Amended from our evening service of the 29 December 2019.
There are so many people in our church community and wider world who are really struggling with the reality of living in a broken world. So tonight we will be spending some time reflecting on that and lamenting to God in prayer.
For those who don’t know what lament is.. it is a way to express grief in a difficult situation. There may be times in our lives when we don’t have words to express the sorrow and heartache we feel. But how encouraging it is to know that 40% of the Psalms consist of prayers and words which express this grief – and we call this lament.
Tonight this might be the first time you have grieved with those who grieve, but I am hoping it won’t be the last…
Because Lament acknowledges the complexities of life in this broken world and the reality of suffering. It helps to correct the potential we have towards triumphalism.
Lament is an act of protest which leads our hearts to petition and praise.
How do we do it…..
- Turn to God.
We choose to turn to God and talk to him about what is happening in our hearts and
minds. This can be the hardest part – as we can tend to run away from God rather than
run to him. So tonight if that is you… choose to run to him.. into his loving arms and find
rest and comfort.
- Bring your complaint.
More than a sinful rehearsing of our anger, biblical lament humbly and honestly identifies
the pain, questions, and frustrations raging in our souls.
- Ask boldly for help.
Seeking God’s help while in pain is an act of faith: Lament invites us to dare to hope in God’s promises as we ask for his help.
- Choose to trust.
This is the destination for our laments. This prayer language moves us to renew our commitment to trust in God as we navigate the brokenness of life.
Lament is the prayer language for us as God’s people as we live in a world marred by sin. It is how we talk to God about our sorrows as we renew our hope in his sovereign care. To cry is human, but to lament is Christian.
To help us in that is a song of Lament by Shane and Shane (Though you Slay me).
Peter Baker | Senior Minister