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The Magazine of The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America

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Lament as true prayer

We speak honestly of what we know. God meets us there.

“Likewise the Spirit helps us in our weakness; for we do not know how to pray as we ought, but that very Spirit intercedes with sighs too deep for words” (Romans 8:26).

I often think the sighs of the Spirit are heard most clearly in the laments of the Psalms. Praying the laments is difficult. But so often they are our deepest and truest prayers.

A dear and faithful friend who lost his son in a car accident once told me that for a long time Psalm 88 was the only Scripture that sustained him. This relentless lament alone voiced his despair with the stark honesty his experience demanded.


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December issue

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