We will be coming together to pray on Thursday, 4th February at 7:30pm. More than ten months after the start of the pandemic, our 11am service remains closed. If we come to church at 9am, we wear masks, sit apart from each other and are not allowed to sing. Most children and young people are unable to attend school and the summer feels a long way off.
In times of long term sorrow, God’s people have always cried out to him. Usually those prayers have been cries of lamentation rather than praise, of despair rather than celebration. As I pointed out at the Carol Service, most of us have never got as far as saying to God the kind of things that we find in the Bible.
- Job: “Though I cry, “Violence”, I get no response; though I call for help, there is no justice.”
- The Psalmist: “Awake, Lord! Why do you sleep? Rouse yourself!”
- Isaiah: “Truly, you are a God who has been hiding himself.”
- Jeremiah: “Why are you like a man taken by surprise, like a warrior who is powerless to save?”
Prayer is never about putting on a brave face. It is not pretending to be what we are not.
It is being honest about the fact that at times – like now – life can feel incredibly bleak. Many of the psalms are written from exactly this place. We will be using them to help us pray on Thursday. The fact that life is grim is never the end of the story for the Psalmist. “Hope in the Lord. For I shall yet praise him who is the help of my countenance and my God.”