Jenny Rowe, Lament: Getting Honest with God

Jenny Rowe, SIL
(Based on How to Read the Bible for All Its Worth)

Lament: Getting Honest with God

Lamenting is a very Biblical way to deal with our stresses and griefs by interacting with God in stark honesty. It will change our perspective. It is modeled in the Psalms along with praise and rejoicing. Jesus prayed these Psalms for himself and others, and we should, too:

Individual Psalms of lament: 3, 5, 6, 7, 13, 17, 22, 26, 28, 31, 35, 38, 39, 42, 43, 51, 54, 55, 56, 57, 59, 61, 63, 64, 69, 71, 73, 77, 86, 88, 102, 109, 130, 142, 143. 

Corporate Psalms of lament: 44, 60, 74, 79, 80, 83.

When things are tough, write your own lament using the following elements of a Biblical lament, then pray it aloud over the next few days or weeks. Consider sharing it with someone.

  1. Address yourself to the Lord.
  2. Pour out your complaint honestly and forcefully, identifying what the trouble is and why you’re seeking the Lord’s help.
  3. Express your trust in God. (Because why pour out a complaint to God if you don’t trust him?) You must trust him to answer your complaint in the way he sees fit, not necessarily as you would wish.
  4. Cry out to God for deliverance from the situation you have described.
  5. Express your assurance that God will deliver you. (This assurance is somewhat parallel to your expression of trust.)
  6. Praise, thank and honor God for the blessings of the past, present, and / or future.