Saturday, August 21, 2010

Psalm 88 - A prayer for help in despondency

Today is August 21st.  The A21 Campaign asks those who want to help fight against the sex slave trade to fast on the the 21st of every month. is a group, from my church, that gets the message out about fasting. Along with fasting, prayer and reading the bible are important as well.  My fast today consists of drinking only liquids and smoothies and spending time praying and reading my bible.  My church has a daily devotional and Psalm 88 was the reading from a few days ago.  I didn't read it until today and it really goes along well with what we are fasting and praying for.

This is from

Psalm 88

 1 O LORD, God of my salvation,

         I have cried out day and night before You.
 2 Let my prayer come before You;
         Incline Your ear to my cry. 
 3 For my soul is full of troubles,
         And my life draws near to the grave.
 4 I am counted with those who go down to the pit;
         I am like a man who has no strength,
 5 Adrift among the dead,
         Like the slain who lie in the grave, 
         Whom You remember no more, 
         And who are cut off from Your hand. 
 6 You have laid me in the lowest pit,
         In darkness, in the depths.
 7 Your wrath lies heavy upon me,
         And You have afflicted me with all Your waves.  Selah  
 8 You have put away my acquaintances far from me;
         You have made me an abomination to them; 
         I am shut up, and I cannot get out;
 9 My eye wastes away because of affliction.
         LORD, I have called daily upon You; 
         I have stretched out my hands to You.
 10 Will You work wonders for the dead?
         Shall the dead arise and praise You?  Selah  
 11 Shall Your lovingkindness be declared in the grave?
         Or Your faithfulness in the place of destruction?
 12 Shall Your wonders be known in the dark?
         And Your righteousness in the land of forgetfulness? 
 13 But to You I have cried out, O LORD,
         And in the morning my prayer comes before You.
 14 LORD, why do You cast off my soul?
         Why do You hide Your face from me?
 15 I have been afflicted and ready to die from my youth;
         I suffer Your terrors; 
         I am distraught.
 16 Your fierce wrath has gone over me;
         Your terrors have cut me off.
 17 They came around me all day long like water;
         They engulfed me altogether.
 18 Loved one and friend You have put far from me,
         And my acquaintances into darkness.

As I read this psalm, the most obvious things about the psalm are the sad tone and the way it ends.  Usually psalms that begin sad or despondent are resolved on a happier ending.  The Psalmist is crying out to God to rescue him from the depths of his despair and the Lord is not coming to help.  As evidenced in the bible, the Lord hears the cries of those in need, so I thought, why isn't help coming?  Maybe, God has sent out a cry to His followers to help but no one is listening or paying attention to God's calling and therefore, there isn't anyone to help the Psalmist out of trouble.  This made me think of a story that Christine Caine shared with us during one of her messages at Shine 2010.  A girl that was rescued from the slave trade had been on a tragic journey.  She was put into a shipping container with about 30 girls, some of the girls died in the container.  They were then placed in dinghies to sail illegally into another country and some of the girls drowned.  I think out of the 30 girls, only 6 survived, which they were then beaten and raped repeatedly and forced to service tons of men.  Once this particular girl was rescued, Christine told her of the work that her and countless others were doing to help people just like her and the girl's response was "why didn't you come sooner?"

While reading this psalm, I was imagining that these are the cries that God hears from the women and children that are sex slaves right now.  This is the focus of my fast, that we respond to God's call for warriors who are willing to stand and fight against the brutality, the depravity, and senseless violence against human beings.  God needs us.  We are His hands and His feet in this world.  We are His heart and His body.  We are His soul and His face.
"All nations surrounded me,
But in the name of the LORD I will destroy them.
They surrounded me,
Yes, they surrounded me; 
But in the name of the LORD I will destroy them.
They surrounded me like bees;
They were quenched like a fire of thorns; 
For in the name of the LORD I will destroy them.
You pushed me violently, that I might fall,
But the LORD helped me.
The LORD is my strength and song,
And He has become my salvation."  Psalm 118:10-14


  1. Father you hear the cries of the women and children that are held in slavery and bondage. Awake our hearts, ears and eyes as well, so that something can be done to help these people, they are your people!! I pray this cause and others like it are brought to the forefront of the world's eyes. To bring awareness to everyone that this is an injustice and needs to be stopped. Father bring peace, hope and grace to these women and children, show them you are with them. People stand up for those who can't. Libby I love this entry!!! Thank you for fighting for what's right and for sharing! Love you!!!

  2. Thanks Christine! Love you too!!

  3. Powerful message, babe!... it makes me think about that song with the lyrics, "If we are the body, why aren't His arms reaching?"... as many as are involved in fighting this fight so many others don't even realize it is happening... Praise God for empowering you to speak out and spread His Word!...