SERIES: Learning to Lament
Week #5: Praying for Restoration
This weekend we conclude our “Learning to Lament” series with Lamentations 5. Jeremiah writes
this final poetic dirge in light of the destruction of Jerusalem and the subsequent hardship. The
Lord has judged his people harshly and Jeremiah is praying for restoration. Can things go back to
exactly the way they were before? No, not exactly. But they can move forward toward total
restoration. In this message Pastor Brian will walk us through this prayer for restoration. Perhaps
we need to pray this way for our nation, our family, or our life.
A PRAYER FOR RESTORATION
A. Remember us in our disgrace. (5:1)
- 2 Chronicles 20:19 ESV “If disaster comes upon us, the sword, judgment, or pestilence,
or famine, we will stand before this house and before you—for your name is in this
house—and cry out to you in our affliction, and you will hear and save.”
- Ezekiel 16:59-60 ESV “For thus says the Lord God: I will deal with you as you have
done, you who have despised the oath in breaking the covenant, 60 yet I will remember
my covenant with you in the days of your youth, and I will establish for you an
B. We admit our guilt. (5:16)
- “Woe” is a passionate cry of grief. This is the heart of the nation. Their “hearts” have
become sick and their “eyes” have become dim.
- Admission of sin must lead to repentance – a turning away from sin and back to God.
C. You reign forever. (5:19)
- We need to align with this truth: that God is sovereign and his reign is never-ending for
D. Why do you forget us? (5:20)
- This is how we feel when we walk in the consequences of our sin.
- Psalm 13:1-2 ESV “How long, O Lord? Will you forget me forever? How long will you
hide your face from me? How long must I take counsel in my soul and have sorrow in
my heart all the day? How long shall my enemy be exalted over me?”
E. Restore us to yourself that we may be restored. (5:21)
- This is key: Jeremiah knows what the nation needs most is to be restored back to its
relationship with the covenant God.
- Lamentations 3:21-23 ESV “But this I call to mind, and therefore I have hope: The
steadfast love of the Lord never ceases; his mercies never come to an end; they are
new every morning; great is your faithfulness.”
- It’s only in being restored in relationship with our God that we have any hope of
- Psalm 80:3 ESV “Restore us, O God; let your face shine, that we may be saved!”
A. Did you know that this is also true for me and you?
- Our only hope of true restoration is being reconciled and restored to God himself.
- Romans 5:6-11 ESV “For while we were still weak, at the right time Christ died for the
ungodly. 7 For one will scarcely die for a righteous person—though perhaps for a good
person one would dare even to die— 8 but God shows his love for us in that while we
were still sinners, Christ died for us. 9 Since, therefore, we have now been justified by
his blood, much more shall we be saved by him from the wrath of God. 10 For if while
we were enemies we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, now
that we are reconciled, shall we be saved by his life. 11 More than that, we also rejoice
in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received
B. Did you know that there is a day coming when ALL THINGS will be restored?
- Revelation 21:1-4 ESV “Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first
heaven and the first earth had passed away, and the sea was no more. And I saw the
holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride
adorned for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Behold, the
dwelling place of God is with man. He will dwell with them, and they will be his people,
and God himself will be with them as their God. He will wipe away every tear from their
eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain
anymore, for the former things have passed away.”
A. Perhaps the church in the US should pray a similar prayer for restoration. Perhaps we
should cry out to God to remember us. Perhaps we should admit our sin. Perhaps we
should remember He reigns forever. Perhaps we should be honest when we feel like God
turned his back. Perhaps we should ask him to RESTORE us to himself.
B. Let’s pray this way together.
ICEBREAKER QUESTIONS & DISCUSSION
As you begin your discussion in the last week of this series, take a few minutes to thank the group
for sharing what God has been teaching them over these weeks. Encourage them to keep
spending time reading scripture and praying daily. S.O.A.P. is a great tool to use to continue this
Take some time for the group to share once more from how God has been speaking to them
during their reading of Lamentations 5 this past week.
Q: What were some specific scriptures that stood out to you as you read the chapter this
Q: What were some of the observations you made about this chapter this past week?
Q: How did you seek to apply these truths to your life?
Q: What have you been praying for this week? How has God answered your prayers?
Pray as a group and then move to the discussion of the message for this week.
DISCUSSION QUESTIONS: Ask and discuss the following questions.
Q: What do the words of this chapter reveal about the suffering and hardship of the people
in the days following the destruction of the city? What is the emotional and spiritual state of
the people in light of this?
Q: Read Lamentations 5:16. What is the cause of all the destruction and dread the people
of Judah and Jerusalem are facing?
Q: Does reading this and knowing God brought this on his people challenge your view and
understanding of God? How so? Why is it important to know the fullness of God’s character,
even truths that may challenge us?
Q: Read 2 Chronicles 20:19 and Ezekiel 16:59-60. What do these verses teach us about
how God responds to our distress? How can this bring us comfort and hope in the midst of
Q: How can we find hope in the midst of distress and trouble? What does Jeremiah teach us
Q: Why does Jeremiah ask the Lord to “Restore us to yourself” as opposed to just saying
restore us to the way things were? (Lamentations 5:21) Why is this significant for us to know
Q: How has God brought restoration to your life or the life of someone close to you? Share
Q: How should we pray for our nation to be restored to God? What about our lives? Our
church? Our families?
This has been a challenging study. Our prayer is that God has revealed more to you about himself,
his character, his love, and how we can learn to lament and experience true restoration.
Use the following questions to wrap-up your discussion of today’s message and the series as a
- What did you hear?
a. What is your one “take-away” from this week?
b. How did the Lord speak specifically to you through this passage?
c. What is your one “big take-away” from the entire series?
- What do you think?
a. How did this passage and study affirm, challenge, or change the way you think about
God, sin, and what it means to lament?
- What will you do?
a. What is your next step? How will you take the truth of God’s Word and apply it to your
life this week?
Have group members share their answers to the above questions. Close with prayer asking God to
help us understand the importance of learning to lament this next week.
SCRIPTURES FROM THIS WEEK’S MESSAGE:
Lamentations 5, 2 Chronicles 20:19, Ezekiel 16:59-60, Psalm 13:1-2, 2 Timothy 2:13,
Lamentations 3:21-23, Psalm 80:3, Romans 5:6-11, Revelation 21:1-4.
UPCOMING MESSAGES: New Series, “Better Than”
March 21, 2021 His Fatherhood is Better Than You Imagine Luke 15:11-31
March 28, 2021 His Love is Better Than You Imagine
April 2, 2021 His Grace is Better Than You Imagine
April 4, 2021 His Plan is Better Than You Imagine