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Praying Your Prayer of Desperation


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When Darkness Is Your Only Friend

This is not my prayer of the day,
but it has been in days past.

It may be yours today.

It is not, necessarily an accurate representation of the petitioner's ultimate reality, but it is an accurate representation of his or her immediate and emotional experience.

The psalmist is angry and admits it. He is angry with God. He blames God for his problems.

Is it fair?

Maybe not, but it is honest and he chooses not to ignore God. He chooses honesty and that honesty is an expression of faith.

There is no expression of hope in the psalm. There is no declaration of glory. That would be phony for the psalmist in that moment. But the prayer itself is a glimmer of hope that there is one who will listen to his anger.

If it is your prayer, then freely pray it. It is yours.

It is a gift.

It is a lifeline.

It is your prayer of desperation.

God will never condemn you for your honest prayer of desperation.

Psalm 88, NRSV
Domine, Deus

O Lord, my God, my Savior, *
by day and night I cry to you.

Let my prayer enter into your presence; *
incline your ear to my lamentation.

For I am full of trouble; *
my life is at the brink of the grave.

I am counted among those who go down to the Pit; *
I have become like one who has no strength;

Lost among the dead, *
like the slain who lie in the grave,

Whom you remember no more, *
for they are cut off from your hand.

You have laid me in the depths of the Pit, *
in dark places, and in the abyss.

Your anger weighs upon me heavily, *
and all your great waves overwhelm me.

You have put my friends far from me;
you have made me to be abhorred by them; *
I am in prison and cannot get free.

My sight has failed me because of trouble; *
Lord, I have called upon you daily;
I have stretched out my hands to you.

Do you work wonders for the dead? *
will those who have died stand up and give you thanks?

Will your loving-kindness be declared in the grave? *
your faithfulness in the land of destruction?

Will your wonders be known in the dark? *
or your righteousness in the country where all is forgotten?

But as for me, O Lord, I cry to you for help; *
in the morning my prayer comes before you.

Lord, why have you rejected me? *
why have you hidden your face from me?

Ever since my youth, I have been wretched and at the point of death; *
I have borne your terrors with a troubled mind.

Your blazing anger has swept over me; *
your terrors have destroyed me;

They surround me all day long like a flood; *
they encompass me on every side.

My friend and my neighbor you have put away from me, *
and darkness is my only companion.

"Darkness is my only friend."