“By the waters of Babylon there we sat down and wept, when we remembered Zion…..” (Psalm 137)
Prayer of Lament of Uprootedness
How can the Lord’s people sing His songs in a strange land? This poignant question is a cry expressed by the people of God as they found themselves uprooted from their homes and in Babylon. What are the words to describe their situation?
Forsaken. Sorrowful. Abandoned. Displaced. Uprooted.
As we pray today, the feeling of “uprootedness” we might experience coming off this past holiday season—where the holidays remind us of those who are no longer with us. Perhaps the agonizing feeling of uprootedness we feel is caused by a soured relationship which was once a source of life, or failing health- we find ourselves in a strange place or season we never would have imagined for ourselves.
Moreover, businesses and institutions disappear; skyrocketing expenses force families and churches to leave neighborhoods; a changing cultural climate creates a sense of vertigo for families raising children or to simply understand what is just and ethical. Our streets are filled with young and old, who are displaced from their homes abroad or locally—struggling in our schools and/or living on the streets.
Reflecting on the glorious work of Jesus, Paul prays that the Ephesians be “rooted and grounded in love, may have strength to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled with all the fullness of God".
Lord, as we endure the unsettled sense of uprootedness, help us to find our firm footing in being rooted in Christ and our Father’s love!
We lift these things to you in prayer today:
Prayer for forgiveness of our sins—specifically finding grounding and roots in earthly things.
Prayer for a renewed sense of being rooted in Christ and to know this love that surpasses knowledge.
Prayer for healing for the many experiences we have that make us feel uprooted, fearful and anxious.
Prayer for the ability to empathize with so many experiencing a sense of exile—feelings and experiences of uprootedness for:
The many who enter the year without individuals that have passed.
For the many who have lost health, and are struggling in their bodies.
For the many who struggle to make decisions that involve change and are afraid of what is ahead.
For congregations, businesses and communities struggling to either hold onto the place of mission or understand their purpose in our changing communities.
Prayer for empathy and hospitality to many displaced from their homes and/or those experiencing homelessness.
Lord, hear our prayers, may we continue to find our Jerusalem in you! Hear our lament, see our tears and bring your wisdom and healing, Amen.