[Small Group] Lament

This is what the Lord says— your Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel: “I am the Lord your God, who teaches you what is good for you and leads you along the paths you should follow.
Isaiah 48:17 NLT

NOTE: Part of our assignment this week as we finish lesson 1 in the Wiersbe Study on the book of Psalms was to write our own personal “Psalm of Lament”. Considering my general joy in the Lord, and that just this week someone asked me in choir practice if I used to be a cheerleader because I’m always so bubbly and social — this took me outside my comfort zone to dig deeper and come up with an item of lament. But it was great using Psalm 3 as the original example by which I thought about my own life and what could be brought to God deep, challenging, and intimate, crying out to God and trusting Him to answer yet again like He always does.

Oh, Lord,

I see the needs around me,

I see the people crying out for me for help.

I see my responsibilities to my own household and family.

I see the limits of my own abilities.

I do not want your people to suffer.

I do not want to forsake those to whom I might be merciful.

I do not want them to cry out against me,

or to think that we do not care,

or to think that you do not provide for both their and our needs.

I do not want to be a hypocrite who is not willing to sacrifice or to step out in faith and help a neighbor in need,

And I do not want to forsake my family and responsibilities.

I have helped many in the past,

Only to see so many ungrateful,

Only to see them enabled in their foolish squandering and their lazy and selfish ways.

So many have borrowed and never returned or repaid,

And you know that I don’t care about the things or money that is gone,

because you continue to supply,

But I find myself overextended by virtue of either my mercy or my foolishness,

And at times I truly do not know the difference,

Nor do I know whether I am doing more good or harm

– both to them

– and to myself

By my stepping out in faith and loving kindness to show the love of Christ,

Not because it is deserved,

Not because it will be returned,

But purely because the opportunity is there.

Lord, give me wisdom

To not give what is holy to the dogs,

To not think your children dogs,

To not deny crumbs from my table even to the dogs,

And to have all the needs and responsibilities met within my own household and family.

May my treasure and portion be you,

And my eyes be set upon those things heavenly and eternal.

Lord, bless us to be able to give generously,

Discipline us gently to reduce any wasteful spending,

Favor us in all things we do for your honor and glory,

And give us wisdom to know your will as it comes to the needs around us.

You will hear our prayer,

And you will answer,

Oh Lord,

Our shield,

Our comforter,

our teacher,

Our God,

Because you do not forsake your people

who are called by your name,

and who are sealed by your Holy Spirit,

and who are washed in the Blood of the Lamb,

And who trust in you,

And who delight in your law,

And who meditate upon your Word day and night.

You know the hearts of men,

And you examine their secret motives,

Lord, sift through my anxious mind,

Reveal anything in my flesh that is hindering your spirit,

Establish my footsteps that I might walk upright in your will, for your name’s sake,

And restore in me a fully surrendered trust in you alone as the savior and provider for your people,

That you do not require sacrifice and suffering produced through striving,

But that I should remember that:

“The work of God is this: to believe in the one He sent.”

Help me to rest soundly tonight,

knowing that you have even this firmly in hand,

And that I can awake in the morning to rejoice and sing your praises.

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