in a broken world
My original plan included ending with a prayer for joy. That prayer is coming. I do believe joy comes in the morning, but that generally means we live through the night first. God understands the human need to lament, and sometimes I rush past that part. It isn’t fun to weep, or grieve, or suffer.
Nonetheless, I’m taking pause as I near the end of this prayer series, and I’m breaking from my format.
This is a simple prayer of lament, acknowledging the darkness and our need for God’s light in it. We will hold on to hope, and I’ll return to my format when I post the prayer for joy. But today, which happens to be the birthday of the late Ahmaud Arbery, I can’t bring myself to rush lamentation.
If you need this prayer, too, please pray it with me. Either way, I’ll be back in the morning because I am holding onto the hope that the joy of the Lord cannot be overcome.
Father, you are holy and good. You are faithful and just. But this world is not. As I eagerly await a home with you, made new and free of evil, I grow weary of the world in which I now live.
I am broken, as is this world. I am a sinner surrounded by sinners. We all need you. Our sin leads only to death and destruction. Our hearts are impure. We hurt each other, and we hurt you. Sometimes we just hurt. We fight for those we love. We endure death and loss, illness and uncertainty. The pain feels unbearable at times.
Be with me as I lament. I need you to carry me in my suffering. Thank you that your grace is sufficient for me and that your strength is made perfect in weakness. I confess my need of you. Be my strength. Hold me up and give me hope.
Today, Lord, I lament these things about my life and this world: ______________________________.
Lamentations 2:11-13 (NIV); 3:16-26 (ESV)
11 My eyes fail from weeping,
I am in torment within;
my heart is poured out on the ground
because my people are destroyed,
because children and infants faint
in the streets of the city.
12 They say to their mothers,
“Where is bread and wine?”
as they faint like the wounded
in the streets of the city,
as their lives ebb away
in their mothers’ arms.
13 What can I say for you?
With what can I compare you,
To what can I liken you,
that I may comfort you,
Virgin Daughter Zion?
Your wound is as deep as the sea.
Who can heal you?
16 He has made my teeth grind on gravel,
and made me cower in ashes;
17 my soul is bereft of peace;
I have forgotten what happiness is;
18 so I say, “My endurance has perished;
so has my hope from the Lord.”
19 Remember my affliction and my wanderings,
the wormwood and the gall!
20 My soul continually remembers it
and is bowed down within me.
21 But this I call to mind,
and therefore I have hope:
22 The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases;
his mercies never come to an end;
23 they are new every morning;
great is your faithfulness.
24 “The Lord is my portion,” says my soul,
“therefore I will hope in him.”
25 The Lord is good to those who wait for him,
to the soul who seeks him.
26 It is good that one should wait quietly
for the salvation of the Lord.
Thank you for being my refuge, Lord. Thank you for handling anything I pour out to you. I want to leave all of my pain and suffering at your feet. I trust you to carry it and to carry me.
You don’t require that I have everything together before I come to you. You know the truth of me, and still you say your love never ceases.
Help me endure, help me wait on you. Help me wait for the morning. The world feels dark so I wait eagerly for your light.
I wait for justice and reconciliation.
Because all is not as it should be, you are not finished with your work. As the dawn breaks, give me eyes to see your endless parade of mercies.
You are my hope. You are my peace. I need you every single second. Carry me, please. Help me. Help those I love. Heal us. Heal this world, and may it be here on earth as it is in heaven.
Psalm 30:4-5 (ESV)
4 Sing praises to the Lord, O you his saints,
and give thanks to his holy name.
5 For his anger is but for a moment,
and his favor is for a lifetime.
Weeping may tarry for the night,
but joy comes with the morning.
In Jesus’ name I pray, amen.