Song of The Month: How Long? (A Quarantine Prayer)

Originally, I planned on releasing a hymn arrangement this month. However, with the events of the past week, this song came back to my mind. I had started it early on in the lockdown. In the first session I wrote the first verse and chorus then let it sit for a while. Today I came back to it and penned the second verse and chorus. I don’t expect many churches to use this song on Sunday morning but I hope that you find it encouraging.

The song itself is one part lament and one part confession. It follows the pattern of Psalm 13, beginning with the cry before taking refuge in the Lord. I think it is important to have laments and confessions in our worship libraries because life isn’t always happy. Carl Trueman gives some great insight into this in his article “What can miserable Christian’s sing” . In that article he draws two conclusions. First: we need to learn to lament again. Second: we need to study the prayers in the Bible and transform the priorities of our own prayers to match the priorities of those prayers.

This song is an attempt to give miserable Christians a voice. To give them something that they can sing and pray while, hopefully, encouraging them through the trials they endure. You can find the lead sheet, chords, and audio here.

While we dwell in this fallen world we will always experience injustice and rage. Sometimes we will even be the ones spreading injustice and rage. Whether we find ourselves experiencing or dealing these terrors may we turn to Christ, our only source of hope and forgiveness, and rest in His promises.

1 How long, O Lord? Will you forget me forever?
How long will you hide your face from me?

2 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?

3 Consider and answer me, O Lord my God;
light up my eyes, lest I sleep the sleep of death,

4 lest my enemy say, “I have prevailed over him,”
lest my foes rejoice because I am shaken.

5 But I have trusted in your steadfast love;
my heart shall rejoice in your salvation.

6 I will sing to the Lord,
because he has dealt bountifully with me.

Psalm 13:1-6 (ESV)

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