Are you feeling ill or know someone else who is? Psalm 88 is a psalm written specifically for someone like that in mind. It’s a psalm that communicates beautifully the suffering of one sick in bed and feels forgotten by the world and maybe even by God Himself.
Fear not! God has not forgotten you. You are experiencing simply a dark night of suffering that will not last forever. And if you are hoping to find a prayer that communicates your frustration with your situation without falling into true despair, Psalm 88 is it.
It poetically communicates the emotions I know I have felt when I have been super sick. It also reminds us that the Faith walk we are on is not always going to be one of butterflies, flowers, and good feelings. It is sometimes crying out to God with a wavering heart downtrodden and and crushed by suffering.
Psalm 88 gives us the appropriate language to communicate all of this to God, satisfying a deep desire to complain. However, it is up to us to end the prayer on a high note of hope as the last line of the psalm is somewhat of a lyric from an emo punk song stating, “My only friend is darkness”.
In all truth, praying the psalm is an act of hope itself as we know that by praying it, while it may not feel like it, God is listening to us and that He is the “God of salvation” as the psalm declares at the offset. So pray and be satisfied in imitating Heman the songwriter and author of the psalm, who knew that while suffering comes, God is still with us.
Here it is:
LORD, the God of my salvation, I call out by day;
at night I cry aloud in your presence.
Let my prayer come before you;
incline your ear to my cry.
For my soul is filled with troubles;
my life draws near to Sheol.
I am reckoned with those who go down to the pit;
I am like a warrior without strength.
My couch is among the dead,
like the slain who lie in the grave.
You remember them no more;
they are cut off from your influence.
You plunge me into the bottom of the pit,
into the darkness of the abyss.
Your wrath lies heavy upon me;
all your waves crash over me.
Because of you my acquaintances shun me;
you make me loathsome to them;
Caged in, I cannot escape;
my eyes grow dim from trouble.
All day I call on you, LORD;
I stretch out my hands to you.
Do you work wonders for the dead?
Do the shades arise and praise you?
Is your mercy proclaimed in the grave,
your faithfulness among those who have perished?
Are your marvels declared in the darkness,
your righteous deeds in the land of oblivion?
But I cry out to you, LORD;
in the morning my prayer comes before you.
Why do you reject my soul, LORD,
and hide your face from me?
I have been mortally afflicted since youth;
I have borne your terrors and I am made numb.
Your wrath has swept over me;
your terrors have destroyed me.
All day they surge round like a flood;
from every side they encircle me.
Because of you friend and neighbor shun me;
my only friend is darkness.
And if you would like us to pray for you or someone you know that is sick, submit a prayer request to us in our prayer request section on this site. We would love to pray for you and your loved ones!