Prayer of Lament

Reading the Psalms can open us up to the expanse of human emotions and the depth and breadth of human expression as we call out to God.  The prayers of “lament”, of pain and suffering, asking for and receiving God’s presence are plentiful. There is something precious and vulnerable in these Psalms, as we are invited into the inner depths of the psalmists life and experience, which so often touches our own.

I’ve been reflecting on the power of lament, a place not to whine or complain about the things that are hard in life, but rather a place to name the struggles, the pain, the journey and the process.  A space to cry out to God and open ourselves healing, comfort and wholeness. I am touched when I have the honor to witness the cries of lament from those around me and find community strengthened and healing felt when we give voice to our lament together.

The following is a prayer that I wrote for class a few weeks ago and some art I created to go along with it. I offer it to you….

My prayer of color

A Prayer of Lament

One God, in many forms,
I cry out to You. 

Divine Parent, Holy Womb.
I curl up in Your presence, gently rocked to the beat of Your heart.
I am nurtured by Your tender care.
I feel Your hand supporting my neck
And Your love and healing permeating my being.

Jesus the Christ, You walk with me.
You know intimately the pain,
The suffering,
The gritty reality of human and earthly life.
I know You cry out with me,
And Your heart breaks with mine.
Knowing You’ve walked this path brings me strength,
And hope.
I know I am not alone. 

Sustaining Spirit, fill me.
Plug the cracks in my spirit with putty of assurance and belonging.
Heal the severs in my thinking with the truths of who I am in You.
Mend the torn pieces in my heart with Your inexhaustible presence and love.
Fill me with the hope and strength that is Your Divine Movement,
sweeping me into the Divine Dance. 

It is to You O Divine One, the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End, the First and the Last, the One God of heaven and earth, that I cry…

Heal me and make me whole.

Amen.

 

On Prayer by Kahlil Gibran

On Prayer
Kahlil Gibran

You pray in your distress and in your need;
would that you might pray also in the fullness of your joy and in your days of abundance.
For what is prayer but the expansion of yourself into the living ether?
And if it is for your comfort to pour your darkness into space, it is also for your delight to pour forth the dawning of your heart.
And if you cannot but weep when your soul summons you to prayer, she should spur you again and yet again, though weeping, until you shall come laughing. When you pray you rise to meet in the air those who are praying at that very hour, and whom save in prayer you may not meet.
Therefore let your visit to that temple invisible be for naught but ecstasy and sweet communion.
For if you should enter the temple for no other purpose than asking you shall not receive:
And if you should enter into it to humble yourself you shall not be lifted:
Or even if you should enter into it to beg for the good of others you shall not be heard.
It is enough that you enter the temple invisible.

I cannot teach you how to pray in words.
God listens not to your words save when He Himself utters them through your lips.
And I cannot teach you the prayer of the seas and the forests and the mountains. But you who are born of the mountains and the forests and the seas can find their prayer in your heart,
And if you but listen in the stillness of the night you shall hear them saying in silence,
“Our God, who art our winged self, it is thy will in us that willeth. It is thy desire in us that desireth.
It is thy urge in us that would turn our nights, which are thine, into days which are thine also.
We cannot ask thee for aught, for thou knowest our needs before they are born in us: Thou art our need; and in giving us more of thyself thou givest us all.”