Thursday, November 24, 2016

A Gentle Invitation To Biblical Lamentation And Prayer

And saith unto them, My soul is exceeding sorrowful unto death: tarry ye here, and watch.

And he went forward a little, and fell on the ground, and prayed that, if it were possible, the hour might pass from him. Mark 14:34,35


"Tarry ye here!"

Oh, a Man of Sorrow is calling us!
Who is going to stand at My side in this dark hour?

O come and mourn with me awhile;
And tarry here the cross beside;
O come, together let us mourn;
Jesus, our Lord, is crucified.

O break, O break, hard heart of mine!
Thy weak self-love and guilty pride
His Pilate and His Judas were:
Jesus, our Lord, is crucified.

'It is obvious that “lament” and “confession” are not central features of our Western Christian life today.

Rather a “programmatic” and pragmatic view of Christian action prevails, reflecting the secular attitude around us. Te pursuit of knowledge, rather than the desire to be “known of God,” does not encourage a confessional posture. 

The autonomous agent, who in self-sufficiency excels in all the gadgetry of the “Electronic Revolution,” is reluctant to see him or herself as “despairing in absolute need.”

Bruce K. Waltke, The Psalms as Christian Lament, A Historical Commentary


Lord, Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me, a sinner!

Κυριε Ιησου Χριστε, Υιε του Θεου, ελεησον με την αμαρτωλον!

Of all the prayers that I know,
All prayers sung or read aloud –
One prayer breathes with brilliant strength,
The wondrous prayer “Lord have mercy”!

A single plea it does contain –
I ask the All-compassionate God
To save me with His awesome might,
And so I call out: “Lord have mercy”!

I sail the turbulent sea of life,
I meet with joy and poignant sorrow.
What power saves me from the storms?
The wondrous prayer “Lord have mercy”!

When tears of deep despair I weep,
And dreams of passion overwhelm me –
Then with especial strength of heart
I keep on crying: “Lord have mercy”!

And as you end your life on earth,
My soul, continue with this prayer
Beyond the grave, keep up your plea
Of hope eternal: “Lord have mercy”!

-Lord Have Mercy, translated from Russian by Natalia Sheniloff (source)

Jesus, my beloved Savior.
Let me trace Thy holy footsteps
Where Thou wept in agony.
Let me now my whole life offer,

For Thou bore such pain for me!