Speaking to the soul

Londonderry by night

From the depths of despair, O Lord, I call for your help. Hear my cry, O Lord. Pay attention to my prayer.
Psalm 130:1-2 NLT

There are times when I ask some uncomfortable questions. The advantage of such thoughts is that they hijack any attempt to navigate life through superficiality. While I may at times get by in life, I’m only really surviving, not flourishing. At such moments, where do I turn?

If I turn in on myself, which is the strongest of temptations, I find little relief from my anguish and confusion. For all I find is what I already know. If, however, I will make the attempt to look towards God, then I stand a chance of finding some crumbs of encouragement which may, much as they did Hansel and Gretel, lead me away from my lostness.

The fact is that the sense of despair is internal. It’s rooted in my current mood-induced perspective. It isn’t real. In one way I am always a physical expression of my prayer and my utterance reflects my life. I’m invited to acknowledge that God both hears and responds to my cries. So, just as I ask him to pay attention to my prayer, he requires me to pay attention to his response. The good news is that I can respond to him in any way I choose. Even with tears, as long as they are not instruments of self-pity, serve as a useful release. As I force myself to move in a direction that refuses to indulge my despair, I’ve taken at least one step towards a fresh encounter with God and demonstrated my refusal to be insulated by my perceived predicament.


Do you cry out to God in despair and frustration? Make some response towards him as a witness to your appreciation that he hears you.


Thank you, Lord, that you always hear me. How good you are!