Lamenting with the Psalms: A Brief Guide

This Lent, we are entering the practice of communal lament. If you missed Fr. Kevin’s sermon from Ash Wednesday, “The Power of Lament,” he listed 5 elements you’ll usually find in laments. You may find these helpful as you express your own pain to God.

  1. Reminding God how he acted in the past (example: Psalm 44:1-2)

  2. Describing how bad the suffering is (example: Psalm 44:9-10)

  3. Asking hard questions of God– like “How long?” and “Why don’t you act?” (examples: Psalm 44:24; Psalm 13:1-2)

  4. Dealing with our sin—if that’s involved. Some psalms, like 78, clearly confess the people’s sins, but others say, “Yes, we did sin, but now we’ve been punished enough” (like Psalm 79). Some even say, “We’re innocent. This suffering is not something we deserve” (Psalm 44:17-22)

  5. Pleading for God to help (Psalm 44:23-26)


Kevin Miller was editor and vice-president at Christianity Today for 26 years and then associate rector at Church of the Resurrection for 5 years. He has been the rector at Savior since January 2017, and is also the co-founder of PreachingToday.com and CTPastors.com.

Kevin Miller was editor and vice-president at Christianity Today for 26 years and then associate rector at Church of the Resurrection for 5 years. He has been the rector at Savior since January 2017, and is also the co-founder of PreachingToday.com and CTPastors.com.