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Why We Need the Psalms of Lament

The Pervasiveness of Lament

One of the things that is most deeply striking about the Psalms is how pervasive lament is—corporate laments and individual laments. The psalmist regularly leads either the people of God, or just himself, in saying, "I'm in pain, I'm in trouble, I'm in anguish, I'm in distress," and voicing that to God.

In fact, about sixty-five of the Psalms are laments. This is really amazing because it helps us to see that the Psalms of lament are not just for those occasional deep times of pain or suffering in one's life. All of life is pain! There is always something painful in our lives. Whether relational, or physical, or emotional—there's always pain in our lives.

The Psalms get that and give us a diversity of ways to articulate and express it to the Lord.

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