How Lamenting Leads to Spiritual and Mental Growth

When practicing the skill of lamenting it leads to spiritual and mental growth.  You may be asking how is this so?  To engage in lamenting, you eventually start to answer certain questions that tell you where you are in your relationship with God and how to work through the emotional and spiritual maze that our hearts and minds become entangled in through life’s hardships.  Let’s look at one example of a lament found here:

Invocation – Do you know what you need?

To start a lament, one first needs to know that they have a need and hopefully what they need.  In the process of psychological growth, this is not always the easiest step.  At times, we may repress emotions/thoughts and/or allow ourselves to be overwhelmed by them.  If this is the case, it is good to engage God to help understand the true need.

Complaint – What is the external and internal problem?

Once understanding there is a need, next comes the process of identifying the need.  Some individuals were taught never to complain and/or their needs did not matter. Due to this, actually talking about the need is something that does not come naturally.  When speaking about the need/complaint think about exploring in your heart and mind what is the external problem (what are the external factors in your life contributing to the issue (i.e. job, relationship issues, health issues, etc.) and what are the internal problems (i.e. pride, fear, anger)).  Identifying the external and internal issues goes a long way in working through the emotional maze that comes when we are in destress.

Affirmation of trust – What is your testimony?

                                           What does God’s word say about trusting Him?

As one looks at their needs and problems, it is important that the needs/problems do not become the main focus.  When we realign the focus to Christ, we have the opportunity to engage a very powerful turn in this maze – the affirmation of trust.  As we make this statement, we can reflect on what God has shown us through our own story (our testimony – see Rev. 12:11).  It is also good to ask oneself, “What does God’s word say about trusting him?”.  What are the stories throughout scripture that point toward his faithfulness?  By doing these two things, you are reflecting on the powerful truths of your own life and those that have come before you that lead you to seeing and believing God’s true character.  At this point, it leads us clearly to the next steps to take in our life (see 2 Cor. 5:7).

Petition- Ask for what you need?

Now that you have been reminded of who God is and what God has done in your life and others, it is time to boldly ask for what you need (see Heb 4:16).  Take the time to speak to God and know that God wants to hear what you have to say, cares about you, and wants to work with and through you pertaining to your situation.

Statement of Confidence – How are you deciding to engage with hope and expectations?

One of the biggest traps in this maze of troubling thoughts and feelings is what happens when we do boldly go before the Lord.  It is the little voice that comes next that tempts us not to believe, asks us “Would God “really” do this for us?” and starts to tempt us to question again the character of God.  You may hear that common phrase, “Yes, God can; but, will he?”.  These next two steps help us to avoid these traps.  We make a decision of how to engage with hope and expectation as we go before the Lord (see Psalm 33:20-22).  Our confidence can be sure and solid as our hope is placed in the One that is Faithful and True (see Rev. 19:11).

Vow of Praise – God is more than the problem.

As we make the decision to boldly declare our confidence and to have hope and expectation in the one that is Faithful and True, we have the honor of now fully seeing the opening of the maze.  This opening appears when we realize God is so much greater than the problem we have brought before the Lord and through this it leads us to praise God.  As Louie Giglio has stated:

“Worry and worship cannot exist in the same space. One always displaces the other.”

The act of Lamenting is an amazing process of spiritual and emotional growth that helps us to become freed from any complex maze we face throughout our lives.  It is truly a gift that we have been given this roadmap in God’s word.

Lament example:

Biblical-Lament.pdf (

-Kelly Saylor – learn more about working with Kelly here!

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