Lament

JESUS: Psalm 102, by J. G. Bellett

February 9, 2017

From Short Meditations On The Psalms A Prayer of the afflicted, when he is overwhelmed, and poureth out his complaint before Jehovah Jehovah, hear my prayer, and let my cry come unto thee. Hide not thy face from me: in the day of my trouble, incline thine ear unto me; in the day I call, answer me speedily. For my days are consumed like smoke, and my bones are burned as a firebrand. My heart is smitten and withered like grass; yea, I have forgotten to eat my bread. By reason of the voice of my groaning, my bones cleave to my flesh. I am become like the pelican of the wilderness, I am as an owl in desolate places; I watch, and am like a sparrow alone upon the housetop. Mine enemies reproach me all the day; they that are mad against me swear [...]

PSALMS: When It Feels Like God Is Absent, by Daniel F. Polish

February 9, 2017

From Bringing the Psalms to Life During times when our lives resonate with the mood of some psalms, God seems remote and absent to us.  We feel like God has forgotten all about us, or cast us off.  More darkly, we fear that perhaps God even smolders with anger against us.  The psalms make repeated use of the powerful image of God’s face being hidden from us.  Admittedly, today we tend to be uncomfortable with anthropomorphic images that speak of God in terms of human attributes.  Yet this image does strike a chord in us.  It feels to us that God is not merely away, but is holding back from us, hiding.  Like the face of the sun hidden by clouds, or during an eclipse, God’s face feels hidden from us in our time of need. [...]

POETRY: Snowfall, by Sarah Arthur

February 8, 2017

When the snow falls it falls like death in slow layers and keeps falling till nothing we have known is known. We stand silent in the woods awaiting the wide white twilight. They say when you die of cold you fall asleep first. And so I wonder: If you die of snow like a princess do you dream for a hundred years while a blanket of white mounds over your chest and pines stand silent in the trackless deep and not even the mice know you’re there? If a tree falls in the snow does it sleep for a hundred years? And if you prick your finger and a drop of red blood falls on the silent snow do the woods shudder with strange violence; does the snow rot with dark undergrowth; do the dead leaves bleed? Does the woodsman then awake, shoulder his ax, [...]

POETRY: Lord, Hear My Prayer, by John Clare

February 8, 2017

A Paraphrase of Psalm 102 (Originally published on December 27, 2012) Lord, hear my prayer when trouble glooms, Let sorrow find a way, And when the day of trouble comes, Turn not thy face away: My bones like hearthstones burn away, My life like vapoury smoke decays. My heart is smitten like the grass, That withered lies and dead, And I, so lost to what I was, Forget to eat my bread. My voice is groaning all the day, My bones prick through this skin of clay. The wilderness’s pelican, The desert’s lonely owl— I am their like, a desert man In ways as lone and foul. As sparrows on the cottage top I wait till I with fainting drop. I hear my enemies reproach, All silently I mourn; They on my private peace encroach, Against me they [...]

PRAYER: Prayer Of Lament, by Laurence Hull Stookey

February 6, 2017

From Let the Whole Church Say Amen! A Guide for Those Who Pray in Public O God, you are our help and strength, Psalm 124:8 our refuge in the time of trouble. Psalm 37:39 In you our ancestors trusted; Psalm 22:4 They trusted and you delivered them. When we do not know how to pray as we ought, your very Spirit intercedes for us with sighs too deep for words. Romans 8:26 We plead for the intercession now, Gracious One. For desolation and destruction are in our streets, Isaiah 59:7 and terror dances before us. Job 41:22 Our hearts faint; our knees tremble; our bodies quake; all faces grow pale. Nahum 2:10 Our eyes are spent from weeping and our stomachs churn. Lamentations 2:11 How long, O Lord, how long Isaiah 6:11 must we endure this [...]

PRAYER: A Prayer Of Lament, by Dan Herron

February 6, 2017

From Lament as Worship: A Prayer Over Our Hurting Nation Jesus, you call weary people to come to you. You bid the heavy laden to find rest in you. Today, we bring our restless souls to you. We name the grief, pains, anxieties, disappointments, confusions, angers, fears that rage against us and within us. Help us to stand in vulnerability with one another, Help us to stand in vulnerability before you, our Savior. How long, O Lord? Will you forget me forever? How long will you hide your face from me? Lord, from where we stand, from what we have seen and heard and felt, we feel forgotten, our world appears abandoned by you: from a peaceful protest turned violent and murderous in Dallas, Texas, to a car in St. Paul, Minnesota, to outside a [...]