Try to imagine you are the one who wrote these words:
Psalm 130 NRSV
1 Out of the depths I cry to you, O LORD.
2 Lord, hear my voice!
Let your ears be attentive
to the voice of my supplications!
It might have been you, because no one knows who to credit with these words. It wasn’t you because they were written a long time ago. Some scholars think they were written either during the Jewish exile in Babylon or shortly afterward. The poet used a powerful image. Back in those days, holes were dug to reach water and after the level had gone down they were sometimes used for storage or as prisons. The prophet Jeremiah was thrown into one of those holes and no doubt did some crying out to the Lord for help.
Unfortunately, many of us can relate to the sentiment. We feel at times we’re in over our heads. It might be our job. It might be our significant relationship. It might be financial. It might feel like there is no point in crying out for help. No one will hear us.
As he cries out he (or she) is thinking of the nature of God, that God is merciful, that God is attentive to his situation, that God will act. At the end of the writing, he positions himself to wait until he sees the Lord’s reaction to his pleas. He (or she) is confident that God will help.
What assures me in this brief section is that the writer seems to have had some previous experience with God which gives him the confidence to cry out. He knows his pleas will not go unanswered. A cry to God qualifies as a prayer.
I appreciate such honesty from the contributors to the Bible. Their honesty helps mine.