For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under Heaven . . . a time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to dance and a time to mourn. (Ecc. 3:1,4)
Generation after generation has lived through crises that challenged the very foundations of their sense of security, and caused them to cry out to God for help. The Psalms are a constant source of encouragement, sometimes beginning with an outpouring of grief and taking the form of a lament. What is beautiful, is that these same cries of anguish often yield to a spirit of praise as the psalmist turns to the Lord and remind himself of the Lord’s greatness. See, for example, Psalms 13, 22 and 86, For those who would like to explore the theme of the psalms of lament in more depth, see this article in Wikipedia.
Whatever the cause of our concern trouble and fear, be it Covid-19, the floods, the ongoing migrant crisis, terrorism or some more personal issue, the truth is that there is no one like the Lord. He is still so much greater than all that assails us.
We first published this prayer for our land in the aftermath of a particular atrocity some years ago. It remains raw and relevant. May this cry to the Lord ascend before His throne and draw down His great mercy, even as the shaking of the nations continues apace.
The music is by Corelli, followed by Colin Owen’s beautiful ‘Minor Muse.’
The words can also be found below.
Broken and open lies our land in Your sight;
clouds pressing down, light dim,
For through our own deliberate fault
we have rejected Your ways
and laid our inheritance bare
to powerful forces sweeping through the land,
while aimless souls scuttle and hustle
in self-imposed blindness
deafened by the endless jangle
that disentangles souls from Me
And the holy ones lament,
for this is not the destiny God prepared for us,
when first He brought His word to these shores.
Lord of hosts, in acts of mercy beyond marvel,
You who have foiled and thwarted
so many seeming perfect plots,
renew now Your works of interception and intervention.
We dare not take Your grace for granted,
or say, ‘Protecting our land is the work
of those paid and appointed to do so’,
when You are looking to Your anointed ones
to be watchmen on the towers.
Dear Lord, we cry out for all afflicted by loss,
for in all our distress, You too are distressed,
and in our grief, You too are grieved.
For those provoked to lash out and respond in spite
as the result of heavy hammer blows,
with all our might we pray: Lord, ‘Stay their hand,’ –
and stay Yours, too, we pray.
Let Your brooding compassion be renewed
across our nation despite this latest loss:
from the uttermost north of Cape Wrath Sutherland
and the islands beyond,
to the softer turf and the southern surf;
from eastern Wash to craggy west;
and crowded metropolis to folded hills.
We implore the power of Your yearning,
and the breadth of Your moving.
Shine brilliant Light into our overcrowded land
and break through the lowering clouds
drawing hearts in profound soul searching
to Yours, dear Father,
in the light that knows no night.
Drop down, ye heavens, from above,
and let the skies pour down righteousness:
let the earth open,
and let them bring forth salvation,
and let righteousness spring up together;
I the Lord have created it. (Is. 45:8 KJV)
Sky above, make victory fall like rain;
clouds, pour down victory.
Let the earth receive it,
and let salvation grow,
and let victory grow with it.
I, the Lord, have created it. (Is. 45:8 NCV