Praying the Psalms: How God Heard the Cry of Psalm 88 in My Tears

by | January 2023 | From My Heart to Yours

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Praying the Psalms: How God Heard the Cry of Psalm 88 in My Tears

Part of what we do at FamiliesAlive is encourage and lead parents, especially moms and grandmas, to pray through Scripture over their own families. We focus on the whole Word of God, but in this season, we are praying through the Psalms.

So, there I was two weeks ago, sitting in my kitchen, laptop and Bible open, praying through Psalm 88 over my daughters, typing it to share with other moms and grandmas, speaking it aloud again and again. That’s my process, which is certainly not fancy, but it works, and it is so powerful for this mama’s heart.

Psalm 88, words the sons of Korah penned thousands of years ago, became my words woven into a prayer for my daughters.

Oh Lord, be the God of my daughter’s salvation. May she cry out day and night before you. Let her prayer come before you; incline your ear to her cry! When her soul is full of troubles and her life draws near to Sheol, make her cry out to you! When she is in the pit of despair and has no strength, make her come to you for help and comfort, and strength! Remind my daughter that you remember her.

I paused, taken back to the years my daughter, Hannah, was in the pit of despair and had no strength. In that pause, the Lord reminded me that He created time, but He is not bound by it. My crying out the words of Psalm 88 in my kitchen in 2023 had already been heard by the Lord long before. Long before she was even born. Long before she was raped. Long before she got sick and had to withdraw from college. Long before she got a crushing diagnosis. Long before she suffered through a year of seizures.

Even though I prayed through Psalm 88 in my kitchen when Hannah was 26 years old, He heard me cry out these words when she was still a little girl.
And He heard me cry it out again when she was in high school, before the years of deep darkness set in.

Even if you are the One who put her in the pit, in deep darkness, may you draw her eyes up to gaze upon you; may you draw her heart to cry out to you for mercy! When she feels your wrath heavy upon her, and she is overwhelmed by all your waves, move in her very soul to come to you and cry to you! Oh Lord, even if everyone else abandons her, and she cannot escape, and her eye grows dim through sorrow, may she continue to call upon you every day, and spread out her hands to you.

And because God’s not bound by time, He also heard me cry out Psalm 88 over my daughter in the middle of the night through my tears of fear and anguish when she was in the very midst of her dark years. In the darkness of my room, in my darkest hours, I was sure the only sounds He heard were my sobs, but I was wrong. He heard my plea through this psalm again.

Work wonders for my daughter! May you work such wonders that she can’t help but rise up to praise you! Declare your steadfast love and your faithfulness to her in the darkness. Make known your wonders to her in the darkness. Make known your righteousness to her in the land of forgetfulness. Keep my daughter crying out to you, oh Lord! In the morning, may her prayer come before you.    

On days when Hannah couldn’t even get out of bed, I would stand at her closed bedroom door, palm leaning lightly upon it.

Jesus, please.

Those words were all I could muster.

And while I know that those barely-mustered words and my sobs were enough because the Lord knows my heart, and because Jesus and the Spirit both stood there with me interceding, I am moved to tears when I think that because God is not bound by time, He heard my plea through this psalm again and again as I stood outside her door, unable to put a sentence together in prayer.

When my daughter is helpless, be her help! When she feels your wrath has swept over her and your dreadful assaults are destroying her, help my daughter. In your mercy, when the waters surround her and when they close in on her, lift my daughter up. In your mercy, when all she can see is darkness, shine your light on her!

Because God’s not bound by time, on my daughter’s darkest nights, He heard me cry out the words of Psalm 88 over her. He heard me beg Him to be her help and comfort and strength. He heard me ask Him to lift her up. He heard. And He answered. In His mercy, that long, hard season did not last forever. In His mercy, He lifted my daughter out of the darkness.

And because God’s not bound by time, He will continue to hear me cry out Psalm 88 over both my daughters. Those words will be an offering to Him on their behalf for as long as they have breath.

Oh. Glory hallelujah! This is our God.