Learning to Lament

About two months ago, I wrote a review of Dark Clouds, Deep Mercy.  In this post, I want to share some specific prayer helps from the book and some personal things from my life.

At the end of the book, Vroegop includes a Learning-to-Lament Worksheet along with several examples from Psalm 86 and 3.

I wanted to share the four parts of lament along with some specific ways you can pray for us.

Turn to God
Address God as you come to him in prayer.  This is sometimes combined with complaint.
Bring your complaint
Identify in blunt language the specific pain or injustice.  Why or how is often part of the complaint
Ask Boldly
Specifically call upon God to act in a manner that fits his character and resolves your complaint.
Choose to trust 
Affirm God's worthiness to be trusted, and commit to praising him. 


Here is a brief timeline to help you understand some of the things my family and I have been going through this last year.

September 2018 through January 2019
Struggled with what God has next for us after only one year at West Cannon Baptist Church.  See Everything For Good posts.
February 2019 through July 2019
Realized God has given me a desire to pastor his people. See Four Months and a Week and a Half post 
August 2019
Realizing even though God has given me a desire to pastor, the opportunity to do so has not happened.  After several "no"s from different church and saying no to a couple, I have expanded my search beyond pastoral ministry and the Michigan/Ohio/Pennsylvania area.  I am working towards my math teacher certification (The only thing I have left is to pass the exam.  Pray for this.)
Bold Asks
  • Help me and my family learn what you are teaching me during this extended time of uncertainty.
  • Many different ministry opportunities have not been working out for various reasons.  God help me find the job I need that will provide for my family.  While I would love for it to be a ministry job, I have come to the realization that this might not be the case.
  • Our apartment has been a blessing during this time but it obvious that we need to find a new home.  Give us wisdom as we begin that search.
  • The kids are going to begin the year at Northpointe.  With uncertainties about work and housing, there is a possibility they will be changing schools.  Krista and I have talked to them about this. Help Joel, Josiah, and Jadyn during this time.  It is my prayer that they would continue to build friendships at school and church even with the uncertainty.  
The common theme throughout these and other prayer requests is "Help in the midst of uncertainty."

The common theme throughout this last year, and longer, has been "In the midst of difficulties and uncertainties, God has blessed us in so many different ways."  

My personal prayers and journal entry today have been much deeper and personal.
I wanted to share the four parts of lament to help someone in their own prayer life during hard times.
I also wanted to share a couple of my personal "bold asks" to help family and friends pray for us during these hard times.