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God is not a glorified gumball machine. Lamenters pray to their only hope, God himself, in hopes that HE will respond to the prayers on the basis of his character: covenant love, mercy, and justice.

Lament - Wikipedia

This is precisely because the Son is not a newcomer on the scene only at the incarnation. This is a specifically Christian understanding of God in the Old Testament. Kelly; trans.

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Bloesch and J. Burtness; Minneapolis: Fortress Press, , p. James D. Crim and R. Soulen; Atlanta: John Knox, , p. Habakkuk and the Power of Lament Prayer Habakkuk Dietrich Bonhoeffer writes about the essence of prayer, and he notes its major distinction from other forms of speech. It means, rather, finding the way to and speaking with God, whether the heart is full or empty.

Lament for the Makaris

Prayer is directed to God in hopes that he would hear and respond. Bonhoeffer is wrong, however, when he disassociates lament from prayer. In fact, in the biblical testimony, lament is prayer, as indicated in our definition above. You are God and I am not.

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  6. Save me! Lament does more than to simply express a feeling. Confusion on this point may be a result of uncritical reflection on what is going on in the biblical material or a result of simple terminological confusion, but lament is more than an expression of grief, or something people do when they are sad, or depressed, or upset.

    Lament is prayer to God about a distress.

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    To be sure, uttering lament can be cathartic and healing. It can ameliorate suffering through its very vocalization.

    Some psychological understandings of and applications of lament speech advocate this. But biblical lament prayer is not aimed primarily or only at catharsis, healing, or self-actualization. The tone and style of lament prayer varies.

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    It may appear argumentative in style or in a humble in tone. Because of this, different terms touch upon different nuances to lament prayer. So, for instance, penitential prayer confesses sin and reveals one kind of distress that needs relief: namely, forgiveness from sin.

    Other forms of lament prayer present to God different kinds of distress, where there is no confession of sin. In both penitence and general lament prayer, the hope is that God would see and respond to prayer. So despite its variety in tone and style, such prayer remains fundamentally rhetorical speech. Some misconceptions should be exposed.


    Christians sometimes have trouble with lament prayer. It may be characterized as irritating complaint, or worse, adolescent whining: moaning about hardships in life instead of facing them head-on, bravely. No never to see your face Never to find a way back In a world of drought I've got nothing to say Blindfolded and mute Night is day Sanctum Sanctum Sanctum Travel through the maze, navigate well Would we see you Would we see you if you came to us? Envie pra gente.

    The Power of Lament Prayer

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