“Lament is a raw, unfiltered cry to God based on trust in his character and with hope for his resolution.” (JoAnn Hummel) It asks, “Why Lord, and how long?” Lament typically begins with a cry, then makes a request of God to do something, and ends with an expression of trust. Over a third of the Psalms and the book of Lamentations are laments. Some examples are Psalm 10, 13, 22, 42, 43 and 77.
Lord God, my personal Savior and friend, creator of the universe and all mankind; the One who holds everything together, and has power over life and death, health and disease,
Stamp out this virus; help scientists create a vaccine; give physicians wisdom; show economists how to provide, cause inventors to work together, world leaders to cooperate.
Be merciful and keep it from spreading. You have the ability to stop this, please be kind and do so.
Rescue those lying in hospital beds struggling to breathe; the caregivers working extra hours to comfort and ease their suffering; the emergency personnel fighting to keep them alive; the technicians searching for and maintaining life-saving equipment.
Be the ezer (help) that you are to those out of work; parents trying to educate children; delivery personnel trucking on lonely roads; food service employees restocking shelves.
Come to the aid of those who live on the streets; those crammed in prisons cells; those with no friends for support, or internet to connect them.
Don’t let our enemy win by reducing your people to despondency, depression, alcohol, pornography, isolation and suicide. He would use these to ensnare and remove hope; and take your children out by the grip of death.
God, you are the source of all life and healing; you are good and kind and don’t desire any to perish. Remember your character and act; show the world that you are a gracious God; reveal your mighty power over sickness and chaos.
I ask not for myself as I am comfortable in my warm home with plenty of food, water, clothing and entertainment. I ask for those who have little, whose livelihoods have been abruptly taken away, whose homes are in jeopardy and whose pantries are bare. for those at risk of infection, those unable to social distance, those in communities with no health care or government assistance.
I don’t deserve this. I am a stubborn and self-seeking woman, fat on wealth and greed. I ignore the downtrodden and the outcast; I fail to see the refugee and the hungry.
But you are merciful and full of hesed love. Reach down and save the world you created. In you alone is our hope, our future, our source of provision. You alone give true satisfaction and fulfillment. Without you, there is no reason to go on. I will choose to trust in you, for you alone are life.
Why not write your own Prayer of Lament?
For more on lament, check out these articles:
Five Things to Know about Lent by NT Wright
Dare to Hope in God by Mark Vroegop (Desiring God)
6 Reasons Christians Need to Learn to Lament by Mark Vroegop (Crossway)