How to Pray When Life Feels Overwhelming

Overwhelmed. Desperate for answers. Struggling to keep your head above water. We’ve all been there at one time or another. So we can relate to David when he cries out,

“Hear my cry, O God; attend unto my prayer. From the end of the earth will I cry unto thee, when my heart is overwhelmed: lead me to the rock that is higher than I.” (Psalm 61:1-2)


In our prison ministries, we want to seek God both in good times and in difficult times. 


How should we pray when life feels overwhelming?


Be honest.

Because God is your loving Father, you can tell Him everything. Even if you don’t have a human friend you can confide in right now, you can always confide in God. In the quiet of your time with Him, you can pour out the cares, fears, and heartaches that you bear. In Psalm 62:8, He commands us, “Trust in him at all times; ye people, pour out your heart before him: God is a refuge for us. Selah.” God hears the cry of your heart, and He wants to help you. Be honest with Him. 


Be humble.

In 1 Peter 5:6-7, we are challenged to, “Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time: Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you.” In prayer, we humble ourselves under God’s hand, recognizing our need for His grace. We cast all our worries, fears, and hopes at His feet. And we trust that He will tenderly pick them up, sift out the grain, and blow away the chaff. Humble people, like David, realize that they can’t do it alone. And they depend on God’s always-sufficient grace to help them in every circumstance of life.


Submit to God.

In times of stress and uncertainty, we are often tempted to seize the reins of our life from God’s hands. “Obviously, I should have done it my way! This obviously didn’t work,” we think. However, it is in these times that God is testing our commitment to Him. When our perfectly laid plans don’t work out, will we continue to obey His voice? God wants, more than anything else, a heart of obedience. As 1 Samuel 15:22 tells us, “And Samuel said, Hath the Lord as great delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices, as in obeying the voice of the Lord? Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, and to hearken than the fat of rams.” Choose to submit to God’s will.


Trust Him.

At the beginning of Psalm 61, David recognizes his desperate need for God and calls out for help. Then he remembers how God has helped him in the past. “For thou hast been a shelter for me, and a strong tower from the enemy.” (Psalm 61:3) In verse 4, David chooses to trust God, saying, “I will abide in thy tabernacle for ever: I will trust in the covert of thy wings. Selah.” No matter how dark the storm you are going through, God is big enough to carry you through it. He loves you, and He’s never going to leave you (Hebrews 13:5b). Trust Him.

Don’t quit. Men ought always to pray and not to faint (quit). 

Does your life feel overwhelming right now? Would you like someone to pray for you? You can contact us at our prison ministries for prayer and confidential counselling. We’d love to help you!


Are you searching? Jesus has the answers for addictions and stubborn habits. For more information, send the Crossmans a private message here on Facebook or come to a church service at Prince Albert Baptist Church. Take the first step in a walk of freedom!

For more information, call (306) 940-9554 or email