A Season of Psalms - Psalm 88:1-3
“O Lord, God of my salvation, I cry out day and night before you. Let my prayer come before you; incline your ear to my cry! For my soul is full of troubles, and my life draws near to Sheol.”
English Standard Version (ESV)
Who taught you to pray? I’m grateful for the example of prayer taught by my parents and grandparents, as well as mentors and spiritual shepherds along my faith journey. I’m grateful for my seminary pastor, Al Meredith, who prayed with heartfelt conviction and often through many tears; for Duane Brooks, who prayed the Scriptures with passion and intensity; for Coleman Philley, who always prayed that God’s fame would be “widespread and His glory intimately known.”
We can learn about the nature of prayer from the Psalms. It was not only Israel’s songbook, but also their prayer book. A majority of these psalms in this devotional series, when set to music, are prayers and petitions to God. In Psalm 88, the psalmist has a soul full of trouble and is near the end of his rope, with no deliverance in sight. But in verse 1, he calls on the God whom he knows will be his salvation. Despite his mess, he’s confident that God will rescue him from his plight again. Notice how his prayer isn’t a perfunctory prayer in passing while he goes on about his business, but rather an agonizing pleading with God “day and night.” In the midst of his bleak outlook, he turns to God and acknowledges his complete dependence on Him.
Is your soul weary and troubled, no light in the darkness you see? Pray. Feeling helpless and hopeless? Pray. Suffering spiritually, emotionally, physically? Pray. John Bunyan: “You can do more than pray after you have prayed, but you cannot do more than pray until you have prayed.” Has God heard what’s on your heart today? You’re His precious child, and He can’t wait to hear from you!
Further Reading: Matthew 6:5-13; Nehemiah 1:1-11
Pray with me today:
Lord, my heart is burdened about many things. I find myself overwhelmed. I cry out to you today, that You would hear the earnest pleas of my heart, that You would grant me the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, guarding my heart and my mind in Christ Jesus. You are my God, in whom I trust. This is my prayer in Jesus’ name, Amen.