Lament is an important expression of prayer that every Christian should practice. There's a reason why lament occurs all throughout the Bible (Job, the children of Israel, David, the Prophets, Jesus Himself, and the New Testament Church). But the idea of lament goes against certain cultural demands in our day, like never showing signs of weakness and the pursuit of happiness. Most people, including Christians who don't understand the gift God has given us in the practice of lament, try to escape their pain and suffering by running away from it or drowning it with all kinds of sin.

My challenge to myself and followers of Jesus everywhere is to embrace the practice of lament, especially during this season of Lent. Pray through the Psalms of lament individually or with other believers. Lament to God on paper, which is always a liberating experience. Songwriters, for heaven's sake, write a song of lament instead of the same old cliches. Be true to your personality as a musician. Chances are you are meloncholy, and it's more natural for you to lament than do anything else. "Woe is me..."

Don't follow the backwards world that calls evil good and good evil. Lament is good. God laments. Just be sure that you are lamenting primarily to God and not to other people. It is sinful to bring your complaints to other people before you bring them to God, because in doing so you are putting your trust in men, let alone probably annoying the people you constantly complain to.

Above all, remember that lament ALWAYS leads to praise. Our God desires joy for His children, even in the midst of pain. In fact, the sooner you lament to Him your complaints, injustices, anxieties, etc., the sooner He will fill you with His joy and peace. I promise.

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