Psalm 61:1-4 NLT - O God, listen to my cry! Hear my prayer! 2 From the ends of the earth, I cry to you for help when my heart is overwhelmed. Lead me to the towering rock of safety, 3 for you are my safe refuge, a fortress where my enemies cannot reach me. 4 Let me live forever in your sanctuary, safe beneath the shelter of your wings!
How can you apply Biblical wisdom when you struggle with fear and feel overwhelmed? In Psalm 61, the prayer of the overwhelmed to God is rooted in this: “Lead me.” Lead me to the rock that is higher than I. This requires humility to admit that you cannot control your situation, you need to be led. Being led requires a willingness to follow rather than to be in charge. Humility invites the grace of God. Do you usually seek some “escape behavior" when feeling overwhelmed? What might you do differently in view of Psalm 61:1-4? How might you hope differently if you can be humble and patient enough to apply it?
Psalm 143:4-11 NLT - I am losing all hope; I am paralyzed with fear. 5 I remember the days of old. I ponder all your great works and think about what you have done. 6 I lift my hands to you in prayer. I thirst for you as parched land thirsts for rain. 7 Come quickly, LORD, and answer me, for my depression deepens. Don’t turn away from me, or I will die. 8 Let me hear of your unfailing love each morning, for I am trusting you. Show me where to walk, for I give myself to you. 9 Rescue me from my enemies, LORD; I run to you to hide me. 10 Teach me to do your will, for you are my God. May your gracious Spirit lead me forward on a firm footing. 11 For the glory of your name, O LORD, preserve my life. Because of your faithfulness, bring me out of this distress.
Consider this passage when fear paralyzes you or you feel overwhelmed:
What has God done, spoken, or shown you over the course of your life? Ponder those great works He has done in your life over the years. Will you choose to lift your hands in prayer when you experience depression? Will you turn to the word of God in the morning to receive reassurance of God’s love and direction on how to proceed? When you fear and feel overwhelmed, will you run TO God for Him to hide you or will you run FROM God to hide yourself in some other behavior, person, or escape? What does Psalm 143:10 indicate about how the Holy Spirit leads you when you are afraid? (Consider the role of Bible teaching, solid spiritual footing, moving forward rather than backward) Finally, notice how the psalmist prays for relief and deliverance from his distress - not for his own sake but for the glory of God, not because of his own worthiness but because of God’s faithfulness. Do you tend to root your prayers in how you can feel better or how God will receive glory from helping you? Do you tend to feel a sense of frustration in prayer when it seems as though God is “letting you down”, or do you appeal to God to answer your prayers based upon His faithfulness rather than your subconscious sense of entitlement?