Workday Prayers:
When You Feel Overwhelmed at Work

By Mark D. Roberts

July 8, 2021

Scripture Reading: Psalm 69:1-3 (NRSV)

Save me, O God,
+++for the waters have come up to my neck.
I sink in deep mire,
+++where there is no foothold;
I have come into deep waters,
+++and the flood sweeps over me.
I am weary with my crying;
+++my throat is parched.
My eyes grow dim
+++with waiting for my God.


Even if you love your job, chances are there are times when you have felt overwhelmed. To use the language of Psalm 69, it felt to you as if “the waters had come up to your neck” as you were “sinking in deep mire where there is no foothold.” Perhaps you had more on your to do list than you could possibly manage. Perhaps your inbox was getting fuller and fuller each day, no matter how hard you tried to empty it. Perhaps your boss was asking you to do more than was humanly possible. Or . . . you name it.

If you’re feeling completely overwhelmed at work right now, then Psalm 69 will resonate with you, especially the first few verses. Perhaps this psalm will give you the freedom to tell God all that you’re feeling and thinking.


Psalm 69 teaches us to pray honestly and desperately when we’re feeling overwhelmed. We don’t have to pretend to be strong in God’s presence. We don’t have to pray as if we have everything under control. Rather, we can tell God everything, without holding back. Psalm 69 invites us into a new dimension of honesty with God.


Gracious God, save me! Yes, save me! Save me now! Please! I need your help desperately.

I feel overwhelmed by my work. I’ve got more to do than I can possibly handle. Even when I cut back on sleep to add additional working hours, I keep falling behind. I don’t know what to do.

Lord, it feels as if the waters have come up to my neck. I’m about to drown. Save me!

The more I try to get on top of things, the more I sink into deep mire. There is not foothold to stop me from going down. Save me!

I have cried out to you before. In fact, I am weary with my crying; my throat is parched. But I still cry out. Help me! Save me!

I am waiting for you, Lord. I know you are faithful. I know you are gracious. I know you are there for me. But right now it sure doesn’t feel like it. So I ask you now only to save me, but also to make yourself known to me. If I can be sure that you are with me, I know I’ll be okay . . . somehow. Amen.

Ponder Throughout the Day

When you feel overwhelmed at work, God welcomes your cries for help.

For Further Reflection

You may wish to read all of Psalm 69, including verses 16-17:

Answer me, O LORD, for your steadfast love is good;
+++according to your abundant mercy, turn to me.
Do not hide your face from your servant,
+++for I am in distress—make haste to answer me.

Sign up to receive a Life for Leaders devotional each day in your inbox. It’s free to subscribe and you can unsubscribe at any time.
Find all Life for Leaders devotions here. Explore what the Bible has to say about work at the unique website of our partners, the High Calling archive, hosted by the Theology of Work Project. Reflection on today’s Life for Leaders theme can be found here: Best of Daily Reflections: A Time of Favor

Mark D. Roberts

Senior Strategist

Dr. Mark D. Roberts is a Senior Strategist for Fuller’s Max De Pree Center for Leadership, where he focuses on the spiritual development and thriving of leaders. He is the principal writer of the daily devotional, Life for Leaders,...

More on Mark

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Learn Learn Learn Learn

the Life for Leaders newsletter

Learn Learn Learn Learn