Do we lament when life is so rotten and dark that we have no where else to turn? Yes.
Do we lament when there is still hope, but much work yet to be done? Yes.
What we have seen this Advent as we’ve studied psalms of lament, is that lament is a faithful, clinging to God, an emotional plea asking him to intervene.
When we lament, we pray, “How long O Lord?” because we are waiting for him in the midst of our pain.
When we lament we are asking God to restore and revive us.
As you read this post, you may be at your wits’ end. And you might not be. No matter if you are going through a difficult time, or if things are relatively good, I encourage you to practice lament. Include lament as a regular part of your prayer. So what I’ve created below is a guide that you can use to help you lament.
Maybe even take the guide and use it to lament with your family or small group. When we used this guide during our worship service at Faith Church, I read a section, then gave a few minutes for people to lament. I invited our church family to lament out loud if the wanted. Some did! Most prayed quietly to themselves.
You’ll notice that the guided lament below starts broadly, lamenting for our world, and then gradually narrows, finishing with a lament for yourself. Feel free to read over the brief description I’ve created ahead. You might want to personalize, add to it, totally change it! What I have listed below is just a guide.
So find a quiet place, away from distractions. You might want to put your phone on airplane mode, light a candle, and take a few deep breaths. Maybe read Psalm 126 again. And then when you’re ready, address your lament to God.
Lament for our world
Lament for our world. Lament for the refugees without a home, often scraping together an sparsee existence in a war-torn camp. Lament for the families around the world who have lost loved ones because of terrorist attacks. Lament for fractures that run deep between people and nations in our world.
Lament for our country
Lament for our country. Lament for the homeless who wonder how they’ll survive the winter. Lament for damage that sexual predators have caused. Lament for the pain caused by mass shootings. Lament for communities devastated by flood and fire.
Lament for your community
Lament for your community. Lament for the hungry coming to food banks for help. Lament for the people living in motels. Lament for broken families and how deeply it affects children. Lament for the many in our community who do not know Jesus.
Lament for your church
Lament for your church. Lament for those in your church family who have been experiencing physical pain for many months and years. Lament for the families that have dealt with a different kind of pain, the pain of loss and brokenness in its many forms.
Lament for your family
Lament for your family and all the difficulties you’re facing.
Lament for yourself
Lament for yourself.