Sometimes God chooses to work through unbelievers. He called Cyrus, though he did not know Him, to free the Israelites. I also think He led Simon and Garfunkel, though they did not know Him, to write Bridge Over Troubled Water. This week we study the “Yet” Bridge, another way of expressing that Jesus is our Bridge over troubled water.
Highlights from Last Week
You are truly learning the lament — so many good prayers of lament!
I found your pushing back against the author’s statement that we should not be angry with God so wise, and I agree! For if we are truly angry with Him, what are we to do? Repress it? Deny it? No — be honest and lament, and let Him help us out of it! There is a right and wrong way to be angry, and the instruction in Ephesians 4:26 that says, “Be angry but sin not” applies to God as well as other people. How do we do that? Instead of cursing God or backing up from God, we lament.
Susan’s post ministered so to me — I had told the story of being with my mom when she died, and Susan told of the Spirit nudging her to leave the room for ten minutes, for her mother was such a private person. It was then that her mother let go, after much suffering, wanting privacy when she died, and perhaps to spare Susan. How sensitive to the Spirit! And then Susan wrote this in response to Laura and Denise, which I thought shone with the wisdom of God.
As for Laura’s question, I hear her frustration and disappointment! In this situation, yes, she may have to keep lamenting, and at the same time, her husband still has free will to make his own choices. But continuing to lament will keep her from getting bitter. And Denise’s point that lament comes from situations when you’ve been stripped of everything….yes, but not too many of us have been stripped of everything as those like slaves and Corrie ten Boom and her family were. So should we lament? I do think there’s a difference between complaining to God without “the turn”, and then it’s just complaining without any resolution. The smaller things in our lives can quickly add up and make us resentful and bitter.
Prepare your heart with this:
- What stands out to you from the above and why?
- Meditate on the lyrics of Bridge Over Troubled Water and find one in which you can see Jesus — explain or support with Scripture.
Monday: Intro into Praying Boldly
Though we may be as astounded as Rhonda at the door when Peter was released from prison, bold answered prayers can buoy us when the waves keep crashing over us and God seems silent. When Steve was so sick, we’d often remember together ways God had astonished us with answers to our bold prayers:
- We asked God to bring our fifteen-year-old prodigal son to his senses, and he did — overnight.
- I asked God to bring someone to be “the kindness of God” to our daughter in Poland who was in an abusive marriage — and her Polish teacher, whose name, “Bogamewa,” means “the kindness of God” walked her through what she should do, supporting her decision to come home, taking her to the airport.
- We asked boldly for a doctor who would operate on Steve’s arthritic wrist — no one was willing to risk operating on a surgeon’s wrist, fearing it could end his career. Then Steve’s partner, David Wiebe, said, “I will do it and God will be my help.” It was a great success.
We also prayed boldly for Steve to be healed of cancer on earth, and he was not. But I can trust that was God’s will, for I know His heart, for He laid Himself down for us. He is my Bridge Over Troubled Water.
3. Have you ever had a bold prayer answered? If so, share!
4. Read Chapter 3 up to Psalm 22: Asking Boldly
A. What happened in the author’s soul when Bernie prayed boldly for him?
B. Have you had a similar experience? if so, share what it was in the friend’s prayer that
C. Pray boldly here for a friend who is long-suffering — on this blog or elsewhere.
5. Read the section: Psalm 22: Asking Boldly and share any comments.
The author said that in a lament, the “why” question may linger while the “who” question slips in, like when a second planet eclipses the first. He says the pain of the why and the hope of the who may need to co-exist.
6. Pray a “why,” a complaint in your life or in the life of someone else, and then pray the “who” letting it slip in and co-exist with an unanswered prayer.
Tuesday: The “Yet Bridge” Over Troubled Water
7. Read the section under “The Yet Bridge” and share your comments.
8. Read the section under “Bold Requests” and share your comments.
Wednesday: But What Do We Ask For?
9. What are the first three kinds of prayers he mentions? Pray one of them now.
I use the third one nearly weekly, and it is in my heart because of the song from Integrity we looked at last week. I pray: “Your Word promises You will take care of the widow — and I need that right now because (my car is stuck in the snow; a storm has brought cedars down on my roof; I need a way to pay my taxes on this house due to not being able to rent my Air BnB as much due to Covid…) It is amazing how He comes running. This is the song:
10. What are the next three requests? Pray one of them now.
11. What are the last three requests? Pray one of them now.
Thursday: Boldness Begets Boldness
12. Read the section “The Man of Sorrows” and share what stands out to you.
13. Describe, under the Boldness Begets Boldness section tell what the pastor did to help the parents of prodigals.
14. This week this chair is for those of you who are in hard marriages. If that is you, and you desire to do so, lament here and put your lament in bold letters. Then a few of us can come alongside and pray for you. This is a trial that I pray works!
Friday: Psalm 22
15. Read Psalm 22 and find the four requests in it. Which one is most meaningful and why?
16. What’s your take-a-way this week and why?