An Invitation to Write!

An Invitation to Write!

With the increased restrictions due to covid-19 we will be spending more time at home.
For some of us this is okay – we enjoy solitude; we enjoy being at home.
For others of us we need to be with people and we need to get out; we find ourselves withering when we can’t be together with others.
For all of us, hopefully we will have more time to reflect on how these restrictions are impacting us personally and communally.

Because of this I am extending an invitation to any and all who find it cathartic to express yourself through writing, and to those who need encouragement to do more writing.
Writing offers us opportunity to give voice to our thoughts and emotions, naming what is going on inside us.
Writing allows us to validate what we are experiencing and helps us move through it.
Writing let’s us share our experiences with other people.

Invitation to Write for 2 Very Different Themes ~ LAMENT and GRACE ~
1 – Prayer of Lament
Lament is a prayer that freely expresses frustration with the way things are. The most common Biblical Psalms are laments. Many of us develop a particular “prayer voice” characterized by a sense of decorum. For some reason we feel our prayer language must be neat and tidy. The psalmists, however, teach us that we can bring our whole selves into prayer. Diana Grover writes in her blog post Praying Lament Psalms (And How to Write Your Own), “Thankfully, the Psalms give us permission to bring our fiercest, untamed thoughts and emotions to God. . .Lament psalms teach us to bring our raw emotion and desires to God – with no filter or polishing – and how to release those emotions and desires to His care. Even before our situation is resolved, we can find comfort.” *
We can freely tell God that we don’t like the way things are and we can tell God to do something about it.

There are 2 kinds of lament psalms, individual and communal. Psalm 86 is an individual lament in which David lays out his need to God. Psalm 12 is an example of communal lament voicing sadness over widespread evil.

There is a lot that we are lamenting these days. We grieve Covid-19, restrictions, political conflict, racism, uncertainty, unemployment, isolation – our own and that of loved ones, loved ones who have died, environmental degradation, insecurity and more.

Lament can help us move from our place of frustration and despair to a more hopeful place.
Prayers of lament form us and transform us. As we bring our pain and frustration to God our prayers of lament bear fruit as we are slowly changed even while circumstances are not.

Prayers of lament typically follow a 3-step pattern:
1 – Protest – name the truth of what is, tell God what the problem is
2 – Petition – tell God what you want God to do about the problem
3 – Praise – name truth about who God is based on God’s character and how you have known God in the past, express trust in God, name God’s goodness, even though you cannot see that now.

These 3 movements closely follow the 3 acts of HOPE that Randy Holm taught us in October:
1 – naming the truth – be real about our current situation
2 – grieving the truth – lament and grieve our wounds, our losses
3 – reorienting the truth – a courageous act of imagination as we stay rooted in God’s fidelity, choosing the truth of God,

Take a look at these psalms to get an idea of how to write your own lament:
Psalm 6, 10, 13, 17, 22, 25,30, 31, 69, 73, 86, 88, 102.

You can pattern your lament prayer after a psalm of lament that you find in scripture or be creative and make your own. Be sure to write in a way that authentically reflects your situation. It can be 3 sentences long or 30. Whatever allows you to express yourself.

*To read more of Diana Gruver’s blog post on writing a prayer of lament go to
https://www.dianagruver.com/blog/praying-and-writing-lament-psalms

2 – Gratitude for GRACE
This theme comes with 2 approaches:
1 – Spend time reflecting on how you have known and/or how you currently know God’s grace at work in your life or in the life of someone else. Write about that.

2 – Spend time reflecting on why you are grateful for Grace Bible Church. This might be something stretching back during the past almost 30 years since GBC began or it might be something more recent. Write about that.

Join Me in Writing During the Months Ahead!

Write as many pieces as you like and as you finish them please send them to me at pastors@gracebiblechurch.ca

I will collect whatever is sent and put the writings together to share with the rest of us.
The prayers of lament will be compiled in a booklet of readings for LENT in February.
The words of gratitude for GRACE will form a booklet to celebrate GBC’s 30th anniversary in May 2021!

And, if you would rather draw or paint or take a picture of something that expresses your spiritual journing instead of writing – please do that and send it to me!

Many blessings as you create!


2 Comments


stephen - November 22nd, 2020 at 9:58am

Could you send me the link for Diana Grover's blog on writing laments, please. Thanks. Great idea.

stephen - November 22nd, 2020 at 10:03am

O...when look at that ... when I read the whole blog my request appeared...with the right spelling...Thanks