LEARNING HOW TO PRAY A PSALM OF LAMENT

burne_jones_the_lament_1865_66 We’re going to learn together how to pray a psalm of lament.  In the next few days we’ll learn the basics, and then go deeper. We’ll start with the first Psalm of Lament, which is Psalm 3. This is an individual rather than a community lament. In a classic lament there are three parts:

1. The lament — the honest complaint or cry of your sorrowing fearful heart

2. Remembering God’s goodness in the past. The Spirit brings to the psalmists remembrance God’s faithfulness to Israel or to him as an individual. He also brings to his remembrance God’s character. The Spirit does not explain the why of the circumstances, but the heart of God.

3. The prayer, based now on faith in God, or the resolve, based on faith in God.

Here are the questions:

1. Find these three parts in Psalm 3. Which verses are for each?

2. My prayer journal entries in the close of chapter 1 of The God of All Comfort basically shows just Part I of the lament. Find a few examples.

3. Now — you do Part I. Pour out your sorrowing or fearful heart. Do it for God — if writing here won’t change your cry, then write it here. If you are not in a time of pain, pray for those who are. Right now, you could pray for earthquake victims in Haiti.

4. Now, and this is crucial: Warm your heart at the fire of God’s love by meditating on Part II, the part where the psalmist remembers things about God. If one of the verses sparks something in you, then God has spoken to you — and stay there, meditating, warming yourself, letting your heart catch fire.

I’m expecting to see God move among you! For some of you He will be silent, as He is in some Psalms of lament, but usually He gives you enough you can resolve, at least, to hold on.

5. Write your request, or  resolve, if you can, as in Part III.

I’m counting on some of you to do this very clearly as a model for all of us. Don’t hurry. Meditation takes time. Your heart may not be quickened at all, or it may not be quickened until the end of the week — but keep meditating, asking God to dialogue with You. You see prayer is, in part, pouring out your heart — but the psalms allow it to be a two way conversation — a dialogue.

COMMENTS (45) Post a New Comment ↓
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Thank you Dee, I needed to be reminded of this today!

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Dee, I don’t want to hurry this but I must go to bed and I think God has directed me this evening. My heart is broken again by something my younger son said to me this evening. This is my lament.

Oh God! My heart is torn asunder. There is but one thing I have desired in my life and it has been removed from me. Not just once but twice now. I have prayed for them, taken them to church, read Bible stories to them and been faithful in my own spiritual growth but they just won’t love You. What is wrong? Not just one but two. Their hearts are turning to stone before my eyes.

Part 2. Isaiah 44:3b-5 I will pour out My Spirit on your offspring and My blessing on your descendants; and they will spring up among the grass like poplars by streams of water. This one will say, ‘I am the Lord’s'; and that one will call on the name of Jacob; and another will write on his hand, ‘Belonging to the Lord,’ and will name Israel’s name with honor.

My prayer is these verses. Lord, pour out Your Spirit on my children and Your blessing on my descendants. May they spring up among the grass like poplars by streams of water. May Joseph say ‘I am the Lord’s’ calling on the name of Jacob; and Alfred write on his hand ‘Belonging to the Lord’ and name Israel’s name with honor.

Lord forgive me for making this about me, as if I can do anything. You are the One who directs the king’s heart like a water channel. You can bring an entire army of hardened men of war to their knees, trembling before You.
May Your name alone be glorified.
Amen

    this is beautiful…Lifting this sweet prayer up with you.

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Hi Everyone! I’m not actively involved in doing the Bible Study every week, but when I read Dee’s new post today, I was impressed to head for my study corner. Here is my lament.

“Lord, my heart is in sore distress because of _________. She has made condemning/judgmental insinuations about what is in my heart. She refuses to get help to look at her own heart. She’s done her best to kill my reputation and cut off my avenue of ministry. Oh Lord, the pain comes as a tsunami wave, leaving me exhausted, wounded, stranded, helpless.

“But you, O Lord, are my Rescuer. You are my Tower of Strength. You are my Healer. You have been there for me in other tsunamis in my life. While the waves may take me off guard,You are never surprised and never unprepared.

“Oh Lord, I will keep on with You, regardless how unjust things feel. I will press on, facing the sin of my own heart and striving to overcome each temptation. You are more than enough for every overwhelming aspect of this storm.”

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Dear Dee,

Just finished praying for you and your live broadcast today on Midday Connection, may many hearts and lives be touched, those who are there and ones listening on radio. May God richly bless and provide for this day!

    Thank you, Susan! We’ll pray for Haiti today too on the Broadcast — may many pray!

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Oh Spirit of the Living God, I thank you for your sweet,sweet presence. You speak words of peace to me, Father.

Oh Lord, I bring my request to you, the healing of my body. There is nothing too difficult for you, Lord. Oh Lord, you say to my heart, seek my face, your face will I seek, oh Lord.

You Lord, have been my deliverer in times past. My stronghold, my shelter.

Lord, you are my light and my salvation!
You are the stronghold of my life – of whom shall I be afraid?
When evil men advance against me to devour my flesh,
when my enemies and my foes attack me, they will stumble and fall.
Though an army besiege me, my heart will not fear;
though war break out against me, even then will I be confident.

You are the Mighty God, my Father.

You are getting the idea of the three part prayer of lament, which is so good.

Psalm 3 is challenging — I know. It may help you to think of the enemies in terms of spiritual enemies — those workers of discord who want to divide the body of Christ, breathe lies when we are suffering, bring death, destruction, and depression.

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First of all let me tell you I am praying for you, Dee. Also that my heart is very heavy for the Haitian people. I am unemployed at this time and yet I desire to take from our meager savings and send something to help. It is soooo hard to see all the devastation and sit here. I wish I could go and be useful….I will pray constantly.
I vs 1&7
II maybe vs 3&4
III I see the prayer in the whole chapter of course but especially in vs 4&8
I am continuing to pray for my daughter and will add more later.

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Thank you for the prayers for Joan. She had a good night and I felt your prayers lifting me up. I often listen to music when I need comfort and when I was preparing to do the lesson today I was reminded of the lament in a song that has ministered to me through the loss of my Dad last year. In this stirring song the writer laments over a death, then she moves to the resolve and is held by God. If you would like to hear the song you may google Natalie Grant’s Held on Utube or if you care to read the lyrics go to http://www.AZLyrics.com. This is one of the most beautiful songs I have ever heard, or maybe it is the connection I feel with her pain that makes me love it.
I love how you put it in three steps. The request, the remembering and the resolution.

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    Kim, Thanks for the reminder of this song! I just played it again and was encouraged.

    That song is one that God has used to get me through trials as well. Thanks for the reminder.

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    Love that song Kim. Thanks for the reminder.

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    While I was at youtube listening to this I also listened to a music video of the song In Christ Alone. The video was images from The Passion of the Christ. The were images that took me straight back to lament. Peter’s face when he realized that he had denied Jesus was just too much for me. It is wonderfully done but you will need privacy and the Kleenex box. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BcpLZgCwcEE

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Question #1: The three parts in Psalm 3, to me goes in order. The lament is in verses 1-2. The remembering of God’s goodness is found in verses 3-5. (Although 4-5, can also be the transition into the prayer). And the prayer and resolve is found in verses 6-8.

Examples for #2: Dee, I’m guessing that you wanted us to find a few examples from your own laments as recorded in your book, since you mentioned these in this part of the lesson, so here are just a few that I found – August 3rd, (pg. 19): “It’s morning, and the girls are soundly sleeping. Pale. Exhausted. I hate to wake them because we all cried so much last night. I’ll let them sleep a little longer. Please restore their strength.” & “So we started looking for a motel – but because it’s state fair time in Iowa, every motel blinked: NO VACANCY. No room. We were getting a little crazy, wondering why You weren’t helping us find a room. Sally was crying to You: ‘Please, Jesus, please, Jesus.’ Oh.” – August 4th (pg. 21): “I can’t imagine how it will be all right if he’s not all right. Oh, please God. I held him all night long – alternating between crying and praying. He’s feeling frail to me. We go for more tests in radiology to see how bad this is. He says not to call the boys [our two grown sons] until after we know more. I am so thankful for this godly, gentle man, and I do not take for granted the years we have had – but O God, I want more. So much more. Please hear our cry.” – August 16th (pg. 25): “Help me trust You. Help me, in the midst of these many waters, count the ways You have been so good to us. I’m not demanding – but oh, I’m pleading.”

As you have allowed us to peek over your shoulder, Dee, during this excruciatingly painful season in your life, you have, just like the Psalmists of old, been teaching us to put our faith and our hope in God. Thank you for being so open and vulnerable with your heart not only before God, but also with us. May He richly bless you for your transparency, obedience and trust.

I’m also in awe of some of your laments too, ladies, as I have been privileged to peek over your shoulders as well. May God bless your prayers and bring His swift answers as you cry out to Him in faith and eager expectation for His glory to be revealed. My prayers are also with and for each of you – Amen.

Please bless the people of Haiti, Father, and rescue them from all their troubles during this horrific time!

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#3. This is my prayer of lament – a rewrite (if you will) of Psalm 3: The original text (NKJV) is in quotations.

(vs. 1) “How they have increased who trouble me!” Who are they? They are my debts – the sins of my past and my failures.

“Many are they who rise up against me.” Who are they? They are the bills that I cannot repay – the mistakes that I’ve made that I cannot by my own power undo or change.

(vs. 2) “Many are they who say of me, ‘There is no help for him [her] in God.’” Who are they? They are my anxieties, my doubts, my fears, and my unbelief – and they all come from Satan, the enemy of my soul.

#4. For remembering God’s goodness:

(vs. 3) “But You, O LORD, are a shield for me.” Your shield is a symbol of my protection – Oh God, You protect me! So I don’t need to worry or fear! What can this economy or the cares of this world do to me? You always have and will forever keep me safe – in You.

“My glory and the One who lifts up my head.” In You, O Lord, I won’t be humiliated. I have no shame even though I am being called to live in humble circumstances. For Your word tells me that there is no shame for all of those call upon You.

(vs. 4) “I cried to the LORD with my voice, and He heard me from His holy hill.” Even though I am not worthy to stand where You are – to ascend to the holy mountain (because I am unclean) – You are my righteousness (Your blood has cleansed me) and because of that I can still cry out to You and know that You will listen! You always hear my voice because You care for me! This is too wonderful for me to attain.

(vs. 5) “I lay down and slept; I awoke, for the LORD sustained me.” Whenever I have prayed to You in the past, You have given me Your peace (You peace, that is not as the world gives) and I was able to rest from the strivings of the ways of this world (of this life). And so, as I lay myself down once again and try to sleep, let me awaken my soul to never forget that You, O Lord, will continue to hold me close – always sustaining me and keeping me quiet (still) with Your love.

#5. My resolve & prayer:

(vs. 6) “I will not be afraid of ten thousands of people who have set themselves against me all around.” I will not be afraid of the debt collectors or my many creditors, for I know that my bad credit does not reflect on my good character (even as I am being refined by You). I will not be afraid of what other people may think, or say, or believe about me. And I will not be afraid of the “accuser,” nor will I fear what man can do to me.

(vs. 7) “Arise, O LORD; Save me, O my God!” For my hope and my salvation is in You alone! This world is not my home – but You are!

“For You have struck all my enemies on the cheekbone;” You have taken away my false securities and the vanities of this life that I have learned to rely on. But that’s okay because You are my covering.

“For You have broken the teeth of the ungodly.” Because I don’t live for this world – I have nothing to fear from my failures or from other people’s failures who have bitten me. For You have removed the teeth of my true enemies and have rendered its bite harmless. Therefore, like death, the fangs of fear and failure and regret and guilt and shame… has lost its sting!

(vs. 8) “Salvation belongs to the LORD.” Only You, LORD, can bring it!

“Your blessing is upon Your people.” Your blessing is upon me – for I am forever Yours. ~Amen

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This is my first time joining you. Reading the psalm and blog has been a blessing and enlightenment to me even though I can not get the study guide at this time.
My prayer of lament is for my children, Lord. I brought them up in your Word and planted the word in their hearts. I did my best to be an example to them. It grieves my heart that they are not walking in your way or training my grandchildren to do so.
I do thank you. Lord, for the many times you have been faithful and kept each one safe when danger came their way. In you I can put my hope and trust.
I will not fear for my chjldren’s salvation for I know that you hear and answer my prayers. Therefore, I believe thay you will work in their lives and draw them back to yourself. Salvation belongs to You, Lord, and I can be assured that you will bring it to pass.

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Question 1:
Lament:Psalm 3:1-2
Remembering God’s goodness: Psalm 3:3-6
The prayer: Psalm 3:7-8

Father, I am so worried about my son’s relationship with You. I remember when he used to walk in Your ways. I remember that we would sharpen iron with one another regarding Your Word. He was so excited about You and challeged by Your Word. I know that he loved You at one time, but the world and it’s distractions has pulled him away. Oh Lord, even more than I desire it for him, You desire an intimate relationship with him, for You created his inmost being. You knit him together in my womb. All of the days of his life were ordained by You and written in Your book before they ever came to be. Father I pray, that You will restore to him the joy of your salvation (the joy he used to have) and that You would grant him a willing spirit to sustain him. Lord I know that You love him with an everlasting love and I praise You for Your unrelenting pursuit of my boy. In Your Name, Amen

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Dee, Thanks for your Midday Connection interview today. I just listened to the podcast — twice :-) So encouraging and soothing.

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    I listened also, what a blessing. Thanks Dee.

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    I also listened last night. Thank the Lord for answered prayer.

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Hi Dee,

Psalm 3 is a song my church choir sings occasionally. I love it.
It has been 19 months since I was slapped in the face with devestation. You were with me then (Women of Beauty 2008) and I am so grateful you are with me now. My devestation is in the distance now. God is healing! I am praying for you.

Oh God come rescue me!
I am surrounded by lies.
They are piercing my heart.
Reality has been skewered.

When the devestation began You shielded my mind to keep the enemy from harassing me while I slept.
You fed me Your joy so I would gain the strength needed for survival.
As I began sinking in the mire You sent faithful friends to pull me out before I went under.

Rescuer of souls deceived,
Until You grant me full deliverance,
I will cling to hope as I live in reality.

My father in law is 69 years old. He has lost his job and is about to lose his house. He is worried and at his lowest point. He does not know the Lord as far as we know. This is a cry of lament for him and his household.

Father, how the evil one has taken him captive. He got his hands in with clutches of pride, drink, and wealth. Things that have gripped him and stealed his heart away from you. Lord, smash the enemy. Remove him completely from his life. Utterly destroy this grip and stronghold with Your mighty power and right hand.

God you are faithful. You are the one who promised a covenant of love to a thousand generations of those who love you. Lord, you are the merciful. Lord, you are the One and only Savior. Lord, You are the rescuer. You are the life giver.

You are the God who opens the eyes of the people to see you. You are the One who removes the blinders. Lord please open His eyes and draw him to yourself. He is yours and is in your hands. It is in you we put our hope and in you we trust. Thank You for hearing our cry. In You we wait.

Dee been praying for you too!! So exciting to know about all your daughters being with child!!! That was especially a great prayer request to lift up. How fun is that timing. God is amazing!

Loving reading all your other thoughts and laments. This is good stuff!

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This is my first time joining you also. I was a part of the Midday Connection study, “Women of Moderation.” That was such a blessing!
Psalm 3:
Lament vs 1&2
Remembering God’s goodness vs 3-6
Prayer vs 7&8
MY LAMENT: Father, the main enemy You have graciously brought to my mind is my failure to face my circumstances head-on, my failure to view things as they really are and just “go with the flow.” A few examples: my weight, overeating, bills, dirty house, not speaking the truth in love in certain relationships. God, denial has been such an enemy to my walk with You!
REMEMBERING: Oh gracious God! You have been guiding me in Your Truth for over 30 years! By Your grace I have come so far! I’ve memorized Your Word, studied Your ways, and by Your grace I’ve dealt with many, many lies in my life. You have shown Yourself to me in countless ways! You have been so patient, firm and loving with me!
PRAYER: Please give me the determination, strength, and courage to face unpleasant issues head-on! Help me to remember that “the truth will set me free,” and to act on the truth You reveal to me. Wherever You call me to walk, You are right there with me, carrying me to victory! Amen

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Good morning ladies. God has spoken to my lament this morning and I would like to share. Kim D, your lament seems to be much like mine. I’m sorry. I hope you will be encouraged with God’s encouragement to me.

My father died in April this past year and I was never sure of his salvation. On some occasions I have prayed something I was sure was given to me by God because it was something He intended to do. I prayed just so for my parents years ago. It was a few years after my mother’s death that I received assurance of her salvation from the Lord. At the time of her death He asked me to trust Him with her and by His miraculous power I was able to do that. I have resolved to do the same with my father.

At the time of my father’s death Till was also visiting from Germany. God spoke to me then about how I would be very surprised if I saw into hearts as He does. What I mean is that some hearts that outwardly show all the signs of devotion to God can be far from Him, while people like my father, Till and my son are closer than I might think. By closer I mean more without guile, more honest. I’m having trouble expressing myself. Sorry.

Today I appreciate the fact that my older son has chosen not to ‘play the game’ for his personal gain. The rest I leave to God. I know He was faithful with my mother. So I will trust Him with my father and my sons. My prayer for myself is that I will not fall into the trap of setting store in the outward appearances of faith in my younger son.

Lord, please help us to speak heart to heart.

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Dear friends,
My dear Ms.Joan went to be with the Lord this morning. I’d like to share my story with you so you can be encouraged.
When I started caring for her almost three years ago, she was the meanest human being I had ever met. She was known in town for being a hard teacher/coach at the local college. She had never married or had children. Over time she softened under the loving care of her caregivers. I hired all Christians in hope that we could influence her for Christ. Three months ago she was afraid to go to sleep for fear of dying. The caregiver on duty led her in a prayer of salvation. She was a new person and we could all see it.
When I got the call this morning I rejoiced that God blessed me to be a part of someone’s salvation. Can you imagine her surprise to wake up in heaven, a place where she told me she would never get to go?!

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    Kim, I’m encouraged by seeing how God is using your work to honor Him and reach into the lives of others. Plus, the image of Ms Joan waking up in heaven in exciting — and encourages me to press on to one day see Jesus face to face.

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    Kim, this is a wonderful testimony! To your work and to the power of God to take our efforts and make much of them. Well done!

    what a sweet testimony!! THanks for sharing that.

Sisters — you are doing so beautifully. This is a hard psalm so I’m impressed. Belinda — your parallel was outstanding. I loved songs recommended and the honest sharing I’ve heard. Others of you have done a wonderful job too. I will read them more carefully t00 — I just have a few minutes here at the airport but wanted to tell you how very well you are doing!

Thanks too to those who came yesterday to the Chicago event.

Katie — you were there and I’d like to communicate with you. Could you e-mail me through my website or participate in this blog so I have your private e-mail address? We prayed together at the close yesterday.

Blessings to each of you!

Dee

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Prayer for quickening answered :-) But I still won’t “go public” with lament!

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Anne,
Yes, we do share laments. Thanks for your encouraging words.
Let me share a testimony here that may help some of you mothers who walk through this valley. It was about six years ago during the week of Easter that the Lord took me to the scripture of Psalm 51:12 when I was reading about Jesus at Gethsemane. Although I had been praying for nearly a year for my son and his relationship with the Lord at that time; his relationship was not on my mind at the time of my reading. I had just read Mark 14:35 and all of a sudden it came to my mind that despite my crying out to the Lord on my son’s behalf, he had a free will and God does not interfere with free will. That was a terrible revelation that I had never thought about before that night. I immediately fell before the Lord in great anguish and cried out to him as never before in sobs. I kept asking Him over and over again, “Can you do NOTHING about my son’s free will Lord?” I have never been so distraught. Then I went right back to reading where I left off with Mark 14:36 “Abba Father,” he said, “everything is possible for you.” I couldn’t believe what I just read! It was as if Jesus was actually answering my question! I kept reading…”Take this cup from me. Yet not what I will, but what you will.” I couldn’t believe it, there was that word….WILL… spoken not once, but twice. Was the Lord speaking to me? I kept going… Mark 14:37-38 – Then he returned to his disciples and found them sleeping. “Simon,” he said to Peter, “are you asleep? Could you not watch for one hour? Watch and pray so that you will not fall into temptation. The spirit is willing, but the body is weak.” There was that word again WILLING. I mulled that last sentence over in my mind again and again. “The spirit is willing, but the body is weak.” What did this mean? I have a study Bible and it explained it further and then it directed me to another verse: Psalm 51:12. Quickly I turned the pages to see what the Lord had to say and it was there that I found this little treasure: Restore to me the joy of your salvation and grant me a willing spirit to sustain me.
Ever since that day, I have prayed that very verse for my son. “Lord, restore to my boy the joy of your salvation and grant him a willing spirit to sustain him.”
It was David who prayed Psalm 51 after his affair with Bathsheba.
We had dinner with our son and daughter-in-law this evening and our little grandson. My daughter-in-law voiced concern tonight that she is fearful that he may be having an affair. I have been sick since we parted. I will be crying out to the Lord more than ever.
I so appreciate this opportunity to connect, pray with, and pray for other women who are in love my Savior. Praise God for Joan’s eternal life in Heaven! The Lord tells us in 2 Corinthians 12:9 that His grace is sufficient for us, and it really is.

Father,
I am so thankful that I have You and Your grace. You are my Rock and my Salvation. Great is Thy faithfulness, great is Thy faithfulness, morning by morning, new mercies I see. All I hath needed Thy hand hath provided. Great is Thy faithfulness, Lord unto thee. Lord, You reached down from on high and took hold of me; You drew me out of deep waters. I am always with You, You hold me by your right hand. Your love O Lord, reaches to the heavens, Your faithfulness, to the skies. I give You all praise, all glory and all honor, for You and You alone are worthy. In the name of Jesus, Amen

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    I too have felt the lament over a child gone astray. Our youngest son went deep into the drug world five years ago and broke, no, crushed our hearts. My husbands parents had died and I truly thought my husband and I would never come back from it. Now all these years later he has been restored. In the meantime God sent others to encourage us. The prayer I prayed was this:
    God please shake Brad over Hell but don’t drop him. Give him a divine encounter with you that he will recognize it is you and know that you love him with a great love. Mend our hearts and help us not to lose our minds. Restore what the locust have eaten. I asked God specifically what scriptures He would have me pray and then I dug my heels in, believed those scriptures were anointed for us and prayed them.
    I reminded myself that without faith I CAN NOT please God and purposed in my heart that I would keep believing God for Brad’s salvation. He lives with us now, works two jobs and is such a joy.
    Brad told us God gave him a vision one night and that was why he came back to Christ.
    WOW! GOD IS GOOD.

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All the time, Kim T., all the time! Thanks so much for sharing and praise be to God that your son is “home”! I have faith that God will restore my son one day as well. The waiting is difficult, but it has been a good thing as well. It has drawn me to the Lord in a most intimate way and I have tasted His goodness and His kisses. Those things I treasure.

What a great story about praying about something that seems impossible!

I appreciate each of you. I realize I gave you quite a hard psalm to pray through — but you rose to the challenge!

Let’s continue with an easier one. We’re moving on to the 2nd chapter of The God of All Comfort in the next post.

I am going to have limited internet access for the next week, so I may not be able to interact with you as much as I would like — but I’ll see. I’m headed to a retreat that I admit I’m dreading a bit — when I signed up I thought it was going to be a spiritual retreat for authors, but I’m really getting the idea that it is more on outward appearance — something I want to care about less and feel insecure about anyhow! Yet I know there will be an emphasis on health and exercise which will be good for this sedentary writer. I feel like I’m going to a fat girls camp and want to flee. And I just learned that internet access is limited. But I am trying to trust God will work through it. I know it is all silly — a small and momentary trouble. In light of Haiti — nothing. (I have friends there — perhaps many of you do too.) Pray I’ll have a good attitude. I’ll try to stay in communication with you, but wanted to warn you. And if you respond to my worry, say, “Poor Dee Dee” instead of telling me it will be good for me. ;-]

There are so many wonderful people on this blog and I’m praying you will take care of one another with prayers, encouragement, and wise counsel.

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    Dearest Dee,,,we will look forward to hearing how the Lord ministers to you next week…we will pray He will do just that, in most unexpected ways & that you will be a blessing as well. :-)

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#1. The Lament
verses 1 and 2
My paraphrase: “Oh Lord, everyone is out to get me! They mock me
by saying You will not help me, there is no deliverance for me!
Remembering God’s goodness
verses 3-6
I wonder if David was remembering times past where God always came
to the rescue, was his shield, and again, he’s crying to the Lord
and He answers. Even ten thousands of men are no match for
David’s God!
The Prayer
verses 7-8
David calls on the Lord to arise and save him! To those who told
him there is no deliverance for him, David would say “Sorry, but
deliverance belongs to the Lord!”

#2. Examples of lament in Dee’s journal

Pale, exhausted, many tears. Wanting to get to Steve. Stopping,
but no room. The rough treatment from the man at the motel in Des
Moines. The unwise words of the two women who “cornered Annie and
told her how their dad died of cancer and how terrible it was.”
Annie fleeing, crouched in a corner, cold and silent as snow.
Dee’s words, “You know I am afraid.” Not being able to think of
a time when she may not be able to hold her husband.

I see many laments in the August 5th entry, how “everyone is too
quiet.” Ominous shapes on the screen. Stricken faces. Dee’s
heart feeling like a block of ice. “The prince of darkness is
on our heels”.

Dee, by your willingness to be so open and transparent as to share such an intensely personal time of lament in your own life, you help to give voice to our laments, too, when we cannot find words to express them. You give us hope to face our own deepest fears and sorrows and to feel that we do not suffer alone. I think that is such an encouragement. Because the enemy always wants to make us feel cut-off and alone and to isolate us in our grief.

    Thank you, Susan — your notes touched me.

It has taken me two days to be able to write my lament. Yesterday was one of the worst days I have had in a long, long time:

How much more, Lord? How much more can I bear? He was sentenced today and the victim said her piece. She is so angry and resentful. Her bitterness pierced my being. This is my son who she hates. I am filled with shame and guilt. What has led us to this? I cried to you Lord … why? Why? Help me to understand. All the way home I cried. My tears were barely dry when the phone call came. Accusations from a loved one about the other son. Long ago he caused unbearable pain, now surfacing in the life of dear one. Why? Why didn’t we know? Where was I when this happened? What was more important that drew me away from mothering? Is there more? How much more, Lord? How much more can I bear?

Yet, You are God. I am not. You spoke a Word and out of the void came Life. You have filled me with your Holy Spirit. You are my Protector. You are my Comforter. You have promised to give me the strength to endure these things. You are my Strength. You gave your Son so that mine might live.

So, God of my Salvation, save these boys. Send your Spirit to heal the wounds they have caused others. Heal my heart, Lord God. Help me remember the joys as we bear these sorrows. Create in me a clean heart, O Lord, and renew a right spirit within me. Thank you for the blessings of grandchildren. Thank you for the blessing of a faithful, loving husband. Thank you for prosperous careers that allow us to have some creature comforts. Thank you for the priveledge of raising two children who no one else wanted. Thank you for good health and a loving family.

Praise to you, Lord of my life, Light in my darkness. Bless your Holy name.

    Reply

    Dear Janet…praying for you this evening..perhaps you are an adoptive Mom, as am I…This verse is special to me…
    Psalm 34:18 (NIV)
    18 The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit. Lord, be close to Janet’s broken heart and save her, who is crushed in spirit. Trusting You, Dear Shepherd.

    Reply

    Dear Janet,

    My heart is heavy for you in your lament. Hold onto Jesus!
    I love the woman in the gospels who has the bleeding disorder, and I can just imagine her, perhaps almost on her hands and knees, fighting through the crowd, thinking “if I can just get hold of the edge of his garment”. I imagine just her thumb and one finger taking hold of just the edge of that cloth – and that was enough – with her faith – to heal her! Sometimes we are just barely holding on, but all the time, Jesus has us securely in His hands.
    You wrote in an earlier blog that your son had asked you to help him understand some verses of Scripture. Hold on to this, too. I will keep you and your sons in my prayers, and also that the Lord will bring this woman to a place where she can release her hatred for your son.

    Reply

    Janet
    I will be praying for you and your family. Having been a victim of a crime I understand what it is like to have
    feelings of anger and bitterness toward the offender. I will be praying for the person who hates your son. I pray God will send His counsel her way and she will be able to forgive and release herself from the prison of bitterness and hate.

    “With God nothing is impossible.”

Reply

Janet,
I wanted you to know that I prayed for you this evening. This must be very difficult for you and your family. I am so glad that you know Jesus and have Him to hold you. God bless and keep you.

Thank you, dear sisters in Christ. I woke up this morning feeling much more at peace. I believe all your prayers helped me through the night. Yes, Lynn, our boys are adopted. They are natural brothers, ages 3 and 4 1/2 when we got them 30 years ago. I’m just back from taking our 8 yr old granddaughter to visit her dad in jail before he is shipped off to prison. She is going to miss him so much. Thank you for your prayers and know that all of you are in mine.

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