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Writing Prayers and Poems of Lament


Prayers, or poems, of Lament are a way of expressing our sorrow and asking for God's help. The process of writing lamentations can be cathartic. There are different structures for poems or prayers of lament, here are some you can choose from.

(I have shared some I've written below these structures.)



Simple Lament

Simply say what's in your heart and ask God to help. There's no need for structure or anything, just let it all out and know God hears you and is with you.



Seven part lament

- Address to God

- Review of God's faithfulness in the past

- The complaint

- A confession of sin or claim of innocence

- A request for help

- God's response (not always included)

- A vow to praise or a statement of trust in God



Three part lament

- Protest: Tell God what is wrong

- Petition: Tell God what you would like done about it

- Praise: Expression of trust in God, based on God's character and previous action, even if you can’t see how that will happen



Five part lament

Address and introductory cry

Complaint or Lament

Confession of Trust

Prayer for Deliverance

Praise



Two part lament

Complaint:

What are you grieving over?

Name what's on your heart

Tell God what hurts and why

Trust:

We trust that God is with us in all our pain and suffering

Thank God for being endlessly present in our world

Ask the Holy Spirit to bring more strength to all those who feel weak

Recommit yourself to being Jesus' light in the darkness, love in places of hate and peace in times of fear.




Here are some examples I've written.



God of all

There are so many people in need of help

Struggling to feed their families,worrying about how to pay their bills and feeling despondent about the future

We are inspired by the words and actions of Jesus to look after those in need and work for a better world

Please keep us energised as we campaign for justice

Be with those who run support services and inspire our leaders to see the suffering and make the changes needed to improve everyone's lives

We trust in your presence with us all and give thanks for the inspiration of your son Jesus Christ.

Amen


...


Do you hear us God? Anxiety overwhelms, like waves on the rocks, battering our hope.

We are surrounded with uncertainty, division and confusion. Please lead us safely each day.

We trust you through good times and bad. Help us to focus our hearts on you when we fear we will be overwhelmed.

Fill our hearts with joy and our minds with quiet, comforting our anxiety

Each morning we will rise in hope, for you God are with us leading us towards peace.

Amen


...


God of love

The world is full of trauma and unrest

It is hard to remember that the world is also full of hope

Please help us notice your presence in our lives, work towards a more equal world and celebrate our blessings each day

Amen


...


Living God

We ask you to calm the unrest in the world and halt those who hurt others

Keep encouraging generosity and understanding

To bring about peace across the world

In your name

Amen


...


Lord God

We know you are faithful in all things; in the hard, dark times as well as in times if joy.

Help us to move closer to you in times of grief and to trust you even when we do not understand your ways. Please keep our heads above the waters of anguish helping us to see you in these hard moments and to sense your loving presence.

In Jesus' name

Amen.



...


God of love

be with those who are anxious or alone,

let everyone know that you are always with us

In loneliness, bring company;

in anxiety, bring hope


God of healing

Be with those who are ill or in pain,

Let them know that you hold them safe in every moment

Bring comfort, healing and strength to all who are ill

And energy and protection to those who are caring for the sick


God of peace

Be with those who are grieving

Bring your love and peace to the pain they feel


God of hope

Be with us today and everyday

Amen


...


God of the world

Bless all the living creatures

Open our eyes to their needs

Remind us that we are one species amongst many

Lead us as caretakers

Amen


...


God of love

Open our hearts fully

Remind us that love is eternal, freely given and unlimited

Help us love our neighbours as well as strangers

Warming the hearts of all we meet

Amen


...


God our friend

We often feel all alone in the world

Help us remember you are with us in every moment

In the easy tasks

In the hard tasks

You are our eternal support and friend

Amen


...


God of hope

Bless those in dark places

Where life can seem impossible

Surround them in your love and light their way in hope

Amen


...


Father God you are the only one who knows us inside and out, completely; we ask for more acceptance of that as we follow your calling on our lives. It isn't always easy to follow where you ask us to go but we are today reminded that you have excellent reasons and we should trust them.

Amen


...


God of Comfort

I feel like I'm slipping away

From the person I used to be

Reassure me

When I feel like I'm changing each day

And soon you won't see me

I feel like I'm no longer myself

That I'm a shadow of my former self

I keep praying for miraculous help but

I worry it's impossible

I can feel hopeless

But my faith still gives me hope

So each day I keep on praying

That's how I continue to cope

Surrounded by blessings

Thank you God

Amen


...


Creator God

We belong to the Earth as part of creation

Both giving and taking, in relationship with everything that lives

Help us to know this truth and to embrace our role to protect and nurture nature

Help us to leave the world better as a blessing not a curse

Living in harmony with nature we give thanks for your sustaining grace

Amen




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