The May/June issue of Bible Study Magazine contains an informative article by Mark Vroegop entitled “Praying Lament Psalms.” The article teaches a four-step framework to guide prayers of those in grief.  The four parts are (1) TURN, (2) COMPLAIN, (3) ASK, and (4) TRUST.  You should read the article.


About the TURN step, the Lament Psalm begins with turning to God while in pain.  There is nothing wrong with turning to God to ease our pain.  God is the only One who can remove pain and grief.

For the COMPLAIN step, a lament Psalm presents the nature and depth of the sorrow.  While God already knows our suffering better than we ever can, it benefits us to unpack the details of our circumstances. 

Third, in the ASKS step, a lament Psalm asks God for relief according to a biblical promise.  The Bible contains many promises of God to aid those in grief, pain, and sorrow. 

Finally, by the TRUST step, a lament Psalm expresses our trust in God to address our situation.  God is trustworthy to make God on His promises.   We must know that God is a loving, all-powerful God who wants the best for His children, i.e., a believer in the Lord Jesus Christ. 


Let’s see how using the four-part framework functions for Psalm 10.[i]

Verse 1 comprises the TURN step of the analysis.  The Psalmist asks God why He hasn’t taken action against the wicked in times of trouble. 

Verses 2-11 comprise the COMPLAIN step.  The Psalmist describes the wicked as prideful, haughty, boastful, greedy, curses and spurns God denies there is a God, deceitful, obstinate, and other sinful attributes.  He is airing his laundry list of complaints about his circumstances.

The ASK step comprises verses 12-15.  These verses contain the actions the Psalmist wants God to carry out.   He asks God not to forget the afflicted and rise against the wicked in a way consistent with God’s character.  The Psalmist reminds God that the unfortunate commit themselves to God, and He is the helper of orphans. 

By the TRUST step, i.e., verses 16-18 (NASB95), the Psalmist expresses his trust in God to provide relief:

16 The Lord is King forever and ever; Nations have perished from His land. 17 O Lord, You have heard the desire of the humble; You will strengthen their heart, You will incline Your ear 18 To vindicate the orphan and the oppressed, So that man who is of the earth will no longer cause terror.


At different seasons of our lives, pain and sorrow can be frequent torturers.  Using the four-step approach to a lament Psalm can help us better see God working in our situation during those difficult times.  In those times, we can (1) TURN to God, (2) COMPLAIN to God about our situation setting forth the details, (3) ASK God to provide relief per His Word, and (4) TRUST in God that He will come to our rescue.

The Lament Table below sets a format to pray a lament Psalm.

Four-StepsSpecific Description
TURN to God   
COMPLAIN to God   
ASK God for relief   
TRUST in God   

 If you are reading this post and are not a Christian, unless God intervenes, your eternal destination is hell.  But, your destiny can change.  Today can be the day of your salvation. 

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[i] Full text of Psalm 10 in NASB95 is below:

1 Why do You stand afar off, O Lord? Why do You hide Yourself in times of trouble? 2 In pride the wicked hotly pursue the afflicted; Let them be caught in the plots which they have devised. 3 For the wicked boasts of his heart’s desire, And the greedy man curses and spurns the Lord. 4 The wicked, in the haughtiness of his countenance, does not seek Him. All his thoughts are, “There is no God.” 5 His ways prosper at all times; Your judgments are on high, out of his sight; As for all his adversaries, he snorts at them. 6 He says to himself, “I will not be moved; Throughout all generations I will not be in adversity.” 7 His mouth is full of curses and deceit and oppression; Under his tongue is mischief and wickedness. 8 He sits in the lurking places of the villages; In the hiding places he kills the innocent; His eyes stealthily watch for the unfortunate. 9 He lurks in a hiding place as a lion in his lair; He lurks to catch the afflicted; He catches the afflicted when he draws him into his net. 10 He crouches, he bows down, And the unfortunate fall by his mighty ones. 11 He says to himself, “God has forgotten; He has hidden His face; He will never see it.” 12 Arise, O Lord; O God, lift up Your hand. Do not forget the afflicted. 13 Why has the wicked spurned God? He has said to himself, “You will not require it.14 You have seen it, for You have beheld mischief and vexation to take it into Your hand. The unfortunate commits himself to You; You have been the helper of the orphan. 15 Break the arm of the wicked and the evildoer, Seek out his wickedness until You find none. 16 The Lord is King forever and ever; Nations have perished from His land. 17 O Lord, You have heard the desire of the humble; You will strengthen their heart, You will incline Your ear 18 To vindicate the orphan and the oppressed, So that man who is of the earth will no longer cause terror.