8 Things Psalm 61 Tells Us to Remember When Our Hearts Are Overwhelmed

8 Things Psalm 61 Tells Us to Remember When Our Hearts Are Overwhelmed

The book of Psalms is found in the Old Testament and contains beautiful poetry and prayers as we get a glimpse into the faith lives of its authors. The psalms include a range of emotions and thoughts brought before the Lord as the writers laid out their sorrows, troubles, joys, and faith. When we read the Psalms, we find a common experience of enduring the ups and downs of life, and how our faith and relationship with God is impacted. Psalm 61 begins with a humble request to God.

“Hear my cry, O God; listen to my prayer” (Psalm 61:1).

Many believers have prayed a similar prayer to the Lord as we long to be heard by God when we are going through difficult circumstances. The Psalms can help us when we are feeling anxious. Here are eight lessons from Psalm 61 that can bring us peace and hope when we are feeling overwhelmed.

What Is the Message of Psalm 61?

Psalm 61 identifies its authorship as a song written by David. David began this psalm with the request that God would hear his prayer. He knew that whatever was going on in his life, he could turn to God and cry out for help. David expressed his need for God to hear his prayers. From Psalm 61, we also learn that David was experiencing a difficult situation in his life.

“I call as my heart grows faint” (Psalm 61:2).

David was authentic with the Lord about how he was feeling. He was having a hard time, he couldn’t handle it on his own, and so he came before God honestly in his desperation. David went on to express his trust in the Lord’s presence and protection. David believed that only God could save him. He recalled God’s faithfulness and that indeed, God could keep him safe.

David then shared with the Lord his desire to have many years of life ahead of him. David knew that his life was truly in God’s hands. Perhaps when he wrote this psalm, David felt his life was in danger. He prayed for favor and mercy in the way of having a long life.

The psalm ends with David’s commitment to praising the Lord all his days. Though David faced insurmountable troubles, he remained grateful to the Lord and made it a point to praise God in all situations.

How Can the Psalms Encourage Us When We Feel Overwhelmed?

Perhaps you can understand the way David felt when he wrote this Psalm. All believers will face seasons in life when we feel overwhelmed and in need of God’s help. Psalm 61 reminds us that God is our refuge and will be a strong tower against our enemies or troubles (see Psalm 61:3). God wants us to have confidence in His faithfulness and that He is an ever-present help in times of trouble (see Psalm 46:1).

Readers can find great encouragement and hope from the psalms. They include a wide range of feelings, thoughts, and situations. Some writers faced dangerous situations, came up against their enemies, or felt depressed. Believers can read or pray through the psalms when we feel overwhelmed because they will guide us to the truth that God is good no matter what, and we can praise Him in every situation.

The psalms are an honest look at how we experience life, and they do not disguise the pain and sorrow endured. However, the psalms remind us that there is hope in God because He hears our prayers, is our protection, and is worthy of praise.

8 Things Psalm 61 Tells Us to Remember When Our Hearts Are Overwhelmed

1. We can cry out to God

“Hear my cry, O God; listen to my prayer” (v. 1)

This psalm is a great reminder that we can cry out to God. God does not look down on us or judge us harshly when we come to Him with our tears, worries, and sorrows. God wants us to cry out to Him and call upon His name when we are going through hard times. When we are feeling overwhelmed, the first thing we can do is come to the Lord and cry out to Him.

2. God hears us

Psalm 61 teaches that God listens to our prayers. He hears us when we come to Him. God created us to be in a relationship with Him. One of the ways we develop and maintain that relationship is through prayer – simply talking to God. Scripture consistently reassures believers that God hears our prayers and has His ear inclined to those who believe in Him.

3. We can call on God anytime

“From the ends of the earth I call to you, I call as my heart grows faint; lead me to the rock that is higher than I” (v. 2)

When we have reached the point where we don’t know what to do, or when we realize we can’t do it all on our own, we can call on God. When we are weary, discouraged, or faint-hearted, we can call on God. God does not expect us to be perfect or have it all together. He wants us to come to Him in every situation, especially when we need His help or feel at a loss for how to move forward. Whether you’re feeling great or going through a tough time, you can call on God anytime and He delights in your trust in Him.

4. God is our protection

“For you have been my refuge, a strong tower against the foe” (v. 3)

We are tempted to think that we are on our own, but God’s word makes it clear that God is our refuge and source of protection. God will keep believers safe. You can go to Him who is your safe haven when you are struggling, when you feel unsafe, or need His protection. We can look back over our lives to see how God kept us safe and has been with us every step of the way. Remembering God’s faithfulness will give us confidence in His reliability moving forward and in everything we come up against.

5. We desire to be with God

“I long to dwell in your tent forever and take refuge in the shelter of your wings” (v. 4)

God created us and we were made in His image. He designed us to have an innate longing to know Him and be in a relationship with Him. This Psalm reminds us of that desire to be with God – to dwell in His tent forever and in His care. We have a very real enemy that tries to keep us away from God, but the truth is that we were made to be with God.

6. God notices our faith

“For you, God, have heard my vows; you have given me the heritage of those who fear your name” (v. 5)

This psalm helps us understand the preciousness of the faith we have received. There is no better heritage than that of those who have come to believe in God as their Lord and Savior. In His goodness and love for humanity, God made it possible for everyone to have the chance to surrender to Him and give their lives to Him.

7. God hears our requests

“Increase the days of the king’s life, his years for many generations. May he be enthroned in God’s presence forever; appoint your love and faithfulness to protect him” (vs. 6-7)

The psalmist brings his requests to the Lord with confidence that He will hear. We can find encouragement when we are overwhelmed that when we bring our requests for help, strength, wisdom, or resolve – God will hear our requests. Every need you bring to the Lord will be heard. He already knows what you desire, so do not hesitate to ask your heavenly Father.

8. Praise the Lord in all things (verse 8)

“Then I will ever sing in praise of your name and fulfill my vows day after day” (v. 8)

The ending of this psalm encourages believers that even when we are feeling overwhelmed, it is good to praise the Lord. When you pause to remember, even in your hardest moments, that God is good, you will have more than enough reason to praise Him. Scripture says that everything alive should praise the Lord because He is good. When we praise the Lord during our hardships or when we feel overwhelmed, we will begin to experience a sense of peace and hope.

A Prayer for God to Soothe Our Overwhelmed Hearts

Gracious and loving God,

I thank You that whatever I am going through, You are near to me. Thank You for listening to my prayers and for hearing me when I cry out to You. Thank you for Your deep love and concern for what I am going through. Lord, my heart is overwhelmed right now. I don’t know which way to go. I’m not sure how to work things out. I realize I’m in need of Your help. Lord, I ask that through this trial, You would bring me comfort. Help my heart to be at peace in You. Help me to lay my worries and fears down at Your feet and to trust in Your goodness and enduring faithfulness. I love you, Lord, and thank You for hearing my prayers.

In Jesus’ name,


God Is Good

Psalm 61 is a powerful psalm in which David shared his troubled heart while still singing about his trust in the Lord and praising to Him. We can find great comfort in this psalm when we are feeling overwhelmed because it teaches us about God’s goodness and help when we are in need. All the psalms provide great hope to believers when we are in need of truth, peace, and wisdom to face hard situations. Truly, Scripture declares the goodness and faithfulness of God toward His beloved children no matter what we face.

Photo credit: ©Getty Images/Sergio Yoneda

Pamela Palmer 1200x1200Pamela Palmer is a writer, speaker, and the founder of upheldlife.com, the platform on which she produces devotionals and faith resources to inspire keeping faith at the center of life. She is in pastoral ministry and gets to share in the emotional and spiritual lives of others. She lives and thrives on Jesus, coffee, and music. She is the author of Living a Deeper Faith: Nurture Your Relationship with God and Live a Faith-Fueled Life. Pamela married the perfect man for her and they have two beautiful kiddos. She has been published on herviewfromhome.com, and you can follow her at upheldlife.com or on Facebook.com/upheldlife.