases in court, and young people no longer play music.   15Our hearts are sad; instead of dancing, we mourn. 16Zion's glory has disappeared! And we are doomed because of our sins. 17We feel sick all over and can't even see straight; 18our city is in ruins, overrun by wild dogs.   19You will rule forever, LORD! You are King for all time. 20Why have you forgotten us for so long? 21Bring us back to you! Give us a fresh start. 22Or do you despise us so much that you don't want us?
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