It only takes one look at the world around us to see that we are living in an overwhelming time in history. We are overwhelmed with heartache. Overwhelmed with information. Overwhelmed with education. Overwhelmed with conflict. Overwhelmed with relationship struggles. Overwhelmed with life. But God’s Word offers the help and hope we need in these uncertain days of overwhelm.
Sometimes when we are overwhelmed, we turn to friends for help, or family for support. But the one place we will find true help and support is at the feet of Jesus. So let’s go there. Let’s bow at His feet and pray these psalms in these overwhelming days.
1. Psalm 56: I feel overwhelmed and need God’s protection.
Take time to read through the entire psalm and you’ll quickly see that this is a prayer to pray in moments of fear and attack. When we need God’s protection, sometimes we try to suit up with our own strength. But we can’t fight our battles and expect to win without God’s protection and strength. It requires us to trust God and believe His word even when we feel surrounded. My favorite verses to pray from this psalm are Psalm 56:3 and Psalm 56:11.
“When I am afraid, I put my trust in you” (Psalm 56:3).
“In God I trust; I shall not be afraid. What can man do to me?” (Psalm 56:11).
2. Psalm 57: I feel overwhelmed and need God’s mercy.
Sometimes I cry out for God to have mercy on other people, but when my own heart needs mercy it’s hard to admit. Although I want to receive God’s mercy, it requires I admit I have a need. When I’m brought to my knees by overwhelming circumstances, I’m positioned ready to receive God’s mercy.
Maybe you can relate. You want God’s mercy, but it’s hard to receive unless you feel a deep need in your soul. The verses in this chapter to lift as a prayer when you are overwhelmed are Psalm 57:4-5. Pray these verses out loud and print them to come back to again and again.
“My soul is in the midst of lions; I lie down amid fiery beasts – the children of man, whose teeth are spears and arrows, whose tongues are sharp swords. Be exalted, O God, above the heavens! Let your glory be over all the earth!” (Psalm 57:4-5).
3. Psalm 58: I feel overwhelmed and need God’s justice.
There’s never been a time in my life that I’ve felt the need for justice more than now. Maybe you feel it too. Your heart might feel overwhelmed and not even know what to pray. But the psalmist expresses the heart’s cry of one who longs for justice. It might feel odd to pray such a declarative portion of Scripture, but I’m reminded through these verses about the truth that God’s righteousness always wins. God is a righteous judge and He does not approve of injustice.
“The righteous will rejoice when he sees the vengeance; he will bathe his feet in the blood of the wicked. Mankind will say, “Surely there is a reward for the righteous; surely there is a God who judges on earth” (Psalm 58:10-11).
4. Psalm 59: I feel overwhelmed and need God’s defense.
When my heart feels offended, I sometimes feel the need to defend myself. But this psalm reminds us that God is our defender. We don’t always need to have the last word or share every thought that goes through our heads. Often the best thing we can do is simply tell God all about it.
I love this psalm when I feel overwhelmed because it expresses the cry of my heart in the beginning and ends with praise to the Lord. It’s a strong reminder that sometimes the hard things that consume my heart and mind are the very things that lead me to the feet of Jesus.
“But I will sing of your strength; I will sing aloud of your steadfast love in the morning. For you have been to me a fortress and a refuge in the day of my distress. O my Strength, I will sing praises to you, for you, O God, are my fortress, the God who shows me steadfast love” (Psalm 59:16-17).
5. Psalm 60: I feel overwhelmed and need God’s help.
Help! When life gets full and my heart can’t speak, this is the only word that I can manage to utter in prayer. But Psalm 60 fills in the blanks for me when my words are lacking. Sometimes we think if we pray just right, then God will answer. But when we turn to God with a sincere heart, the words aren’t so much the key as is the heart. And I’m so thankful God is my help.
“Oh, grant us help against the foe, for vain is the salvation of man! With God we shall do valiantly; it is he who will tread down our foes” (Psalm 60:11-12).
6. Psalm 61: I feel overwhelmed and need God’s answer.
Have you ever made a promise to God? I’ve tried to make deals with Him by promising to do this or that if He would just answer my prayer. But I’m learning more important than hearing an answer is abiding with God day by day. Though my prayers might not be answered right away and my heart might feel overwhelmed, it does not mean God is not near or not listening. It simply means God has a different or a better plan. Here are a couple verses to pray when you are waiting for God’s answer that remind the heart to wait and praise in the presence of God.
“Let me dwell in your tent forever! Let me take refuge under the shelter of your wings! Selah” (Psalm 61:4).
“So will I ever sing praises to your name, as I perform my vows day after day” (Psalm 61:8).
7. Psalm 62: I feel overwhelmed and need God’s strength.
Overwhelm often leads me to feel weary. I get tired. Tired of waiting. Tired of wanting. Tired of praying. Tired of the daily grind of trying to do right. Just downright tired. Maybe you’ve been there too. Psalm 62 is a beautiful expression for a tired, overwhelmed soul. It’s the battle cry my heart needs to cry when I know I need to turn to the Lord, but I can’t come up with the words myself. It’s reminds me where my strength comes from.
“For God alone my soul waits in silence; from him comes my salvation” (Psalm 62:1).
“For God alone, O my soul, wait in silence, for my hope is from him. He only is my rock and my salvation, my fortress; I shall not be shaken. On God rests my salvation and my glory; my mighty rock, my refuge is God” (Psalm 62:5-7).
If you are feeling overwhelmed, I hope you’ll choose a psalm and pour out your prayer to God today. You don’t have to wait for church or rely on someone else to communicate with God for you. You have free access through the blood of Jesus to communicate with your heavenly father. While we walk this road of life, there are sure to be circumstances that will cause us to feel overwhelmed, but you don’t have to live overwhelmed. Let Jesus lighten the load (1 Peter 5:7).