As a young woman who was once a young girl who never missed a Sabbath at church, I never knew too many ways to worship.
I’m sure I thought the only ways to worship that were genuinely acceptable to God were:
1. Church attendance
I didn’t even consider it worship to read my Bible in my quiet morning time. I didn’t think it was worship to take time to serve others. If I sat in church and held hands with a boy and passed notes with my friends, not listening to a word of the sermon, yet knelt and bowed my head to pray and stood to sing at all the correct times, I figured I was worshipping.
Lately, I’ve taken a deep dive into the Old Testament, and I’m seeing all kinds of worship that I never realized are acceptable to God and cathartic and helpful to us as humans. In worshipping, we can glorify God and heal.
The book of Lamentations is a cry of defeat and desperation, where prayer breaks through the distress.
In Lamentations 1, tucked within some of the most beautiful and mournful poetic lines are prayers–as if God’s people could not help but pray even when they felt scorned. They were grieving, and they were bound to be angry, yet…
They knew the God they served. They knew He heard their cries, even if He didn’t grant their requests. They knew something we seem to have forgotten: worshipping through your grief is healing.
If you have felt afflicted by God, a prayer of lament may be precisely what you need.
Here are five passages to help you through your prayers of grief this Sabbath:
- Psalm 130
- Lamentations 3
- Psalms 6
- Psalm 38
- Nehemiah 1:4-10
By crying out to the Lord in Your grief, He will be glorified when that mourning turns to dancing.
Before you close the laptop or click off the internet browser, read Psalm 30 with me.
I will extol you, O Lord, for you have drawn me up and have not let my foes rejoice over me. O Lord my God, I cried to you for help, and you have healed me. O Lord, you have brought up my soul from Sheol; you restored me to life from among those who go down to the pit.
Sing praises to the Lord, O you his saints, and give thanks to his holy name. For his anger is but for a moment,
and his favor is for a lifetime. Weeping may tarry for the night, but joy comes with the morning.
As for me, I said in my prosperity, “I shall never be moved.” By your favor, O Lord,
you made my mountain stand strong; you hid your face; I was dismayed.
To you, O Lord, I cry, and to the Lord I plead for mercy: “What profit is there in my death, if I go down to the pit? Will the dust praise you? Will it tell of your faithfulness? Hear, O Lord, and be merciful to me! O Lord, be my helper!”
You have turned for me my mourning into dancing; you have loosed my sackcloth and clothed me with gladness, that my glory may sing your praise and not be silent. O Lord my God, I will give thanks to you forever!