Psalm 137 – a prayer

We pray for exiles and refugees;
for those who have been displaced by war,
poverty, discrimination, poison or violence;
for those who have fled their homelands
for safety, for work, for hope,
for those who have been taken from their homes
into slavery.
We pray with them and join in their song.

         By the rivers of Babylon—
                  there we sat down and there we wept
                  when we remembered Zion.
         On the willows there
                  we hung up our harps.

We pray for all oppressors,
that their eyes may be opened,
that their hearts be changed,
that they find their own true, deepest longings for life.
We pray for them and plead for their conversion.

         For there our captors
                  asked us for songs,
         and our tormentors asked for mirth, saying,
                  “Sing us one of the songs of Zion!”

We lament the families that are broken,
the cultures that are destroyed,
the traditions that are lost,
the voices that are silenced.
We weep with them and join in their song.

         How could we sing the Lord’s song
                  in a foreign land?
         If I forget you, O Jerusalem,
                  let my right hand wither!
         Let my tongue cling to the roof of my mouth
                  if I do not remember you,

                  if I do not set Jerusalem above my highest joy.

We join in their grief.
We honor their terror.
We accept their anger.
We lift their cry.
We stand with them and join in their song.

         Remember, O Lord, against the Edomites
                  the day of Jerusalem’s fall,
         how they said, “Tear it down! Tear it down!
                  Down to its foundations!”

We pray for the end to all violence
and the end to all the offspring of injustice,
that evil itself be demolished
and its spawn eliminated,
that every human heart be free of fear.
We rage with all victims of injustice
and join in their song.

         O daughter Babylon, you devastator!
                  Happy shall they be who pay you back
                  what you have done to us!
         Happy shall they be who take your little ones
                  and dash them against the rock!

We pray for exiles and refugees.
We are among them:
for until our sisters and brother are restored,
our home is not whole or safe.
We pray with them, and join in their silence.

Copyright © Steve Garnaas-Holmes
Unfolding Light

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