What do you do when you’ve been mistreated and God doesn’t seem to answer your prayers? How do you pray when God seems distant and unconcerned about your pain?

You’re Not Alone in a Dark Night of the Soul

At one time or another we all are likely to go through the Dark Night of the Soul — especially pastors and other mature followers of Christ. God has not abandoned us. God is not angry with us. We’re going through a season of spiritual dryness or darkness but it does not mean that we’re not good Christ-followers. In fact, it’s more like to mean that we are devoted to the Lord.

In the Dark Night of the Soul we tend to feel alone, but we’re not! Many of our Bible heroes went through these trials: Job, Jeremiah, the Psalmist, Peter. Jesus himself went through the Dark Night of the Soul in the Garden of Gethsemane when he sweat drops of blood and on the cross when he cried out, “My God, my God why have you forsaken me?” (Psalm 22:1).

A Dark Night of the Soul can be depressing, but it’s not the same thing as depression. You can be in a Dark Night of the Soul and be rejoicing in the Lord. You can go be depressed while believing that God loves you.

A Prayer for the Dark Night of the Soul

The Psalmist teaches us how to pray in the Dark Night of the Soul. Psalm 44 by the Sons of Korah is a great example. “Deep Darkness” is a prayer I wrote inspired by Psalm 44. It’s a prayer for when you’re in a Dark Night of the Soul to help you prevail with God. It’s a prayer for when you’re not in a Dark Night of the Soul to help you cultivate confidence in God now so that when darkness falls you’ll continue to trust God and worship him. It’s a prayer to offer for someone else who is going through a Dark Night of the Soul.

Deep Darkness

Awake, O Lord!  Rouse yourself!
Do for us what you did for our fathers –
You made them to flourish;
Redeem us because of your unfailing love.

My Lord has let me be mistreated:
I have been humbled by adversaries,
I have been reproached by neighbors,
People shake their heads at me.

Yet, you bring me victory, O Lord –
By your right hand,
By your strong arm,
By the light of your face –
For you love me.

We rely on you, our King and our God;
We do not trust merely in our own strength.
In your kingdom, O Lord, we boast all day long;
We praise your name forever – Selah.

My Lord’s face is hidden from me:
I am as a sheep to be slaughtered,
I am left clinging to the dust,
Deep darkness has covered me.

Yet, I remember your name, O Lord –
With my heart’s cry,
With my hands outstretched,
With the steps of my feet —
For you know all things.

We rely on you, our King and our God;
We do not trust merely in our own strength.
In your kingdom, O Lord, we boast all day long;
We praise your name forever: Jesus Christ!

(Inspired by Psalm 44)