A lament is an expression of loss, grief, anger, disillusion, feeling over-whelmed, at your wit’s end, inconsolable, or sense of hopelessness. A lament gives expression to these things realistically, but not without hope. A hope that comes not from present realities but from faith in the mystery that darkness will never put out the light.
In the Christian story, this mystery is revealed in the life, death and resurrection of Jesus of Nazareth—that even on the cross a greater reality began to be revealed.
The following is a Prayer of Lament based on Psalm 13:
It has been written with this year in mind—COVID-19, a challenging economic environment, difficult but important decisions and choices, and a recognition of the ongoing need to adapt and respond to the evolving nature of COVID-19 risks in the community to continue to maintain a safe environment for our people and those we serve.
How long, O Lord? Will you forget us forever? Will the challenges of these days overwhelm us?
How long will you hide your face from us? How long until things get better?
How long shall we take counsel in our souls for the sense of loss and grief we feel,
Having sorrow in my heart all the day? How long will the troubles have the victory over us?
Consider and answer us, O Lord our God; bring answers to our questions,
Enlighten our eyes, or we will sleep the sleep of anxiety and hopelessness,
And our enemy will say, “I have overcome them,” Our foes will declare, “We are too strong for them.”
And our adversaries will rejoice when we are shaken.
But I have trusted in your loving kindness; I have chosen to live by the light and not the darkness,
My heart shall rejoice in your saving acts of compassion, love, kindness, truth and hope.
I will sing to the Lord, because songs of hope and light remain, even in the darkness.
Because God has been faithful to us in times past, this present and in to the future.
Rev Peter Armstrong
Rev Peter Armstrong is UnitingCare Queensland’s Associate Director of Mission – Community Partnership.