The Pruning

Posts Tagged ‘lament’

A Song for Every Season: An Overview of Psalms of Lament

In Charlie Kang on March 14, 2012 at 2:05 pm

by Charlie Kang

            Reading a blog post about prayer is in some ways similar to a dentist urging his patients to floss.  Both scenarios produce guilt-ridden people because of their woeful neglect in doing something that is “good for them”.  For you blog readers, I try to floss every day HAHA.  No one will ever deny that flossing or prayer is good for you, but whether that makes you actually put it into practice is another subject entirely.  Knowing this, I’ll try to make this blog as quick and painless as possible (unlike flossing. HAHA).  Many of us only pray when things are going wrong.  We willingly turn ourselves to God in prayer when we need Him the most, which are in the midst of our struggles.  These times are usually the most fruitful and blessed time of prayer that we have with God.  It is in these times I would like to offer a suggestion for you by giving you a biblical overview of the psalms of laments that are found in the Bible.

One of my professors described the book of Psalms as us eavesdropping on godly people’s honest prayers before God.  These godly people, who wrote these songs of lament (Psalms 3, 22, 57, 139), were distressed and despondent at their present circumstances.  It’s easy to see that they didn’t have much “joy^3” in their hearts.  They were very vocal to God about all the wrong and harsh things that were going on in their lives.  These prayers of laments didn’t spare any detail about what was going on in their situation.  They would spew everything to God, about what they felt or who was upsetting them, but would wrap up their prayer of lament very succinctly by simply ending with, “Lord, help me.”  The ending of these prayers were a magnificent display of faith in God, showing their trust that God would bring the best possible result in their hard times.  They were satisfied to leave the prayer at that; “God, help me” because I know that you know the best for my life.

When we come as broken people in prayer, we love giving God a five-step plan to solve our problems and woes.  We say, “God my life is messed up because of ‘x’, so here’s solution ‘a’, ‘b’, and if you don’t like those God, you can even do ‘c’”.  We need to come to the conclusion that, firstly, that God already knows the alphabet HAHA, and secondly, that we to exhibit faith in our sovereign God when we leave the outcome up to Him.  This is the freedom that prayer can bring into our lives.  Many times we come to the throne room of prayer and tell God how to do His job.  Prayer is not instructing God, but is in the end, submitting to Him that “His will be done”.  When we come to God in prayer, we must have a big view of God that He is sovereign and that He will work out what’s best for our lives (Rom. 8:28).  Nothing else will give us more comfort than in believing and trusting in His sovereignty in the midst of our hard times.  God bless, and may your prayers be saturated with faith in our sovereign God!  Lord, help us!

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