The Psalms of Holy Week

I Can Count All My Bones

Psalm 22
Psalm 13

Psalm 22 is one of over 50 laments in the Book of Psalms, prayers of people who are deep down in what we modernly call "the blues."

The Biblical lament is written in four formal parts: the complaint, the request for help, the affirmation of trust in God, and then a formal vow or promise to praise God.

The complaint begins with the writer's own feelings, then complains about God and his behavior, and then complains about the behavior of others, "my enemies."

This progression, from complaint, through request, then affirmation, and then the final promise to praise, leads us from wherever we are right now to where God always wants us to be, praising him from the depths of our hearts.

But God never asks us to praise him from denial, from a sugar-coating of "every day in every way things are getting better and better." Instead, he comes to meet us exactly where we are, even if we are in the very depths of despair, and guides us back to reconciliation with him.

What an awesome, caring, and thorough God - he never wants us to gloss over the details.

An older class might want to write their own laments, through the four formal stages. Psalm 13 can provide a clear guide for format. Psalm 69 is another psalm of lament.

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