Lamentations 3:8
Also when I cry and shout, he shutteth out my prayer.
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(8) He shutteth out my prayeri.e., stops it so that it does not reach the ear of Jehovah; and it is Jehovah himself who does this.

Lamentations 3:8. Also when I cry and shout — When, under a conviction that, in my present distressed condition, I cannot deliver myself, and that no creature can deliver me, I make application to God in prayer for deliverance, and am serious, fervent, and importunate in my addresses to him; he shutteth out my prayer — Refuses to hearken to it, or give me any ease or relief; Hebrew, שׂתם, the same as סתם, he hath obstructed my prayer; “hath barred my prayer from approaching him.” — Blaney. Thus sometimes God seems to be angry even against the prayers of his people, Psalm 80:5. And their case is deplorable indeed when they are denied, not only the benefit of an answer, but the comfort of acceptance.

3:1-20 The prophet relates the more gloomy and discouraging part of his experience, and how he found support and relief. In the time of his trial the Lord had become terrible to him. It was an affliction that was misery itself; for sin makes the cup of affliction a bitter cup. The struggle between unbelief and faith is often very severe. But the weakest believer is wrong, if he thinks that his strength and hope are perished from the Lord.Shout - i. e. call for help.

Shutteth out - Or, "shutteth in." God has so closed up the avenues to the place in which he is immured, that his voice can find no egress.

8. shutteth out—image from a door shutting out any entrance (Job 30:20). So the antitype. Christ (Ps 22:2). In the condition I am in, I cannot help myself, no creatures can help me, I have no hope but in God. I take the ordinary course in that case, which is prayer, I pray fervently and aloud, as those that are serious and importunate for what they desire (for shouting here signifies no more than making a loud noise, not a loud noise of joy and rejoicing, as it mostly signifies); but he deals with me as great persons that have no mind to listen to suitors, and shut their gates against them, he shutteth out my supplications: which made their case wholly desperate and remediless.

Also when I cry and shout,.... Cry, because of the distress of the enemy within; "shout", or cry aloud for help from others without; as persons in a prison do, to make them hear and pity their case: thus the prophet in his affliction cried aloud to God; was fervent, earnest, and importunate in prayer; and yet not heard:

he shutteth out my prayer; shuts the door, that it may not enter; as the door is sometimes shut upon beggars, that their cry may not be heard. The Targum is,

"the house of my prayer is shut.''

Jarchi interprets it of the windows of the firmament being shut, so that his prayer could not pass through, or be heard; see Lamentations 3:44. The phrase designs God's disregard, or seeming disregard, of the prayer of the prophet, or of the people; and his shutting his ears against it. Of this, as the Messiah's case, see Psalm 22:2.

Also when I cry and shout, he shutteth out my {c} prayer.

(c) This is a great temptation for the godly when they do not see the fruit of their prayers and causes them to think that they are not heard, which thing God uses so that they might pray more earnestly and often.

Verse 8. - He shutteth out my prayer. There is a kind of barrier through which these futile prayers cannot penetrate (comp. on ver. 44). Lamentations 3:8This distress presses upon him all the more heavily, because, in addition to this, the Lord does not listen to his prayer and cries, but has rather closed His ear; cf. Jeremiah 7:16; Psalm 18:42, etc. שׂתם for סתם (only written here with שׂ), to stop the prayer; i.e., not to prevent the prayer from issuing out of the breast, to restrain supplication, but to prevent the prayer from reaching His ear; cf. Lamentations 3:44 and Proverbs 1:28.
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