Prayer As Lament

Many Christians simply do not know how to talk to God. And we are particularly uncomfortable talking to God about our discontent, grief, or pain.Yet the Bible actually models for us how to do that very thing. The Bible encourages us to bring our discontent to God in genuine lamentation. We often think that if we are not coming with words of overflowing gratitude, or with happy songs of praise, or with full assurance of God’s forgiveness for our sins then we have to wait until we feel those emotions before we can come before God in prayer.One of the lessons we must learn about prayer is that it is okay to be unhappy in God’s presence. Weeping or mourning is not an end in itself, but as an accurate appraisal of the situation it is appropriate: whether mourning sin in our own lives, or some great tragedy that has befallen others.

Prayers of honest lament to God help us not just to communicate our problem to God, but to recognize God as God, to own God as our God, and eventually then to exult in God as a result.