A poem by Sana Watts
“I don’t like what You’re doing right now.
I’m angry – angry with You.
Your wisdom and goodness are on trial for perjury because it feels like You’ve fooled me and now Your omnipotence and sovereignty no longer bring comfort to me.
Faith in You is exhausting when the yoke You invited me to co-carry has become far too heavy.
Yes, you are allowed to pray prayers like this.
I used to think it was blasphemous to speak to Yahweh in this way.
The only confident approach we can make to the throne is reverence, gratitude, praise. There was no room for my frustrations, grumblings and complaints. My soul is only allowed to smile and pray the pain away.
Isn’t that what worship is supposed to look like?
Except, worship is the meeting of Spirit and truth directed towards the only One who can bear the weight of it.
Sometimes, worship looks more like weeping than smiles.
Sometimes, complaints are the most authentic parts of ourselves we can bring.
Sometimes, the Spirit groans and grieves and following Him means doing likewise.
In lament, faith and blasphemy seem differentiated by a thin and blurry line.
Grace beckons us to visceral honesty. Love meets us there in comfort.
Hope reminds us it won’t last forever.
Faith is our response to the invitation.
Like our forerunner, blind Bartimaeus – faith is in the question of asking, not knowing what the response will be, but knowing Who we’re asking and expecting a response.
Lament is far more audacious and authentic than our tidy Christian traditions would have us believe – and grace is far more lavish and extravagant to welcome it at all.
So, I will lament.
I will bravely and honestly bring You my questions, that aren’t for intellectual gain or curiosity but are birthed from the labour pains of life thus far.
I will remember. I will exhaust myself of all that currently tangles up my present until all I can do is see Your past faithfulness towards me.
It is there.
I will see it when I’ve casted all that I can currently see onto You.
I will petition. I will not just have enough faith to give but to ask to receive. I will believe that You are not just able to meet my needs – but that You care to at all.
I will trust that You too are grieving the brokenness of this world and my life – and I will join You in it.
I will enter what is so radically intimate.
I will lament.
Have you ever written out your own prayer of lament? We see examples of lament all throughout the Bible, especially in the Psalms. Take some time and sit with these questions that can direct your personal lament.
- Begin by bringing your complaint to God. Tell him how you feel.
- What do you want God to do for you? Ask him to intervene.
- Take some time to reflect on what you know is true of God. What are the seen and unseen ways God has acted in your life? Remind God of his faithfulness in your life.
- How do you sense the Lord leading you to respond?