Prepare to Listen. Light a candle of hope for the world. In silence be still before prayerfully reading today’s lament.
Prayerfully Read Psalm 142
1 With my voice I cry to the LORD; with my voice I make supplication to the LORD.
2 I pour out my complaint before him; I tell my trouble before him.
3 When my spirit is faint, you know my way.
In the path where I walk they have hidden a trap for me.
4 Look on my right hand and see—there is no one who takes notice of me;
no refuge remains to me; no one cares for me.
5 I cry to you, O LORD; I say, ‘You are my refuge, my portion in the land of the living.’
6 Give heed to my cry, for I am brought very low.
Save me from my persecutors, for they are too strong for me.
7 Bring me out of prison, so that I may give thanks to your name.
The righteous will surround me, for you will deal bountifully with me.
This lament begins with the voice crying out and making supplication [think demanding requests] to the LORD. Lament is a prayer that pours out our complaint, telling the Lord all our trouble with our voice. The word pour suggests a gush of words that keep coming because we’re in distress and can’t hold back. We don’t know what this pray-er’s trouble was, but we do know our own and can make our own list of complaints. As we make them, we remember that God is our refuge, our portion in the land of the living. God will contain and hold us in our pain which we can safely pour out to God. We’re in trouble and need to let our complaint pour out of us in God’s presence.
This lament ends with a demanding request, a prayer we can all conclude with a loud 'Amen!' The request is what we’re longing and hoping for—the day when lockdown is over and we can leave our temporary prisons; the day when we are once again surrounded by the righteous (our fellow Christians) in a public service of worship or at a coffee shop; the day when we will all rejoice because we know God dealt bountifully with us. That’s what we hope and pray for. In the meantime, we use our voices to cry to the Lord our Refuge and tell him all our trouble.
What complaint, trouble do you want/need to pour out before the Lord your refuge today?
Respond to Jesus
Lord, I know you are my refuge and therefore I beg you to give heed to my cry; come down and save us so that we can again be free to join together and tell of your wonderful ways. Amen.