Guest Post Written by Dr. John Mark Hicks
Today’s Prayer Text is Lamentations 3:38-58
Like a wounded healer, the preacher in Lamentations remembers his own experience of suffering in the fall of Jerusalem. His soul lacked peace, and his heart has no memory of happiness (3:16-17). But the preacher also remembers who God is, and therefore hopes in the unceasing steadfast love of the Lord and God’s unending mercies (3:22-24).
In the light of God’s compassionate heart and in recognition of their past sins, the preacher invites the congregation to pray.
Let us test and examine our ways,
and return to the Lord.
Let us lift up our hearts
as well as our hands to God in heaven.
We confess our sin.
We remember our God.
We call on the name of the Lord.
Despite their sufferings—and the preacher is not immune to it because the preacher suffered with the congregation—the preacher models prayer before the congregation. The preacher is confident that God will listen and respond in mercy.
I called on your name, O Lord,
From the depths of the pit;
you heard my plea, “Do not close your ear
to my cry for help, but give me relief!”
You came near when I called on you;
you said, “Do not fear!
You have taken up my cause, O Lord,
you have redeemed my life.
Let us confess our sins in prayer.
Let us give thanks for the mercy of God.
Let us experience, through prayer, the presence of God who whispers “Do not fear” into our hearts and lives.
Thanks to John mark for these encouragements. You can connect with John Mark Hicks on Facebook HERE. You can access a wealth of his writings and Bible study materials on his blog HERE. You can follow him on Twitter HERE.
Dr. John Mark Hicks and his wife Jennifer live in Nashville, TN where he is Professor of Theology at Lipscomb University. His many accomplishments and life experiences can be read HERE. You can purchase his books below. I became acquainted with John Mark during his days at Magnolia Bible College and have been grateful for his encouragement over the years. It is an honor to have him write a post in this series.