Prophetic Lament in the Face of Violence
I find it hard to find the words to say, but silence is not helpful either.
God rebukes the priests and prophets through Jeremiah, saying:
“They treat the wound of my people
as if it were nothing:
“All is well, all is well,” they insist,
when in fact nothing is well.
They should be ashamed
of their detestable practices” [Jeremiah 6:14-15; 8:11-12]
Let us not be like those God rebukes who don’t see the deep, festering wound that keeps getting opened again and again.
All is not well in our cities and in our nation. We must not remain silent. We must not ignore what is happening. We must not let fear of what to say or what to do keep us from rising up and crying out. Black Lives Matter. Hatred and violence is never the right nor the best path to peace and justice. The police shootings in Dallas are a tragedy. Too many lives are being lost. Racism is a present reality.
So, once again, I turn to those who have gone before us to help us know how to pray:
Lord, “We don’t know what we should pray.” We “wait breathless”, we feel weak and frustrated at all the suffering — and don’t know how to give expression to our inner groaning. 
Lord we asked you to “teach us to pray” and you said:
“Don’t pour out a flood of empty words…” 
So here goes:
“How long oh, Lord!? How long will the wicked win?” 
We see what is happening in our nation, and wonder:
“Is this nothing to all you who pass by? Look around: Is there any suffering like the suffering inflicted” on our black brothers and sisters? And now in Dallas? 
“Lord, how long will people call for help and you not listen?
We cry out to you, “Violence!”
but you don’t deliver us.”
“There is strife, and conflict abounds. Instruction is ineffective.
Justice does not endure because the wicked surround the righteous.
Justice becomes warped.” 
“Lord, look at their suffering…Lord, look and take notice…Pay attention, Lord, for we are in trouble. My stomach is churning; my heart is pounding inside me because I am so bitter. In the streets
the sword guns kill…our groans are many, our hearts are sick.” 
“Tears run down like a flood all day and night…There is no relief until the Lord looks down from the heavens and notices. Our eyes hurt us because of what’s happened to [the] city’s daughters.”
“We call on your name, Lord, from the depths of the pit. Hear our voices. Don’t close your ear to the need for relief, to our cries for help.” 
“Our Lord! Plead their desperate case; redeem their lives. Lord, look at their mistreatment; judge their cause. Look at all of their enemies’ vengeance, all of their scheming…Hear their jeering, Lord…the speech of those who rise up against them, the incessant gossiping…” 
There is a time of turning, of hope arising. But it feels too soon. For now God, we just shout:
“Get up, Lord; get angry!
Stand up against the fury of my foes!
Wake up, my God;
you command that justice be done!” 
In the name of Jesus, amen.
A worthwhile read from the voices of Black Christian Leaders expressing anger and lament:
 Romans 8
 Matthew 6
 Psalm 94
 Lamentations 1
 Habakkuk 1
 Lamentations 2
 Lamentations 3
 Lamentations 3
 Psalm 7