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  • Writer's pictureGrace Episcopal Church

Why Lament?

By Fr. Daniel Pinell

We usually don’t like complainers. Their presence can bring us down, and their pessimism can affect our moods for the rest of the day. It is better to avoid complainers we might tell ourselves. If we don’t like complainers chances are we avoid being one as well. And this can be reflected in our relationship with God.

What’s the use of complaining to God? In other words, why lament?

First, we need to differentiate between a complaint and a lament. A complaint is more of an accusation. It is testing someone’s character. A complaint against God can put Him to the test. A lament, on the other hand, is asking God to answer according to His character of love and justice.

The psalms are full of examples of lament. The Israelites brought their laments to God because of their unique relationship with God. They are a people of the covenant, and this covenant brings promises of God’s guidance and provision for His people.

We are also people of the New Covenant. We have a relationship with God as our Father through our Lord Jesus Christ. We can come boldly into the throne of grace, and bring our laments to our Father. Things don’t always go as planned. Healing doesn’t always come when we pray. Our life is many times a trail of unanswered prayers.

We lament because we have an intimate relationship with God our Father, knowing we can come as His children, trusting in the goodness of His character.

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