Thursday, Day 5 — How Long O Lord?

There is perhaps no one who believes in God who has not on ocassion asked this question?

How Long O Lord?  

How long before a marriage improves, a son repents, a daughter expresses humility, a sorrow ends, an illness is overcome, a job situation improves, a depression ends? How long Lord, before this pain I am experiencing is over and relief brings peace?

We have all asked those questions. Some of us have been asking those questions for most of our lives.

Potter County PA Little Grand Canyon
Scenic Overlook at the Pennsylvania Grand Canyon

Read Psalm 79 and 51

A Morning Prayer of Lament

“The nation burns with anger, and anxiety, and resentment.
Everywhere we turn we see the pain, and sorrow, and revenge, and confusion
of a culture spewing words like spitting cesspools.
We are like vultures, eager to pounce on carrion,
when someone takes a position we don’t like.
Conversations devolve quickly.
Friends talk past one another.
No one listens, no one is willing to suspend judgment for even a moment.
We talk over one another.
We don’t hear. We don’t take time to hear.
We talk when we should listen. We listen when we should speak.

Lord, would You make today different?
Would You help us to make the turn?
Would You help us to guard our mouth and examine our hearts?
Help us to be quick to hear, slow to speak, and slower to anger.
We need You, O God. O God, we need You.
Rescue us from ourselves.
For the sake of Your name
and the people who are called by Your name,
in the name of the Risen One, we ask You.
Rescue us.”

cf. Psalm 79 and 51; James 1:19

A Mid-day Prayer of Lament and Confession

“Satisfy me with Yourself.
Take my shallow and fickle heart
and deepen the channels that direct it to You.
You know my heart is desperately sick.
I don’t, I can’t understand it.
But I can make real headway in describing it.
It is fickle, shallow, prideful, easily hurt, grievously self-centered,
selfish, arrogant, lacking compassion, lazy,
given to anger, resentment, bitterness and folly.
Left un-checked and untethered to Your word
it would lead me into dark prisons of experience,
shackles of sensual excess,
pits of despair and self-pity
So satisfy me with You, that all my pleasures
would be grounded in Your goodness
and the wonder of Your ways.”

cf. Psalm 51; Jeremiah 17:9

An Evening Prayer of Lament

 “Let our groans rise to You;
hear our prayers, O God.
Call us to Yourself.
It is a simple prayer, 
but it is our greatest need.
We need You.
Our hands are too dirty.
Our sorrows are too deep.
Our corruptions are too putrid.
We are like lepers 
and need You our great physician, 
to cleanse us with hyssop.
We are Your sheep.
Shepherd us into Your presence, O God.
That we might bring glory to You once again.”

cf. Psalm 79:11-13; Psalm 51:5-7

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