We have all been troubled, desperate. We have felt imprisoned by darkness. We have tried to find relief without success. When we are tortured in these ways, Psalms 142-143 (NIV) are good reading.
“I cry aloud to the Lord; I lift up my voice to the Lord for mercy…before him I tell my trouble. When my spirit grows faint within me, it is you who watch over my way…I have no refuge; no one cares for my life. I cry to you Lord; I say, ‘You are my refuge’…Listen to my cry, for I am in desperate need…Set me free from my prison that I may praise your name.” (Psalm 142)
Do those feelings sound familiar? Does that prayer ring true? We may find it difficult to express those feelings to someone else or to say that prayer in the presence of another. But God invites us to share all of our feelings, and he will hear our cries and prayers.
“Lord, hear my prayer, listen to my cry for mercy; in your faithfulness and righteousness come to my relief…So my spirit grows faint within me; my heart within me is dismayed…I spread out my hands to you like a parched land. Answer me quickly, Lord; my spirit fails. Do not hide your face from me…Let the morning bring me words of your unfailing love, for I have put my trust in you. Show me the way I should go, for to you I entrust my life…Teach me to do your will, for you are my God; may your good Spirit lead me on level ground. For your name’s sake, Lord, preserve my life; in your righteousness bring me out of trouble.” (Psalm 143)
When we are troubled, desperate, and surrounded by darkness, these are prayers for us to take to God.