10 Psalms to Pray When You Have No Words

February 22, 2019 | Taylor Herndon

There are many times in life when we don’t have the words to describe how we feel. During these times, it is difficult to know what to pray. We aren’t always sure how to react to our circumstances when we are praying to the all-knowing and all-powerful God of the universe.

Of all the characters in the Bible, David was a great example of a man with many emotions that he expressed openly with God. David’s relationship with God is beautiful because of his openness and it is documented in the book of Psalms!

David is relatable and I believe that many of these Psalms are helpful in times when we don’t know what to pray. If you have no words in certain situations, find a Psalm and use it as your prayer!

Here are some passages that I cling to in the mountains and valleys of life.

#1. When you’re feeling inadequate.

Psalm 34:9-10, “Fear the Lord, you his holy people, for those who fear him lack nothing. The lions may grow weak and hungry, but those who seek the Lord lack no good thing.”

#2. When you’re feeling defeated.

Psalm 46:1-3, “God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea, though its waters roar and foam and the mountains quake with their surging. There is a river whose streams make glad the city of God, the holy place where the Most High dwells. God is within her, she will not fall; God will help her at break of day.”

#3. When you are in awe of God and his love.

Psalm 36:5-9, “Your love, Lord, reaches to the heavens, your faithfulness to the skies. Your righteousness is like the highest mountains, your justice like the great deep. You, Lord, preserve both people and animals. How priceless if your unfailing love, O God! People take refuge in the shadow of your wings. They feast on the abundance of your house; you give them drinks from your river of delights. For with you is the fountain of life; in your light we see light.”

#4. When you are thankful!

Psalm 138:1-5, “I will praise you, Lord, with all my heart; before the gods, I will sing your praise. I will bow down toward your holy temple and will praise your name for your unfailing love and your faithfulness, for you have so exalted your solemn decree that surpasses your fame. When I called, you answered me; you greatly emboldened me. May all the kings of the earth praise you, Lord, when they hear what you have decreed. May they sing of the ways of the Lord, for the glory of the Lord is great.”

#5. When you feel like you’ve failed.

Psalm 73:21-26, “When my heart was grieved and my spirit embittered, I was senseless and ignorant; I was a brute beast before you. Yet I am always with you; you hold me by my right hand. You guide me with your counsel, and afterward, you will take me into glory. Whom have I in heaven but you? And earth has nothing I desire besides you. My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.”

#6. When you’re angry.

Psalm 42:9-11, “I say to God my Rock, ‘Why have you forgotten me? Why must I go about mourning, oppressed by the enemy?’ My bones suffer mortal agony as my foes taunt me, saying to me all day long, ‘Where is your God’ Why, my soul, are you downcast? Why so disturbed within me? Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise him, my Savior and my God.”

#7. When you feel alone.

Psalm 25:16-21, “Turn to me and be gracious to me, for I am lonely and afflicted. Relieve the troubles of my heart and free me from my anguish. Look on my affliction and my distress and take away all my sins. See how numerous are my enemies and how fiercely they hate me! Guard my life and rescue me; do not let me be put to shame, for I take refuge in you. May integrity and uprightness protect me, because my hope, Lord, is in you.”

#8. When you have nowhere else to turn.

Psalm 34:17-19, “The righteous cry out, and the Lord hears them; he delivers them from all their troubles. The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit. The righteous person may have many troubles but the Lord delivers him from them all.”

#9. When you feel anxious and afraid.

Psalm 27:1-3, “The Lord is my light and my salvation – whom shall I fear? The lord is the stronghold of my life – of whom shall I be afraid?” When the wicked advance against me to devour me, it is my enemies and my foes who will stumble and fall. Though an army besieges me, my heart will not fear; though war breaks out against me, even then I will be confident.”

#10.  When you are overwhelmed with God’s goodness.

Psalm 18:1-3, “I love you, Lord, my strength. The Lord is my rock, my fortress and my deliverer; my God is my rock, in whom I take refuge, my shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold. I called to the Lord, who is worthy of praise, and I have been saved from my enemies.”

God knows our struggles and he understands how we feel. Even if we didn’t say anything, he would know the prayer of our heart and exactly how to heal it. I believe that he receives honor and glory when we cry out to him in good times or bad. I pray that the next time you find yourself in a position when you don’t know how to respond, that these Psalms will give you peace and a way to talk with God.

Taylor is the Director of Weekend Celebrations, Worship and Newcomers and the Grape Road Campus.  Taylor and her husband, Seth live happily in Osceola, IN.