Those Who Weep – Lament

Prayer in the Night – Chapter 3

Chapter 3 begins the second part of the book entitled: “The Way of the Vulnerable.” We look at those who are praying this prayer. But instead of taking the three categories in the order they are prayed, she switches them up as she explains in the book (see – I’m not going to tell you – you need to get the book!).

Why is it important to be able to weep?

Only when we weep, when we see the inescapable reality of the grief before us. Only then can we move beyond ourselves, our own strengths, and desire salvation. 

That kind of grief is known throughout scripture. Generation after generation have turned to God, wept and torn their clothes. At one point, Tish writes, “The church’s prophetic witness to an outraged culture is to be a people who know how to weep together at the pain and injustice in the world (both past and present) and at the reality of our own sin and brokenness.” (page 44)

But his kind of grief doesn’t fit with man’s expectation of God. We think God should not allow it. As she put it, it’s almost like “we wait for God to convince us that he is a useful accessory in our own project of self-creation. In this way, so very subtly, we approach God not in honest lament but as unhappy customers. God isn’t giving us what we want, he isn’t taking away the pain of this world, and frankly he’s so terribly slow.  We are not pleased with the job God is doing, and the customer is always right.” (49)

“Unhappy customers,” grumbling at management because the world isn’t working the way we want it to. What a mess! We’re still trying to control our circumstances, trying to control God. 

Only when we allow ourselves to weep do we begin to know who we are and who God is. 

It’s all about relationship.

PS – Please buy the book by Tish Harrison Warren, Prayer in the Night! So many gems – I couldn’t include them all!

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