The book of Lamentations, often ascribed to the prophet Jeremiah, contains five poems of mourning that make up the five chapters. Written at the time of the Babylonian capture and takeover of Judah, these poems describe the sorrow and suffering the Jews felt and experienced during this national tragedy.
Many Hebrew lamentations began with the Hebrew word for “how”-ekhah. In verse 1, the word how begins the first sentences, so in the Hebrew canon, this book is named Ekhah.
This first week in October is the week when Christians around the world celebrate World Communion Sunday, a special time to recognize the solidarity of our union in Jesus Christ, Savior of all humankind.
Perhaps it is also a time-as we partake of the bread and the cup instituted by Jesus-to lift up in prayer those persons who live in captivity. We pray for refugees in camps, far from their homes; refugees who have “resettled” into another culture or country, who dream of going home; children, youth, and adults living in war zones of terror, death, and destruction; people held captive by economic, social, and political systems; and, some times, even ourselves. This is the time to pray our own sentences of “how” as we empathize with those present generations of the faithful who continue to worship God despite their bondage.
SUGGESTION FOR PRAYER:
Using a current newspaper, radio or television newscast write on an index card several areas in the world where people live in captivity of one kind or another. As you go through this day and the days this week, say a sentence prayer for these people and these places, asking God to bless them in special ways.