A Prayer for Salvation

Psalm 88

Outline

1-9 | The psalmist’s feelings of separation from God
10-12 | The psalmist asks God to intervene on his behalf
13-18 | The psalmist despairs further of his seemingly unanswered prayers

Reflections

Have you ever felt like your prayers were going unanswered?  I believe that this is what the author of this psalm is struggling with.  He describes his feeling of separation from God, pleads with God in do a wonder on his behalf.  Finally, the psalmist again laments that his prayers seem to go unanswered.

I think it is safe to say that we have all experienced times when it seemed like we have been ignored by God because our prayers are unanswered, at least in the way we would want them answered.  But are they really unanswered?  Have God’s ears really gone deaf in relation to our prayers?

I don’t think so.  I’m sure that God hears our prayers however we might be asking for the wrong things.  When the times of despair come, review how you are praying and ask God to help you prioritize your requests to be more inline with His will.  It might not be easy but the reward of answered prayer will come.  I have every confidence that what Jesus said is true and can be counted on.

Matthew 7:7-11 NASB  “Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you.  8  “For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened.  9  “Or what man is there among you who, when his son asks for a loaf, will give him a stone?  10  “Or if he asks for a fish, he will not give him a snake, will he?  11  “If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give what is good to those who ask Him!

Heavenly Father, You hear our prayers and have promised to grant our requests and the whole universe is at Your disposal to accomplish Your will on earth.  Help us to pray in a manner than will honor You and not out of selfish motives.  Give us wisdom to know what we should be praying for.  Thank You for the many blessings that You’ve already given us and will continue to until Christ’s return.  May Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven, in Jesus’ name.  Amen.


Who was the author?

There are only two people referred to as an Ezrahite.  This title is likely derived from the fact that both of these men were sons of Zerah (I Chronicles 2:6) who was a head of a family of Judah.

  1. Heman: Psalms 88:1
  2. Ethan: I Kings 4:31; Psalms 89:1

In the title to this psalm, we find that it was written by Heman the Ezrahite.  There are a few possible men who are named Heman in the Bible that this psalm refers to.  Options 1 and 2 could be the same person because of the names of their brothers are the similar.

  1. Heman, the son of Mahol: I Kings 4:31
  2. Heman, the son of Zerah: I Chronicles 2:6
  3. Heman, the son of Joel, a Kohathite: I Chronicles 6:33,39; 15:17,19; 16:41-42; 25:1,4-6; II Chronicles 5:12; 29:14; 35:15
Psalm 88 - A Prayer for Salvation
Psalm 88 - A Prayer for Salvation
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