➼ Consider the difficult questions you have for God. Is there an area of pain, regret, or sorrow that you’ve stopped talking to God about?
➼ These are the words the Psalmists have turned to God with. Try these words yourself or write your own call to God.
Psalm 77:1-2 – I cry out to God; yes, I shout. Oh, that God would listen to me!
Psalm 10:1 – O Lord, why do you stand so far away? Why do you hide when I am in trouble?
Psalm 22:1-2 – My God, my God, why have you abandoned me? Why are you so far away when I groan for help?
Psalm 42:1 – As the deer longs for streams of water, so I long for you, O God.
Psalm 42:3 – Day and night I have only tears for food, while my enemies continually taunt me, saying, “Where is this God of yours?
Psalm 90:13 – O Lord, come back to us!
Psalm 13:1 – O Lord, how long will you forget me? Forever? How long will you look the other way?
Psalm 86:1 – Bend down, O Lord, and hear my prayer; answer me, for I need your help.
Psalm 22:1 – My God, my God, why have you forsaken me? Why are you so far from saving me?
Psalm 44:23 – Wake up, O Lord! Why do you sleep? Get up! Do not reject us forever.
Psalm 10:13 – Why do the wicked get away with despising God?
Psalm 42:9 – “O God my rock,” I cry, “Why have you forgotten me? Why must I wander around in grief,
Psalm 44:24 – Why do you look the other way? Why do you ignore our suffering and oppression?
Psalm 74:1 – O God, why have you rejected us so long? Why is your anger so intense against the sheep of your own pasture?
Psalm 6:3 I am sick at heart. How long, O Lord, until you restore me?
Psalm 74:10 How long, O God, is the foe to scoff? Is the enemy to revile your name forever?
Psalm 13:2 – How long must I struggle with anguish in my soul, with sorrow in my heart every day? How long will my enemy have the upper hand?
Psalm 74:10 – How long, O God, will you allow our enemies to insult you? Will you let them dishonor your name forever?
Psalm 90:12 – O Lord, come back to us! How long will you delay?
Psalm 137:4 – But how can we sing the songs of the Lord while in a pagan land?
➼ What are some reasons you are reluctant to voice your complaints to God in prayer?
Psalm 6:2 – Have compassion on me, Lord, for I am weak. Heal me, Lord, for my bones are in agony.
Psalm 10:3 – The wicked boasts of the desires of his soul.
Psalm 10:7 – Their mouths are full of cursing, lies, and threats. Trouble and evil are on the tips of their tongues.
Psalm 10:9 Like lions crouched in hiding, they wait to pounce on the helpless.
Psalm 10:11 – God has forgotten, he has hidden his face, he will never see it.
Psalm 12: 2 – Neighbors lie to each other, speaking with flattering lips and deceitful hearts.
Psalm 25:17 – My problems go from bad to worse. Oh, save me from them all!
Psalm 25: 19 – See how many enemies I have and how viciously they hate me!
Psalm 31: 10 – I am dying from grief; my years are shortened by sadness. Sin has drained my strength; I am wasting away from within.
➼ If you haven’t already began to write a list of your hard questions for God. Let’s begin.
➼ A picture is worth a thousand words. As you reflect on how you are feeling, search for imagery to describe your feelings and explore them further. (e.g. Submerged by a waterfall, walking on a tightrope, pushing a boulder uphill, a city under siege, lost in a desert…”
Come humble, come honest, but don’t get stuck in complaining.
When the Psalmists appeal to God, their bold requests fall into nine general groupings – for God to to rise, to grant help, to remember his covenant, to enact justice, to forget sins, to restore us, to not be silent, to listen, to teach, and to vindicate.
Psalm 10:12 – Arise, O Lord! Punish the wicked, O God! Do not ignore the helpless!
Psalm 6: 4 – Return, O Lord, and rescue me. Save me because of your unfailing love.
Psalm 22:11 – Do not stay so far from me, for trouble is near, and no one else can help me.
Psalm 31:2 – Turn your ear to listen to me; rescue me quickly. Be my rock of protection, a fortress where I will be safe.
Psalm 25:4 – Show me the right path, O Lord; point out the road for me to follow.
Psalm 25:6 – Remember, O Lord, your compassion and unfailing love, which you have shown from long ages past.
Psalm 43:1 – Declare me innocent, O God! Defend me against these ungodly people. Rescue me from these unjust liars.
Psalm 51:2 – Wash me clean from my guilt. Purify me from my sin.
Psalm 51: 10 – Create in me a clean heart, O God. Renew a loyal spirit within me.
➼ As you place yourself before God’s throne of Grace, lean upon your knowledge of his character and pray accordingly. If you’re having difficulty praying boldly, invite a friend to pray with you and on your behalf. The bold prayers of a friend can rub off.
➼ As we have watched God’s big story unfold this year as a church, what have you observed about God’s character and his eternal plan? What can you call upon to help renew your trust in God?
Your road led through the sea, your pathway through the mighty waters—a pathway no one knew was there! You led your people along that road like a flock of sheep, with Moses and Aaron as their shepherds.
After calling out to God, the final movement of Psalm 77 demonstrates this final movement of lament beautifully. Here the Psalmist recalls God’s previous faithfulness and deliverance.
The Bible is full of stories in which God enacts plans for his people. Many of these stories form the basis of our faith in God’s reliability. “For the Christian, the exodus event …is the cross of Christ. There, is where all our questions – our heartaches and pain – should be taken. The cross shows us that God has already proven himself to be for us and not against us.”
Romans 8:22-25, 31-34
For we know that all creation has been groaning as in the pains of childbirth right up to the present time. And we believers also groan, even though we have the Holy Spirit within us as a foretaste of future glory, for we long for our bodies to be released from sin and suffering. We, too, wait with eager hope for the day when God will give us our full rights as his adopted children, including the new bodies he has promised us.
What shall we say about such wonderful things as these? If God is for us, who can ever be against us? Since he did not spare even his own Son but gave him up for us all, won’t he also give us everything else? Who dares accuse us whom God has chosen for his own? No one—for God himself has given us right standing with himself. Who then will condemn us? No one—for Christ Jesus died for us and was raised to life for us, and he is sitting in the place of honor at God’s right hand, pleading for us.
➼ As you move into this final phase of lament, invite the Holy Spirit to minister to your heart as you reaffirm your trust in the truth of the Cross, the hope you’ve been promised, and your identity as the beloved child of God.
Psalm 22: 9-10 – Yet you brought me safely from my mother’s womb and led me to trust you at my mother’s breast. I was thrust into your arms at my birth. You have been my God from the moment I was born.
Psalm 10:17-18 – Lord, you know the hopes of the helpless. Surely you will hear their cries and comfort them. You will bring justice to the orphans and the oppressed, so mere people can no longer terrify them.
Psalm 6:9 The Lord has heard my plea; the Lord will answer my prayer.
Psalm 13: 5-6 – But I trust in your unfailing love. I will rejoice because you have rescued me.I will sing to the Lord because he is good to me.
Psalm 31:19 – How great is the goodness you have stored up for those who fear you.You lavish it on those who come to you for protection, blessing them before the watching world.