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Psalms for the Struggle

June 15, 2020 by Kentina Washington-Leapheart

The below psalm-prayers are excerpts from The Words of Her Mouth: Psalms for the Struggle written by Kentina Washington-Leapheart.

Your Silence

I commune with my heart in the night; 

I meditate and search my spirit: 

“Will the LORD spurn forever, and never again be favorable? 

Has God’s steadfast love ceased forever? 

Are their promises at an end for all time? 

Has God forgotten to be gracious? 

Has God in anger shut up compassion?” Selah  

And I say, “It is my grief that the right hand of the Most High has changed.” 

—Psalm 77: 6-10 


The pit of despair is dark, Holy One; 

My body has been heaving, wracked with sobs; 

      my appetite for food has diminished; 

I subsist on a diet of “what ifs” 

      and replayed mental tapes; 

I spend my days and nights in a fog; 

      rest eludes me but it hurts too much to sleep. 

Sorrow’s grip on my spirit is like a vice; 

      the pain is visceral, like nothing I have ever felt. 

My faith tells me that I should pray, 

      that God will hear my call and answer; 

But as yet another tear drops and I scream into my pillow in agony. 

Your silence is deafening.

To Burn with Rage 

You withdrew all your wrath; you turned from your hot anger.

—Psalm 85: 3 


I know what it is to burn with rage, 

smoke billowing from my ears and nostrils, 

white-hot fury coursing through my veins, 

hands tightly balled up into fists of frustration. 


I know what it is to be seething from anger (fear, sadness, disappointment) 

and I know what it is to feel a deep desire to enact that rage 

on those I have deemed guilty 

of not loving me enough, 

accepting me enough, healing me enough, ____ me enough; 


And yet you model something different altogether, 

not because you are not without anger, fear, sadness, disappointment—

I am sure your heart weeps at all of the ways your beloved creations 

steal and kill and destroy and break hearts (yours and that of others)—

yet you model a different way, a turning from, a turning towards. 


I’m not there yet, Holy One, 

but I am willing to learn.

These psalm-prayers were written by Kentina Washington-Leapheart and are excerpted from The Words of Her Mouth: Psalms for the Struggle.

“Your Silence,” The Words of Her Mouth, ed. Martha Spong, copyright © 2020 Martha Spong. All rights reserved. Used by Permission.

“To Burn with Rage,” The Words of Her Mouth, ed. Martha Spong, copyright © 2020 Martha Spong. All rights reserved. Used by Permission.

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