Prayer of Lament
Reading the news and/or twitter feed these days can be mostly overwhelming and scary. I am not sure what to do in the face of flooding, of hurt, of loss, of hate, of fear. Truthfully, we are trying our best to figure our fumbling way through loving neighbors locally and globally well, through raising our voices and moving our feet to stand for justice, through caring well about all-the-things without allowing our hearts to grow too weary.
In the meantime, though, I am focusing on practicing the spiritual discipline of prayer, particularly lament. Monthly, I am writing a prayer of confession or lament for our church, and I will share that here monthly as well in case you too find your heart aching for Jesus to draw near.
We come before you this morning weary and worn, heavy-laden, staggering under the weight of all the things we are carrying. We cry out to you Lord in our struggle and in our pain. We watch the news and look out our windows, and know the world is not as it should be. We know our prayer has not yet been answered for your Kingdom to come on earth as it is in Heaven. We know the story is not yet finished because here we find ourselves broken and cracked.
We wake up in the morning to unspeakable loss, to betrayal, to hurt, to death, to darkness. Things we long to birth don’t find their way to fruition, and we cannot understand your plan in the loss. It gets hard, Lord, to believe in your goodness and mercy when the evidence around us seems to point elsewhere. We look in the mirror and find ourselves faced with our own mistakes, our own inadequacies, and unfulfilled longings.
Sometimes we find ourselves struck silent in the face of our pain and loss, perhaps only because we don’t quite take your promises seriously enough. We are afraid, God, to confront the ways that the circumstances of our lives don’t always line up with the truth of who we say we believe you are. Sometimes, God, we confess that you don’t actually seem good to us, and we cannot see how your plan could be for our best.
Thank you, God that you are not threatened by our questions, by our tears, and by our wavering. Thank you that you remain fully on your throne, and your promises are always true regardless of how much or how little we believe them. So remind us this morning of your heart. Remind us, God, that you not only love us but that you yourself are love. Help us to root ourselves in the places where hope can be found. Help us to believe when everything is dark, to trust when we cannot see the way, and to ground our hearts fully this week in your goodness and grace.
Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,
I will fear no evil, for You are with me;
Your rod and your staff comfort and protect me.