Friday, April 12, 2019

Second-most popular prayer

What kind of prayer do you pray most often?

Requests, probably. Me, too.

Requests are my website's most-clicked on kind of prayer. It seems we're all looking for the right way to ask God to help us.

Guess what the second-most popular prayer is?

Lamentation.

I love that. I have an audience of grievers and groaners. Praise God.

Learning to lament has been one of the most impactful aspects of my spiritual growth. Instead of crying in sorrow, lamenting teaches you to cry out to God (that's the literal meaning of lament). Lamentation is faith in action, maybe even more than when I make a request.

When I lament, I dump my heavy burdens, my grief, and my hopelessness at God's feet and say something like,

"I don't know what you're doing in my life right now, but help me trust you. I choose to believe you will work all things together for my good. But oh, God, this hurts so much. Cover me with your Spirit!"

When I make a request, I am hoping and believing that God will answer it. When I lament, I do so from a posture of hopelessness and complete despair. I don't request. I just groan.

And the Holy Spirit interprets that groan. And it is sweet music in God's ears. Our groans show our utter dependance on Him.

There is no greater act of faith that to trust in God's goodness when it doesn't feel like He's doing good for us.

Just keep crying out to Jesus. He is, after all, called "the Man of Sorrows." He gets it.

Amen.

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