Things don’t always go the way we want them to. Hard times come. Bad things happen. Plenty of bad things happened to Jeremiah, and in the GPS guide this week at Resurrection, we will read about some of his hard times.
If we are in a relationship with God, having daily conversations in prayer, what do we do when we don’t like what is going on in our life? Do we just pretend everything is fine? Can we complain to God, even express our anger and frustration at the way things are going in our lives?
Jeremiah did. And so did the psalmists. They wrote “laments,” which were intimate conversations with God in which they did not hold anything back. They said things like:
“I yell out to my God, I yell with all my might, I yell at the top of my lungs. He listens” (Psalm 77:1 The Message) or
“You pushed me into this, God, and I let you do it.” (Jeremiah 20:7 The Message)
Both Psalm 77 and Jeremiah 20:7-13 are great examples of what it is like to unload your fears and frustrations to God.
If the weight of hard times is bearing down on you, if you are frustrated and frightened by your circumstances, writing a prayer of lament can be a great way to clear your head and open your heart to God’s help and healing. Don’t hold back. If you are angry, say so. Then, when you’ve gotten it all out, when you’ve really “let God have it,” spend some time in silence and meditate on who God is. Read the last parts of Psalm 77 and Jeremiah 20:7-13.
“I will remember the deeds of the Lord…I will consider all your works and meditate on all your mighty deeds…..You are the God who performs miracles….” (Pslam 77:11, 12, 14)
“But the Lord is with me like a mighty warrior…” (Jeremiah 20:11)
Finish your prayer talking to God about what you hear in your time of listening and meditation. I pray that in your time of lament, you find God’s power, peace, hope, and strength to face the hard times in your life.
– Jennifer Creagar, Prayer Ministry