A prayer of lament is a direct address to God in a time of distress. It is one thing to say, “Oh, God!” as an expression of pain and another thing to say earnestly, “Oh God, help me in this time of suffering! You are All powerful and I am not. Save me!” The difference is great between these two ways of expressing our pain.
Prayers of Lament do help us psychologically. But they are more than just for our psychological healing. Lament’s primary motivation is to take whatever distress we are in before the throne of God and await His response. The aim of the prayer of lament is to encounter God Himself as Job did at the end of his lamenting.
How does one pray such a prayer?
Here is a basic recipe for prayers of lament.
- Call out or shout to God in your pain.
- Complaint or Lament: Articulate the problem and ask the Lord for help.
- Remember times when God acted or spoke to you and speak to yourself about such times in the prayer (self-talk).
- Confession of Trust: Verbalize your trust, however imperfect, in the Lord.
- Prayer for Deliverance: Request deliverance or God’s intervention in the problem.
- Repeat the first five until some encounter with the Lord is felt and experienced.
- Praise: Offer praise and thanksgiving to God for God’s coming to you in your pain. 
Now your prayers won’t always follow this pattern, but it can help us to know what to pray and to see the process.
As you deal with the pain of your past, the wounds of abuse you suffered, and the losses of your life, don’t run from God in shame, but to Him knowing that HE is ready to hear YOU and help YOU.
Dr. Norman Wise is the Executive Director of Living Water Christian Counseling and host of “Ask the Counselor” on GraceNetRadio.com. Living Water can be reached at 954-726-2303.
 If you are looking for more biblical examples of prayers of lament, here are some.
Individual psalms of Lament include: 3, 4, 5, 7, 9-10, 13, 14, 17, 22, 25, 26, 27, 28, 31, 36, 39, 40:12-17, 41, 42-43, 52, 53, 54, 55, 56, 57, 59, 61, 64, 70, 71, 77, 86, 89, 120, 139, 141, 142.
Corporate psalms of Lament include: 12, 44, 58, 60, 74, 79, 80, 83, 85, 89, 90, 94, 123, 126, 129.