The Lost Practice

By: Pastor Jarren Rogers

“Lamenting is a painful process. But it’s even more painful to live a life of pretended strength, of keeping God an arm’s length away because you’re shutting down every conversation with a ‘fine’.” – Esther Fleece

Lamenting is the process of pouring out your heart to God. It’s the uncensored, truthful outflow of your emotions and feelings to God. We find people in the Old Testament crying out to God with outright honesty.

Where are you? Why have you allowed this to happen? Why didn’t I just die at birth?

It’s pretty heavy stuff.

This practice of lamenting is very common in Scripture. There is even a book in the Bible called Lamentations.

However, I think we have lost this important practice. We feel like we shouldn’t tell God how we honestly feel. If we are angry at God we shouldn’t pray that way and we certainly shouldn’t tell others that.

The truth is, God isn’t going to be offended or angered by our sincere words. He is bigger than that.

But I think this type of brutal honesty is necessary. There is no sense in keeping our true emotions from God or censoring our prayers because he already knows our thoughts and our feelings. He understands how we feel before we even say a word.

The fact that we are telling him our true feelings shows we have faith that he will hear us and show compassion and love. It shows that even when we are going through tough situations, we are keeping God in the forefront. We believe that He will be our refuge.

Trust in him at all times, you people; pour out your hearts to him, for God is our refuge,” (Psalm 62:8).

If we feel like He has wronged us we should tell Him. If we feel like He hates us we should tell Him. If we feel like we should never have been born we should let Him know.

At the end of most laments in Scripture we see that even though the writers or speakers are hurting and pouring out their hearts in honesty to God, they end their prayers with a word of praise.

Though the fig tree does not bud and there are no grapes on the vines, though the olive crop fails and the fields produce no food, though there are no sheep in the pen and no cattle in the stalls, yet I will rejoice in the LORD, I will be joyful in God my Savior” (Habakkuk 3:17-18).

Go and do likewise.

Parents: Explain to your children what a lamentation is. Tell them that even in their deepest sorrow, they can pray honest prayers to God.

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