Do you not see, O Lord? Do you not see strangers drag us from our mothers’ homes and force us to live in tents of slavery?
Do you not hear, O Lord? Do you not hear the screams of your daughters who only went for water, only went in search of wood for the dying fire? The wood scatters, the water spills, and the blood soaks the earth as the evil rape the young and force the mothers to watch.
Do you not feel our pain, O Lord? We give love and life with our bodies, but cruel, dark power forces hate into us and cuts innocence out of us; we collapse like torn rags on a dirt floor.
Have mercy on us, Lord, have mercy. We have known too long the weapons of violence and rape; cast away from your presence, the women huddle in war’s dark shadow.
O Lord, do not forget your daughters, for your daughters have not forgotten you. But how long must we wait to drink the water of your love? How long must our tears spill over hot, cracked, dry earth as we wait in darkness?
O Lord, hear the prayers of your daughters and do not close your ears to the cries of our hearts. Come to us across the dry wasteland of our lives. Bring to us abundant streams of cooling waters and anoint us with Gilead’s healing balm.
When we drink your water, O Lord, we will rejoice at your coming; when we are healed, we will sing your praises.
Then we will know that you have not forgotten your daughters; then we will know that we will sit, white-haired and free, at our own fires again. Amen.
© Sheila N. McJilton in Lifting Women’s Voices: Prayers to Change the World, Margaret Rose, Jeanne Person, Abagail Nelson, Jenny Te Paa, Editors (Harrisburg, New York: Morehouse Publishing, 2009), 125.
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