Matthew 26:39-42 ESV “And going a little farther he fell on his face and prayed, saying, “My Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me; nevertheless, not as I will, but as you will.” And he came to the disciples and found them sleeping. And he said to Peter, “So, could you not watch with me one hour? Watch and pray that you may not enter into temptation. The spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.” Again, for the second time, he went away and prayed, “My Father, if this cannot pass unless I drink it, your will be done.”
To lament, we: Call on God. We address Him in a way that is authentic to us.
The practice of lament consists of components that allow us to invite God into our deep pain and anguish. The very first is one that seems so simple but is truly imperative to the process of inviting God in. The very first thing we need to do is to call on God.
Remember as a child you would call on your parents name more than 100 times a day.
“Mommy, can you help me?”
“Mommy, I want that one.”
“Mommy, can I have more?”
Sometimes we would just call out for comfort…
Make Our Complaint: Sharing with God what is making you frustrated, sad, angry etc.
I believe one of the greatest myths that keeps believers from the eternal gift of presence with God that we have access to is the lie that God doesn’t care about how we feel. Many of us have been told or taught in one way or another that God doesn’t care about anything but His will. This lie keeps us from crying out to God. It keeps us from getting close enough to God to experience the tenderness, compassion, and grace that He offers us every day by convincing us to turn our back to God when we feel anything that we think opposes His will.
God cares about how you feel, even if what you desire isn’t in His will.
We see this to be true when Jesus prepared to go to the cross. Before His time for crucifixion came, Jesus decided to pray to His Father. In that prayer is a model of vulnerability from Jesus that we are called to model to our heavenly Father as well. We see a glimpse of how dearly God holds and regards our pain and desires no matter what the circumstance is.
In Matthew 26:39-42, Jesus cries out to God saying, “My Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass from me; yet not as I will, but as You will.”
At that moment Jesus does something He doesn’t have to. He calls on God and expresses His fear, sadness, and lack of desire to go to the cross and endure the weight of the world. Jesus, being God Himself, already knew that He must go. He knew that nothing could change the truth that He had to go to the cross. And yet, He took time to express how He felt, modeling for us that the sinless perfection Jesus lived on earth included vulnerably sharing His negative feelings with God.
In our likeness to Jesus, we are called to make the pains of our hearts known to God by sharing them with Him. He is trustworthy. He cares. And we matter to Him. That is why He wants us to share with Him what’s in our hearts.
- Call on God by saying His name: “________, Jehovah Jireh my provider… you provide for my every need.
- Then, as honestly as you can, share with God what’s on your heart. Don’t try to make it seem pretty. Don’t try to use words or phrases that you’ve heard others use. Go to God with your words and your pain. He’s here. He’s waiting. He’s listening
God is waiting for you to call on Him.