Prayerful Schizophrenia

In Psalm 43 David is experiencing a bout of prayerful schizophrenia. If you’ve done much praying I think you’ve probably experienced this as well…I know that I have. The condition is especially prevalent when you are praying about difficult times. Though we don’t know what the exact situation is, David is in trouble. Here is how David begins this psalm: Vindicate me, O God, And plead my cause against an ungodly nation; Oh, deliver me from the deceitful and unjust man! For You are the God of my strength; Why do You cast me off? Why do I go mourning because of the oppression of the enemy? Do you see the schizophrenia? The first sentences are in hopeful deliverance and faith. The last two, are “Hey, God, why is this happening anyway?” Then David ends the psalm like this: Why are you cast down, O my soul? And why are you disquieted within me? Hope in God; For I shall yet praise Him, The help of my countenance and my God. You can see it again can’t you? Why is my soul disquieted…I will hope in and praise God. I enjoy reading the raw emotions of the psalms. There’s not much doctrine in most of the psalms but there is often real life.

There have been many times when my prayers vacillate from hope to despair. “Yes God” gives way to “Why God?” pretty quickly. “You’re the greatest” goes to “Can’t You help me?” in a mental moment. I think this is OK. Keep praying. Keep asking. Keep expressing frustration and hope in the same conversation with God. I think He can handle it. And it might be an important part of the process by which you are able to hear God’s answer to your cry. Don’t be phony or fake with God. Don’t be pious with Him. After all, He already knows what you are thinking so why try to hide it? I think that prayerful schizophrenia is a condition that we all experience. Don’t seek a cure…just seek God.


Leave a Reply