Is there a noun or adjective for the following or similar:
- a pleading before a judge for clemency
- a prayer before God begging for mercy
Is there a better word than "begging", "pleading", "petitioning", etc.?
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Judge or God, clemency or mercy..
Supplication, a noun, can logically be applied to any situation in which you plead to someone in power for help or a favor.
Supplication: comes from the Latin verb supplicare, which means "to plead humbly." (etymonline.com)
Supplication (also known as petitioning) is a form of prayer, wherein one party humbly or earnestly asks another party to provide something, either for the party who is doing the supplicating (e.g., "Please spare my life.") or on behalf of someone else (e.g., "Please spare my child's life.").
An earnest or humble request: the king turned a deaf ear to his entreaties
Oxford Dictionaries Online
The noun imploration might be suitable to your needs.
An act of begging someone to do something:
earnest implorations for divine forgiveness and mercy
From the verb implore Etymonline tells us
v. c.1500, from Middle French implorer and directly from Latin implorare "call for help, beseech," originally "invoke with weeping," from assimilated form of in- "on, upon" + plorare "to weep, cry out." Related: Implored ; imploring ; imploringly.