Praying the psalms does not come easily for me. Though I call myself a Christian, I struggle to pray. I am addicted to my independence. Hi, I’m Kate and I don’t pray. I’ve been praying the Psalms for the last ten or so days and I’m intending to develop a discipline of praying the psalms daily. But like an addict, I know that I have a problem, and I’m always on the brink of another drink of self-reliance.
Recently, depression has stripped me of the illusion of self-reliance. It has illuminated the truth that my life is upheld by a power higher than myself. I now recognize that every day that I feel good is grace from God.
I came upon the prayer of Psalm 13 in the midst of my depression. I wept as I read it because it perfectly captured emotions I had been unable to put words to. I felt seen and understood, and most of all, I felt permission to pray these words to God. They gave me hope that He understands my pain and intends to rescue me, though it doesn’t happen in my timing.
I offer this prayer today to comfort those who mourn and struggle with depression.
*Improvised to better fit the specific circumstances of those struggling with depression.
How long, O Lord? Will you forget me forever? How long will you hide your face from me?
How long must I take counsel in my soul, going over and over how I feel and wondering how to fix it? Trying to fix it and only finding myself deeper into a hole.
How long must I have sorrow in my heart all the day?
How long shall my enemy, this crazy person inside, be exalted over me, keep hijacking my body and my mind?
Consider and answer me, O Lord my God; light up my eyes, give me joy and happiness again. Lest I sleep the sleep of death because right now that feels like a better option than living in this frame of mind.
Lest my enemy say, “I have prevailed over her,” lest my foes rejoice because I am shaken. The devil and his companions want me to live like this. It feels like they are winning in my life. I am powerless against them.
But I have trusted in your steadfast love (I have trusted in the past and I choose to trust again today, though I don’t feel it); my heart shall rejoice in your salvation because I know you will come for me. I know you love me and won’t leave me like this. It won’t always be this way.
I will sing to the Lord because has dealt bountifully with me. I may not sing today, but I will sing. I remember how he has rescued me in the past and I trust that he will rescue me again.