My Soul Waits: Solace for the Lonely in the Psalms, By Marva J. Dawn
My Soul Waits
  • Length: 268 pages
  • Published: July 17, 2007
  • Imprint: IVP
  • Item Code: 3443
  • ISBN: 9780830834433

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"An overwhelming number of us are lonely," writes Marva Dawn. "Sometimes we are lonely for a specific reason: our spouse has recently died or left us; our children have just gone from home or have been tragically killed; we are fighting a particular battle against illness or suffering the ravages of chemotherapy; we are new in the neighborhood; our values are different from those of our work colleagues; it is a Friday night and all our other single friends have dates. Sometimes our loneliness is a general, pervasive alienation: we just don't feel as if we belong in our place of work, in our community, in our family, even in our church."

Our struggle with loneliness often results in a lament directed at God. We might say something like "How long, LORD? Will you forget me forever? How long will you hide your face from me?" When we cry out words like these, we find ourselves praying the words of the Psalms.

In My Soul Waits, Dawn guides us through psalms that reveal the burdens of our souls to God, and in turn reveal God's profound, intimate concern for our pain and a promise to abide with us in it.

Readers feeling the sting of loneliness will take great comfort in this very personal book. Those who strive to support the lonely among them will take wise counsel from the Scriptures it expounds. All will encounter a renewed hope in the One who lists our tears only to wipe them all away.

"I was led to water by a kindred spirit who has known what it is to thirst. With personal honesty and candor, Marva Dawn leads us from loneliness to real intimacy with God and believers."

Kelly Monroe Kullberg, author of Finding God Beyond Harvard: The Quest for Veritas, editor of Finding God at Harvard: Spiritual Journeys of Thinking Christians and founder of The Veritas Forum

"Marva Dawn has done a beautiful job making the Psalms come alive, with all their honesty about pain, their expression of so many different emotions, and their encouragement to trust and hope in God. Marva Dawn's personal stories and careful study of the rich language of the Psalms will speak to many readers."

Lynne M. Baab, author of Fasting: Spiritual Freedom Beyond Our Appetites and Sabbath Keeping: Finding Freedom in the Rhythms of Rest

"Any serious engagement with the Psalms must be passionate and devout. Marva Dawn's personal encounter is both, and therefore fruit for the heart. Heartily recommended to feed all God's people."

James Houston

"For decades now Marva Dawn's life has been shaped by the Psalms; as she writes out her Psalm-shaped experiences in prayer, we realize freshly and personally what a vigorous and reality-tested world of prayer the Psalms provide us."

Eugene H. Peterson

With passion and depth, this reflective work will be a blessing to those who need comfort, seek joy, have been afflicted, need to remember, have cried out to God, and need strength. In other words, it[sic] for us all!

September 2007, KPXQ AM Today?s Christian Talk



1. I'm Lonely, Lord--How Long?
2. The Lord Is in Control of Time
3. God Hears My Cries of Panic
4. My Trust Won't Put Me to Shame
5. God's Mother-Love
6. Lonely and Afflicted--But YHWH Releases Me from the Snare
7. YHWH Understands Even Betrayal
8. Evening, Morning, and Noon, God Hears My Voice
9. It's All Right to Be Afraid
10. Our God Records Our Tears
11. The Right Kind of Fear
12. Joy When Nothing Seems to Be Good
13. The Right Kind of Boasting
14. Radiance and Angels
15. Tasting the Lord's Goodness
16. The Lord Is Near When We've Lost All Hope
17. I Thought I Would Die, But the Lord Helped
18. The Wicked Aren't So Fat and Sleek
19. In Our Brutishness, God Holds Our Hand
20. To Desire Nothing on Earth
21. Even in Death YHWH Protects Us
22. Lest We Forget That We Are Special
23. Help to Resist Temptation
24. God Sets the Lonely in Families
25. Worship Really Matters
26. Finding the Strength to Go On
27. Comfort Even When There Is No Assurance
28. Putting Our Grief into Historical Perspective
29. YHWH Will Give Us the Desires of Our Hearts
30. When I Fret and Fall, There is Shalom
31. So Now I Can't Keep It to Myself

Appendix A: Swimming the Psalms
Appendix B: When Is a Rut Not a Rut? Hidden Promise in Psalm 23


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Marva J. Dawn

Marva J. Dawn (PhD, Notre Dame) is a theologian, author, educator, and teaching fellow in spiritual theology at Regent College, Vancouver, British Columbia. Some of her books include Joy in Divine Wisdom, The Sense of the Call, Talking the Walk, Keeping the Sabbath Wholly, and Unfettered Hope: A Call to Faithful Living in an Affluent Society.