“Why, Lord, do you stand far off?  Why do you hide yourself in times of trouble?”

This is the opening verse of Psalm 10. It is the lament of David crying out to God asking if he is aware of injustice being done. Many of us are standing in that place.

Although I have found the psalms give my emotions a place to land, it wasn’t until this week that I was able to voice my true feelings to God about the state of my heart these last few weeks. Under the guidance of a friend, a group of us were able to better understand what exactly lament was by practicing how to lament well.

Lament is the passionate crying out to God when we feel grief and sorrow. Below is a good tool to avail yourself of when it is hard to express the very thing you are feeling. When I tried again to lament later on in the week, it really helped me to feel the rawness of my feelings and take them to God. It was such a gift!

How to Lament

– Find a quiet place to get still. Take the time needed to let go of the busyness in your mind.

– Cry out to God all the raw emotions you have at that moment. Bring the complaints, the anger, the confusion. God can take all of what we are feeling about anything and use it to heal and give hope.

– Affirm your trust in God. Even though you have these overwhelming feelings, think about the times when he has shown up for you in the past and he has been faithful.

– What is your request? What do you want to see happen?

– Tell God why he should intercede. Say “I want you to_______because______.”

– Bring your enemies to God. They may be people, things, or hurts you can’t get past.

– What do you need from God at this moment?

– Make a promise to God to praise him no matter what the outcome.

– Thank him for who he is. Name the attribute that you are most thankful for in him.

– Finish your work by reading Ps. 10:17-18:

“You, Lord, hear the desire of the afflicted;
you encourage them, and you listen to their cry, defending the fatherless
and the oppressed so that mere earthly mortals will never again strike terror”. AMEN.