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A Sacred Sorrow: Reaching Out to God in the Lost Language of Lament

4.32  ·  Rating details ·  372 ratings  ·  56 reviews
God desires for us to pour out our hearts to Him, whether in joy or pain. But many of us don't feel right expressing our anger, frustration, and sadness in prayer.

From Job to David to Christ, men and women of the Bible understood the importance of pouring one's heart out to the Father. Examine their stories and expand your definition of worship.

Paperback, 205 pages
Published January 18th 2005 by NavPress
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Beth Anne
May 04, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2021, 2017
One of my favorite things about bookstagram is the opportunity to talk about and learn about books that are not well-known. A Sacred Sorrow is one such relatively unknown book, but one that has been extremely beneficial for me personally. I've read this book twice in the last 4 years, and for my recent re-read purchased a copy for my own shelves.

This book digs deep into the spiritual practice of lament, the sorrowful act of complete honesty with God in the face of pain and suffering. This isn't
Matthew Mitchell
Mar 07, 2018 rated it it was amazing
A beautiful elegy to tear-filled faith.

Michael Card’s A Sacred Sorrow is a rich, searching, wise, authentic, and accessible (re)introduction to the “lost language” of biblical lament. For the last few years, I’ve been reading everything reliable that I can find on lament in the Bible. I think the 21st century American church needs that kind of tear-filled faith woven back into our prayer lives, corporate worship, and imagination. Pain and suffering are sadly normal in this broken world, and than
Jun 28, 2021 rated it it was ok
This book is divided into short chapters surrounding the figures of Job, David, Jeremiah, and Jesus. Though not wholly bad, I found the language dramatic and the free hermeneutic unnecessary when so much is clear from the biblical text on lament. It is an interesting idea to perceive of lament via biographical figures, but this would hardly be a book I'd recommend for the discussion of biblical grief when so many others have more to offer. ...more
Mar 21, 2021 rated it it was amazing
Not in the mood to actually review so I think I’ll just link to my federalist article which is inspired by it:
Mar 07, 2016 rated it liked it
I come to this book as a biased reader. Michael Card has been my favorite song writer and a key influence on my spiritual life for many years. In addition, the topic of lament is one I am already sympathetic to and leaning towards. On the whole, I think this book was very helpful. The main argument is that we need to learn how to lament as a way to give expression to grief, sorrow, and sadness before the Lord, rather than letting those experiences become something we cannot bring to God as worsh ...more
Jul 28, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Michael Card's music was among the Christian music I listened to while growing up (prior to college when I became a music major and my musical world expanded). In this book, he discusses that many modern American Christians don't understand lament (grieving over sin, suffering etc), something he thinks should be a significant part of our concept of worship. So he goes into the Biblical characters of Job, David, Jeremiah and Jesus, and talks about how the lives of each can contribute things to ou ...more
Sep 01, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Recommended to Mallory by: Beth Anne
Shelves: christian-living
If 2020 does not teach us that we must return to lament in our regular spiritual practices, I do not know what will. A book for private sorrows and those on a national, global scale. A lesson that I will have to return to.

Favorite quotes: "Indeed, none of us need to be taught how to lament. What we need to hear is that we can lament."

"If Jeremiah could not find it in himself to make the Lord his one true Companion in life, he would be forced to wander through the lonely wilderness of his life
Aug 09, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: on-my-kindle
I found this to be a helpful study of lamentation through the Scriptures, especially in the lives of Job, David, Jeremiah and Jesus. Though Card gets a bit too mystical for me at times, he has strong Scriptural support for his thesis that in the Western church we have taught people that it's not OK to have sorrow. We teach our children not to cry and they never get over it. By tracing the lamentations of four key figures in Scripture he shows the value of laying your sorrows at the throne of God ...more
Joyce Oliver stahle
Oct 14, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Very well written and his points are well supported and backed up.
We certainly have lost a virtual experience in our walk with Christ. We need to lament, by lamenting it draws ever closer and draws us into worship.
David Walker
Mar 11, 2021 rated it really liked it
Shelves: theology
In "A Sacred Sorrow," Michael Card forces you to wrestle with the sorrowful and lamentable experiences in our lives. He urges us to dig deep into the heart of lament where we will often experience these two fundamental questions of our lament: (1) God, where are you? and (2) God, if You me, then why? And yet, Biblical laments are not meant to keep you wallowing in your sorrow but actually pointing you to hope, a hope that is found in Christ ALONE. Michael Card walks you through defining lament a ...more
Tori Samar
"[P]rayers of complaint can still be prayers of faith. They represent the last refusal to let go of the God who may seem to be absent or worse—uncaring. If this is true, then lament expresses one of the most intimate moments of faith—not a denial of it. It is supreme honesty before a God whom my faith tells me I can trust."

Great book to read if you are looking for a springboard into lament, an oft-neglected biblical topic. Card highlights key aspects of lament, particularly presence ("God, where
David Clouse
Mar 05, 2021 rated it really liked it
This book ends on page 143. The rest is appendices, bibliography, and notes. This book had a great intro, then a section I wasn’t sure how I felt about or how much I agreed with, then the author looked at Job, David, Jeremiah, and Jesus, and that was all really good.

Christians need to be okay with lamenting individually and sitting with someone who is lamenting. It’s a lost art but one of the most valuable concepts for believers to practice and know. I found myself reading this book at a time i
Sep 02, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Excellent! I'm familiar with Michael Card's music from back in the day, and I had heard he also wrote books, but this is the first I've read. He is an excellent Bible teacher and author. I'm looking forward to reading more of his work. The first part flowed better than the second half for me. I was going to give it four stars, but then the Appendix was so valuable with resources that I had to increase it to five, and I bought the book. I had read the library copy, but I want to Appendix around f ...more
Grace Gibney
Jun 13, 2021 rated it it was amazing
I LOVED this book !! Suffering is something every individual will face throughout life but God has not left us without resources in which to respond to and wrestle with those things. The language of lament is something I believe the American evangelical church had lost sight of in a broad sense from my perspective. We too often revert to praise. Too often we may think, if only we can keep a positive mindset, we can bypass or escape our pain. While we are invited to bring our joy and celebrations ...more
Jodie Pine
Mar 01, 2021 rated it it was amazing
This book really resonated with me. I think this endorsement by Calvin Seerveld is a great summary: "This book is written with a redemptive empathy for all who are hurting and helps us to reconceive what it means to praise the Lord."

And I highlighted this quote from the book: "Lament is the path that takes us to the place where we discover there is no complete answer to pain and suffering, only Presence. The language of lament gives a meaningful form to our grief by providing a vocabulary for ou
Tim Boynton
Jan 16, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Permission and Invitation to lament

In our sin torn and broken world none of us can live here without having their own hearts torn and broken by sin, suffering and deep, deep grief. My 20 year old daughter died nearly 7 months ago and I desperately wanted and needed to connect with God in prayer. Lament is the vocabulary, the language of the broken heart reaching out to the One our hearts were made for
Kimberly Patton
Jun 03, 2020 rated it really liked it
This guy is a deep thinker and doesn’t hide it from page one. He feels things on a deeper level and wants to search and search until he reaches the heart of God. It’s very inspiring. I found myself learning quite a bit about Jeremiah, Job, David and Jesus. The best part was the end where he specified that we are lamenting losing the presence of God. That is what we really want and need, and I found that section alone to be worth reading the whole book.
Collynn Harper
Mar 09, 2019 rated it really liked it
What an important book. The language of lament is mostly lost in the church today. Grateful to Michael Card for starting this conversation and for confirming my own journey of lament as a form of worship. Pursuing God’s presence in my sorrow...remembering what He has done, is “honey in my mouth” as Ezekiel says.
Robert Allen
Jan 02, 2021 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Encouraging Read

This book was suggested to me after the death of my father. Even though it has taken me close to a year to read, it was the Godsend encouragement and insight needed to work through this great loss. I highly recommended this not only those which have gone or going through troubled times but to anyone rather to help others or their self.
Dec 22, 2019 rated it really liked it
A healing walk through Biblical lament and how crucial it is to this life between gardens. From birth our mothers try to shush our lament and we live life rushing past this holy practice. This was a great read on the heels of “It’s not supposed to be this way” by Lysa TerKeurst.
Thelma Nienhuis
Jun 11, 2021 rated it really liked it
Michael Card leads us gently into an education of the lost language of lament with wisdom. Through the stories of David, Job, and Jesus, he articulates how lament is not to be discarded but embraced, for through lament we find our way to worship.

This is beautiful, poetic read.
William T. Brittain
A Comforting Reminder of God's covenant faithfulness and love

After many years in Christ I have recently understood the hesed of our God. It is too much to take in.
Jul 02, 2018 rated it did not like it
I didn't get very far into this book. I found it was too laborious. ...more
Emma Grace
Feb 16, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Although I disagree on one deeper theological point, here’s a book I recommend to anybody wondering what it means to have emotions besides happiness and how to channel them and bring them to G-d.
Kevin Jane
Mar 20, 2021 rated it it was amazing
Excellent book covering importance of allowing ourselves to come before God with all our sorrows, anger, and bitterness; offering it to God as an act of worship.
Margo Berendsen
Dec 28, 2011 rated it it was amazing
This book addresses some tough issues very well. The foreword describes the problem: after breaking down and sobbing at the funeral of his mother, a pastor finishes his benediction and goes to a side room to finish crying. "My twenty-two year old daughter slipped in beside me. We sat together, quiet and weeping our own sacred sorrow. And then a man I'd never seen before entered and sat down. He put his arm across my shoulder and spoke some preacherish cliches in a preacherish tone. Then, mercifu ...more
Jason Kanz
Apr 13, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2014
A few weeks ago at the School of Spiritual Direction, a new friend of mine was reading this book by Michael Card--A Sacred Sorrow: Reaching Out to God in the Lost Language of Lament (2005). He spoke highly of this book. In fact, the morning that we led worship was focused on lament and was driven in part by his readings in this book. I was intrigued to say the least.

I had previously read Fragile Stone by Michael Card which was about the emotional life of Peter. Between that book and his music,
Peter Holford
May 03, 2015 rated it liked it
Great to see this fresh approach to worship from the accomplished singer-songwriter and scholar, Michael Card. In stark contrast to the happy-clappy, smile-or-die approach to worship we hear so much about, Card argues that lament, grief and sorrow are not only legitimate, but (at times) vital aspects of our relationship with God. He supports this ably with strong and close biblical reference to the lives of Job, David, Jeremiah and Jesus. He also explains the ancient practice of Lectio Divina in ...more
Oct 10, 2008 rated it it was amazing
In this book, Michael Card walks us through the concept of Biblical lament, which he notes is evident throughout the scriptures, yet remarkably absent in the American church today. Card encourages us to pursue Biblical lament as a means of entering into a deeper, more honest relationship with God. I appreciated that the book was somewhat instructive, but did not give a cookie cutter approach. Card examines the lives of Job, David, Jeremiah and Christ, highlighting how lament brought them, and ca ...more
Apr 20, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: anyone who has experienced grief and wants to know that it's OK to lament before God
Recommended to MusicalMommy by: Philip Meyer, friend of Michael Card
I was waiting to get on stage to sing with the choir accompanying Michael Card. Philip Meyer recommended this book to me saying he was planning to translate this book into French as he loved it so much. The theme of sorrow and lamenting is sadly something I know about so I bought the book and continued to chat with Philip about the topic of sorrow. Michael Card walks into the room and we continue the conversation together. I then asked Michael to autography my book. I look forward to hearing wha ...more
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Librarian Note: There is more than one author in the GoodReads database with this name.

Michael Card (born April 11, 1957) is an American Christian singer-songwriter, musician, author, and radio host from Franklin, Tennessee. He is best known for his contributions in contemporary Christian music, which couple folk-style melodies and instrumentation with lyrics that stem from intensive study of the

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