When Our Sufferings Feel Like Too Much: Praying through Psalm 13

How long, O Lord? Will you forget me forever? How long will you hide your face from me?

     Dear heavenly Father, I bless you that these difficult words were first sung by your people in Temple worship, for they show us that some seasons and sufferings in life cause us to wonder about your goodness, and question your faithfulness. Yet you are neither offended nor affronted when we feel this way. You welcome us in our woes, and if we don’t bring our cries and confusion to you, where can we go?   

     Indeed, Father, there are some times when it feels like you have forgotten us, or are hiding from us. For some of us, that moment is now, and that season has been going on for quite a while. Help!

How long must I take counsel in my soul and have sorrow in my heart all the day? How long shall my enemy be exalted over me?

     The worse thing about not sensing your heart and hand, Father, is that we’re left to the shallow waters of our own counsel, and the voices of mockers and haters. “I though you said Jesus was enough. Where’s your mighty and merciful God now? Didn’t you tell me God wouldn’t give you too much?” Father, we don’t want the voices of darkness to prevail. We don’t want our suffering to sabotage our trust in your sovereignty. Come, Lord.

Consider and answer me, O Lord my God; light up my eyes, lest I sleep the sleep of death, lest my enemy say, “I have prevailed over him,” lest my foes rejoice because I am shaken.

      Meet us in this hard, difficult place. It’s not our pride, but your praise that we care about the most. As much as our bodies and hearts may hurt, the gloating of your enemies hurts even more. For the sake of your name, bring the power of your hand.    

But I have trusted in your steadfast love; my heart shall rejoice in your salvation.

I will sing to the Lord, because he has dealt bountifully with me.

     Father, this we know for sure: Your steadfast love for us in the gospel is unquestionable and inexhaustible. Though our rejoicing and singing may presently be reduced to a still, small voice, we bless you for dealing bountifully with us through finished work of Jesus. This pain, heartache, and season soon will pass. May soon be sooner. Until then, we unabashedly and unhesitatingly proclaim, we are your beloved children and you are our grace-full God. So very Amen we pray, in Jesus’ wonderful and merciful name.