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Why O Lord? Praying Our Sorrows
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Why O Lord? Praying Our Sorrows


Paternoster 2013

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Gathering Interest


Rediscover the value of praying the psalms with this volume from David J. Cohen. Cohen focuses on lament in the psalms, and their potential as a form of prayer for people engaging with deep suffering. He discusses the process of lament and how the psalms fit into it. Cohen also includes stories of several people who prayed these psalms over a period of time, and explores their responses. The book ends with an invitation to pray the psalms of distress, with practical suggestions and ideas for further exploration.

In the Logos edition, this volume is enhanced by amazing functionality. Scripture citations link directly to English translations, and important terms link to dictionaries, encyclopedias, and a wealth of other resources in your digital library. Perform powerful searches to find exactly what you’re looking for. Take the discussion with you using tablet and mobile apps. With Logos Bible Software, the most efficient and comprehensive research tools are in one place, so you get the most out of your study.

Key Features

  • Explores the psalms of lament and the concepts behind lament
  • Introduces the idea of using lament psalms as a form of prayer
  • Includes stories of people who attempted this method


  • The Journey Begins
  • Signpost 1 – What Is Lament?
  • Signpost 2 – Lament and Ritual
  • Signpost 3 – The Language of Lament
  • Signpost 4 – Shape and Function
  • The Matrix of Lament: A Model
  • The Practice of Lament
  • The Psychodynamics of Lament
  • The Journey of a Few
  • The Final Destination
  • Now It’s Your Turn

Praise for the Print Edition

David J. Cohen’s book, Why, O Lord?, provides a wonderful, comprehensive view of the psalms of lament. It is an encouragement to all Christian traditions to look with fresh eyes on the psalms as prayer, and particularly the psalms of lament, as our suffering, and the suffering of many in our world, needs the language to cry out to God in times of darkness. The psalms express every human emotion and use a strong confidence that we can cry out to God, and that God will hear our suffering, and that transformation is possible. Bringing the psalms of lament into ritual, so aptly described by Cohen, brings a new dimension to worship, both personal and communal. This book is an excellent academic and pastoral addition to our knowledge of the psalms.

—Angela McCarthy, lecturer in theology, University of Notre Dame, Fremantle, Australia

Product Details

  • Title: Why O Lord? Praying Our Sorrows
  • Author: David J. Cohen
  • Publisher: Paternoster
  • Publication Date: 2013
  • Pages: 224
  • Christian Group: Baptist
  • Resource Type: Topical
  • Topic: Prayer

About David J. Cohen

David J. Cohen is head of biblical studies and lecturer in Hebrew Bible and language at Vose Seminary in Perth, Australia. Formerly a professional musician and music teacher, David has had significant experience in church ministry and is a popular and creative educator. He formerly oversaw the lay training and professional development program for the Churches of Christ in Western Australia. In August 2008 David completed a PhD exploring the psalms of lament and their use in a pastoral setting.

Sample Pages from the Print Edition