Crying To Be Heard

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28 Responses

  1. covered says:

    Excellent! Thank you Michael.

  2. covered says:

    Oh, first and second!

  3. Michael says:

    covered,

    I hope it’s helpful to someone.
    It’s worth the effort to try…

  4. Rob Murphy says:

    I like the writing it down and saving it as a memorial stone, altar, place of worship. We’re too dismissive of doing a physical thing to mark a spiritual truth and hope. It’s a testimony to my own heart when I come across something I wrote down – “Well, I believed it enough to write it down back then” has been confirmation of comfort hoped for me many times. God marks our life with promises confirmed in the physical. A rainbow isn’t just light refracted through moisture. It’s a promise even for those who’ve never yet been in a flood.

  5. sarahkwolfe says:

    Michael…I think sometimes I don’t want to feel deeply enough to write a lament. I tend to keep my emotions at arm’s length, and to truly enter into a lament means I have to be vulnerable enough to be thoroughly upset by the situation and to voice that.

    It’s one thing to just be upset and to sit with that frustration and go over it in my mind and play with it. Something entirely different is to put voice to the frustration, and as you said…to address it to the One who can actually do something. That means, releasing the situation to Him as well.

    Our friend who right now is destroying her family. I lament that situation. Greatly. With words I cannot repeat in front of my children. My prayers have varied between calls for Damascus Road interventions to cries of grace for the sake of the children. They are all laments…and the emotion is not to be held off at arm’s length.

    In our world of tweets and superficial interactions, lament takes work. It takes vulnerability and ultimately I think it also requires silence. And time. I think that’s one of the best things you said…these laments psalms were not written off-the-cuff over a cup of coffee; they were the product of hours of prayer and tears shed and wrestling with God.

    Lament is work. But I agree with you that it is important and I think ultimately it can be healing.

  6. Michael says:

    Rob,

    I think the act of writing it down is a prayer in itself, an expression of hope that is tangible.
    Our spiritual forefathers knew the value of personal memorials to the faithfulness of God and I think we need to reclaim that ground.

  7. Michael says:

    Sarah,

    I was thinking of that very situation this morning as I was writing this.
    Your point about lament being work is important to this discussion.
    Someone once said that God takes our prayers as seriously as we do…and this is one way of expressing the seriousness of our hearts to God.

  8. Sarah says:

    I know that the situation with my mom has led to many prayers of lament for all of us in our family. My prayer life ebbs and flows so much…I wish that I was more consistent. Life has a way of bringing us back to fervency, though.

    This morning during our prayers Sammy prayed for Grandma “That God will heal her sickness”. He prays that each time he prays for her. Every morning.

    I have to admit I don’t often pray for her healing anymore…I’m not sure I believe that God would heal her. Dementia is such a tough thing. It’s nearly impossible for me to imagine what it would look like for her to be made whole…how unspeakable would it be to see her mind made whole.

    Maybe my prayers of lament for her need to change to prayers of hope again, praying like a child. 😉

  9. covered says:

    Rob and Sarah make excellent points. As a pastor, when I meet with others I ask them how their prayer life is. It’s heart wrenching when prayers consist of a shopping list and a brief mention of appreciation. What you wrote Michael is exactly what is needed to participate in a relationship with the living God. It’s so necessary to talk endlessly with the One who calms the storms and who can make the changes we need in our lives. Thanks again Michael, Sarah and Rob.

  10. Michael says:

    Sarah,

    Part of my own lament is “I don’t even know how to pray about this!”
    That is especially true when we’re dealing with sicknesses that usually are not healed…but God is able.

  11. Michael says:

    Covered,

    This project was a last ditch effort to reclaim my own prayer life.
    As I wrote yesterday, I think about praying far more than I actually pray.
    This is a way to inject some discipline and substance into my own life.

  12. bishopdave says:

    Michael, for all those days you wonder if you’re doing any good here: yesterday a member of our church learned his soon-to-be fiance was stabbed to death by her father. As I sat with him, did my best to just shut up. When he’s ready, we’ll do this. Thank you.

  13. Sarah says:

    Oh, Dave….Lord, have mercy. Praying for that man and for all who are impacted around him. Yes, when he’s ready…cry out.

  14. Michael says:

    bishopdave,

    Tears…
    May God have mercy…and fill you with His words when the time comes.
    Thank you, my friend.

  15. covered says:

    Wow Dave, we will pray that after you weep with those who weep that He also gives the words to help comfort a broken heart. There are few things as important as sharing God’s love when one’s pain is unbearable. Thanks for sharing bishopdave.

  16. Good stuff Michael,

    The Psalms are usually,

    I’m sad
    I’m bad
    I’m mad
    He made me glad

    Good prayer plan

  17. Paige says:

    Bishop Dave; heart shattering……as it has been said above, ‘weep with those who weep”. “A time to weep”…… definitely, not a time for trite christianese. I am so sorry..

    Michael….my hope lies in the Holy Spirit’s help to ‘fix’ my prayers into the will of God, and to help me wait for and accept the will of God……

  18. Nonnie says:

    Oh Dave, I’m so sorry. Praying for this young man and for you.

  19. Nonnie says:

    When I pray over my grandson with severe heart problems, I sometimes cannot express the sorrow, fear,and heartache of broken dreams. I find that sometimes I have to play a song of lament and have the words of the song (which I already know) speak and remind me of my hurt and grief and His greatness and compassion.

  20. Nonnie says:

    This is a prayer I sing at times when I am too overwhelmed to do anything but cry or sing:
    http://youtu.be/ufDodA3x2cY

  21. Michael,
    Speaking of Psalms, this Friday and Saturday Issues etc is doing 24 hours straight on the major themes in psalms. I wait until they post the podcasts.

    Issues, Etc. 24
    LIVE Friday, November 22 – Saturday, November 23
    (All times are Central.)
    !
    Major Themes in the Psalms !
    11 am-1 pm Dr. Carl Fickenscher – Creation
    1-3 pm Pr. Will Weedon – Zion
    3-5 pm Dr. John Saleska – Descriptive Praise
    5-7 pm Dr. Peter Scaer – Wisdom
    7-9 pm Pr. Bill Cwirla – Messiah/King
    9-11 pm Pr. Jonathan Fisk – Enemies
    11 pm-1 am Pr. Tom Baker – Individual Praise
    1-3 am Dr. John Kleinig – Community Praise
    3-5 am Dr. Joel Humann – Liturgical Psalms
    5-7 am Pr. Peter Bender – Personal Laments
    7-9 am Pr. Bryan Wolfmueller – Trust
    9-11 am Pr. Brian Kachelmeier – Community Laments

  22. London says:

    Don’t have time to comment today, but I live this. Thank you

  23. erunner says:

    Nonnie, I haven’t heard that song in ages. Thank you for sharing it. I love songs that say what I can’t verbalize on my own.

  24. London says:

    Love

  25. brian says:

    This video struck me, it is notable that dolphins have also saved people on many occasions from sharks, drowning and even an orca from one report, though I cant confirm that. But this video just touched me deeply. I wont post my normal drivel about the “evil evangelical conspiracy in America’ ™. When I think of church, this blog, and other situations I see this, a group of normal folks just wondering through life doing what they could to “save” a wayward traveler.

    http://youtu.be/oPY9MIftqJs

    Please know this, at my very very core, this is how I see the Church and each of you.

  26. stupid says:

    Brian- Maybe the dolphins were coming ashore to say “Hi!” -or- “So long and thanks for all the fish.”

  27. stupid says:

    brian you have a compassionate heart ™. Are you enjoying the storm?

  28. brian says:

    Actually I often wonder if I have that, a heart that is. There are times I even question I am part of the human race. I found the compassion shown by those people moving, I am sure there is some type of deception in that but it is what it is.

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