Too Miserable To Know What To Ask For

Text: Psalm 88

Reflection and Question: This psalmist asks lots of questions, but not one is for anything except to be heard by the Living God. Though he or she cries out to God night and day, the only answer seems to be the infliction of greater misery and terror. Through questions like “Do the shades rise up to praise you?” the speaker equates him or herself with the dead and buried who have no reason to praise God. Then comes the question familiar to us when we suffer, “Why do you cast me off?” And the only answer is more trouble and sorrow. When has your only prayer been to be heard?

Prayer: God, you’re my last chance of the day. I spend the night on my knees before you… I’m standing my ground, God, shouting for help, at my prayers every morning, on my knees each daybreak. Amen. (Eugene Peterson, The Message)

This meditation is based on the Daily Lectionary Year 1 from the Book of Common Worship for the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) (1993).