What is lament & why should we do it? In a nutshell, lamenting is expressing our grief and sadness to God.
In broader terms; it is bringing our pain, disappointment and discomfort to God by crying out to Him in prayer. It is addressing our thoughts, feelings and emotions and expressing them in a healthy way.
We are to demonstrate and hand over to him, these feelings, instead of pleading with Him to change our circumstances or we may even become focused on them or consumed by them. If we don’t lament regularly, or when we need to we may become bitter, jealous, sad or even depressed!
By expressing these to God it can also help us to accept particular thoughts, feelings and situations. Which is important in our relationship with Him, others around us and with ourselves and our own wellbeing. This is because it relieves us of these emotions, instead of suppressing them.
You may have noticed that if you have ever, not addressed your grief or sadness, that they can build up. It’s like a kettle or pan, if it didn’t automatically turn off or we physically don’t take it off the heat, it would boil over. Therefore, we need to click that switch off and let the steam out of us in order to carry on.
Psalm 13:1-2 How long, Lord? Will you forget me forever? How long will you hide your face from me? How long must I wrestle with my thoughts and day after day have sorrow in my heart? How long will my enemy triumph over me?
Genesis 50:10 When they came to the threshing floor of Atad, which is beyond the Jordan, they lamented there with a very great and sorrowful lamentation; and he observed seven days mourning for his father.
Isaiah 19:8 And the fishermen will lament, And all those who cast a line into the Nile will mourn,
And those who spread nets on the waters will pine away.
Job 7:11-16 “Therefore I will not keep silent; I will speak out in the anguish of my spirit, I will complain in the bitterness of my soul. Am I the sea, or the monster of the deep, that you put me under guard?
When I think my bed will comfort me and my couch will ease my complaint, even then you frighten me with dreams and terrify me with visions, so that I prefer strangling and death, rather than this body of mine. I despise my life; I would not live forever. Let me alone; my days have no meaning.
There are too many examples, in the Bible, to add here. But throughout the Bible and within the book of Psalms you will see many of examples. Job also recognised his thoughts, feelings and emotions and cried out to God with all of these.
Lamentations 3:39-40 Why should any living mortal, or any man, Offer complaint in view of his sins? Let us examine and probe our ways, And let us return to the Lord.
We can do this through singing, poetry, writing or in any way that suits us then offer it all to God through prayer.
Then once we have done this we return to him. We can fill up that space we’ve just relieved ourselves from, with God, Jesus and the Holy Spirit.
Personally, I like to journal, I lament or “off load” in writing then write out my prayer, then I pray directly to the Lord.
The Youtube Video below is what God has put on my heart this week, my own expression on lamenting and more on how you can do this in a healthy way.
For the next step on from lamenting do check out Encouragement for when you’re feeling down.
He sees us and knows our hearts, He just wants us to offer our hearts to him.
Are you ready to give God your heart?