How to pray when you're overwhelmed with loss or sadness

A day like Memorial Day stirs emotions for military families. (Read my personal blog about Memorial Day here.)

Perhaps it even affects regular families who sit with an empty chair at every dinner table.

Grief is stirred both by remembering and by trying to forget. (Read about remembering grief here.)

What should you do when you're overwhelmed with loss or sadness?

You should lament.

Just complain, vent, rage, mourn, grieve, cry, blubber. To God. Ask rhetorical questions. Make accusations. Just do it with a dependance and faith on God's love for you. Do it with the awareness that you are not and cannot see the whole picture of your life. Understand that grief and loss always blur reality.

With or without immediate answers, when you lament, you must choose to trust in the unseen. That is faith, after all.

For more about the lament, read my recent full Guideposts blog on lamentation here. A brief excerpt is below:

Here are a few things you can include in a lament:
  • How you feel—why you’re upset, worried, afraid, angry or hurt
  • What you believe about God—who He is and what He has already promised you
  • What you expected Him to do that He hasn’t done (at least, not yet)
God doesn’t necessarily provide the answers you want. He is the answer. And He will lead you through the darkness, by the hand, until you come into the light again. You will learn how to hope and believe again after you’ve spent some time in this lamentation zone.
“The righteous cry out, and the Lord hears them; He delivers them from all their troubles.” (Psalm 34:17-18)

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