Psalm of Lament, Psalm 22


In this post you'll find: - A modern version of Psalm 22 - A musical interpretation of Pslam 22 (video) - Meditation - Activity and Prayer

For the NRSV version of the Psalm click here.



Lament Psalm Twenty-two

by Ann Weems


I don’t know where to look for you, O God!

I’ve called and I’ve called.

I’ve looked and I’ve looked.

I go back to my room

and sit in the dark

waiting for you.

Could you give me a sign

that you’ve heard?

Could you numb my emotions

so I wouldn’t hurt so much?

I walk in circles.

I rock in my chair.

I pour a glass of water.

I look out the window.

I walk to the kitchen.

I open the refrigerator;

there’s nothing I want.

I close it again.

I turn on the TV.

The voices are too loud;

the faces are too loud.

I mute the voices;

I turn off the faces.

The silence is my friend;

The silence is my enemy.

I go upstairs.

I lie on the bed.

I get up again.

I walk to the window.

No sign of you!

I’m dying, O God, without you.

O God of wonder,

you can change it all.

You can distract me

from thoughts of death.

You can fill my days with purpose.

You can make the nights shorter.

You can let me find you.

Don’t hide from me any longer, O God.

O God,

you reveal yourself to those

who call upon your name.

Blessed be my God

who does not fail me!



Psalm 22: Shane Heilman and the musicians of the Psalms Project



During this time as we all wrestle with grief, in all its forms, it is helpful to turn to our faith. But, it can be difficult to reconcile hard feelings with our belief in a merciful God. Psalms of lament can give us language, and perhaps permission, to share our feelings and know we can still be faithful. With God we do not need to minimize our own grief or experiences. God cares deeply for all the pain in our hearts.

Crying out to God is an act of great faith. The Psalmists cry out for God to be present and trusted that when God came, God would bring the right fix (Into the Light: Finding Hope Through Prayers of Lament, PW/Horizons). Lamenting to God shows a willingness to keep the lines of communication open. In the forward to Ann Weems book Psalms of Lament, from which the above poem comes, Walter Brueggemann explains “[the complaint] is a trusting utterance set down in the middle of an ongoing friendship of trust and confidence.” Complaining to God is an expression of hope, we share confidence in the saving presence of God.

Psalm 22 is remarkable for its passionate expression of anguish. It begins with a prayer for help and then transitions to praising God for helping. If you find God’s presence lacking today, try crying out. If you feel like creating, write a poem of lament (common elements: address God, describe your complaint, state your petition, and share your assurance of being heard, give praise or share hope). Share your poems below. If you prefer creative coloring, contact Kendal (kmullins@wpcdenver.org) and she will email you a Psalm 22 coloring page.

Closing prayer: God of hope, save us from our fear and grief. Remind us to turn always to you, from where our help comes from. In Jesus’s name I pray. Amen

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