“In my desperation I prayed, and the LORD listened; He saved me from all my troubles.” – Psalm 34:6 NLT (PART 1 of 4).

“Between a rock and a hard place” the saying is familiar to many of us, to be in “a tight place”, to be in “a squeeze”, to be in trouble, in such a place as the writer puts it, of “desperation,” we can think and do desperate, minipulation, irratonal, even despicable things.


Some of things we can often be tempted to do in such a place:

In my desperation…I lashed out,

In my desperation…I was angry,

In my desperation…I cheated,

In my desperation…I used the credit card,

In my desperation…I went to the refrigerator,

In my desperation…I worried,

In my desperation…I submitted to fear and discouragement,

In my desperation…I withdrew,

In my desperation…I thought of ending it all,

In my desperation…I just gave up,

In my desperation…I turned to booze,

In my desperation…I turned to drugs,

In my desperation…I walked out,

In my desperation…I sought vengeance,

In my desperation…I blamed others,

In my desperation…I blamed God,

In my desperation…I chose to be bitter,

In my desperation…fill in the blank, the alternatives are varied and many.


There are so many “options” to turn to when we find ourselves in “desperate” times, aren’t there? None of us are immune to them. But all of the above have one thing in common – they all are turning our back on God! Not one of the above are of any eternal good for us. Some can offer temporary relief, but…none…offer peace, or honor God, as the source of the answers to our seeking.

In desperate times we all turn to someone or something…Sometimes you might hear when things are really bad, and seem hopeless, through illness, “we need to pray”, may be said and heard. It is, however, often a last alternative, not so much, a reality of dependence upon God, but at times, more of a…”well, let’s just close this chapter by saying a prayer.

Such “prayer” is not a priority, and is not really prayer at all. This type of “prayer” can be an afterthought, a sign of resignation, a giving up, and so, “let’s say a prayer, maybe that will work”, as if some “Genie” can fix what we can’t, usually offered when someone we love is very ill or dying. Where “prayer”, is not the first thing, it is “tokenism” offered as the last resort. No faith in God attached, only fatalism.

A prayer-less life is a tragic life, for it is steeped in self-sufficiency, self-dependence, and is completely irrational in the spiritual realm.

Prayer-lessness is a life that lives defying God, as though He is unnecessary to meet me on a daily level. I am living as though, my skills, my career, my credentials, my abilities, and my know how, will see me through! The old adage, “If it’s got to be, it’s up to me”, might well be the creed of many of us. Indeed, we never see our true need, for we exhaust everything we know, as we cling to the “fact” (illusion, is more like it) that, “we can, do it…we can make it happen”.

Having to depend on God…is seen as a sign of weakness, an admission you are not capable, a blow to the ego, pride, of what others will think. The proud don’t pray for they do not, in their heart of hearts, believe they need to. Oh, they may, as you or me at times, utter words, and like the Pharisee, who went to pray, be as Jesus says, praying to themselves, impressed by their own credentials, of fasting, and giving, and NOT been like the publican but, the Pharisee went away having “prayed”…not to God…but, to himself, and smug in the fact he had “prayed!”

Praying, not out of desperation as the publican did, whom Jesus said left justified…but, praying with self-infatuation. We can pray infatuated with ourselves, our deeds, our…our…our…in no way dependent upon God but, completely independent of Him, and indeed praying at the altar of our ego and self-importance!This is what the Pharisee did! He worshiped himself, prayed to himself!


“Hallowed be my name…my kingdom come, my will be done!”



The perfect Man prays! The Lord Jesus…who was the only perfect man, never having sinned, and was constantly in prayer, we see from Scripture that He was humble – Matt 11:29. The humble pray, for they are dependent on Someone outside of themselves to meet, sustain, and provide for them.


If we do a study in the Gospels of the prayer life of the Lord Jesus, and note,when He prayed, what He prayed, to Whom He prayed…this time would not be a wasted time of seeking of Him. The disciples asked the Lord, having viewed His life for three years, “Teach us to pray.” Why not “teach us to do miracles?” Why prayer? It doesn’t seem to make sense…if…you see prayer as a duty, to be performed, something to be “ticked off the list,” an assignment, a mark of your spirituality, a religious ritual that is part of being “in the Club”…the “Christian” club that is. Then when pressure comes, as it will, you will view prayer as “nonsense,” rather than it making perfect sense!

If the perfect Man who lived and walked on this earth, in dependence, before God the Father, prayed, how much more do we, imperfect, flawed, sinful and sin scarred people need to pray!


Prayer in part, is an acknowledgement of our own all-encompassing deficiency, but also, of God’s complete and eternal sufficiency.


Prayer is an acknowledgement of our need to worship Him, to draw from Him our very existence and all that is needed for us to think, and do what is pleasing to Him, as revealed in His Word.

Prayer to God, among other things, is our realization and declaration, to our God that “I NEED YOU.”

David was a man after God’s own heart, we are told. Not a perfect man in his performance, but…he had a perfect God! He had found himself chased by Saul, and his men who desired to kill him. He had fled, afraid for his life, eventually coming to the Philistines whom he had defeated by be-heading their champion, Goliath. But fear had driven him…as fear always does, straight into the Philistine camp where he lied…he chose to be deceptive, and he was in trouble. But note…this is not the end of the story, for we read in Psalm 34:6 these precious words;

…”In my desperation I prayed, and the LORD listened; He saved me from all my troubles.”  Psalm 34:6 NLT…

David had…lied…David had been deceptive…and at the end of his rope, in his desperation, we see David’s testimony;

I prayed, and the LORD listened!”

 “In my desperation…I prayed.” He felt his own need, “in my desperation,…” Whatever others would do, he would choose to pray. He turned to the LORD. Hope was on its way, help would arrive, courtesy of the LORD, to deliver him from ALL his fears, and out of ALL his troubles. v-4,6.

His cry of desperation to the LORD was the beginning of his liberation from the fear and troubles he was in. What comforting words, “…and the LORD listened.” David had not failed to the extent that it could quench the mercy, and love God had for him, and neither do your sin, failings, change His commitment of love to you. {Read Rom 8:35 & 39, and Heb. 13:5.}


As we have seen, at times, in our  desperation, we often do anything but, turn to the LORD and pray. That is often because we turn to that which captivates us and reveals where our faith is anchoredAt times, desperation brings about revelationnot to God, but to me,to you, of our own deceptive heart, of whom or what You and I are truly  trusting in!

But there is Hope in and with God, for He is the God of Hope, full of grace.{Read Rom 15:13; 1 Pet 5;10}. We need not stay in our sin or failure, but instead, we can come afresh to Him, through the precious and powerful blood of Jesus, to begin once more with anew with our God.

So take hope, take courage, your failure need not be final, there is a new beginning for you, as there was for David!

Daniel had been threatened with death for worshiping God, and the king had made an edict, so that this was forbidden. Daniel, the Scriptures shows us continued in the habit he had cultivated, and he…prayed to the LORD. If we cultivate a life of prayer to the LORD then, when desperate times come, prayer will not be an after-thought, but instead the first thought, the continuous thought…to speak to the LORD about it.

Lord, help us, “In my desperation I prayed…” please make this true of us! To be truly desperate, being fully convinced that we have the option, and access to God the Father, and His throne of grace and mercy to receive help in every time of need. This is a rare and wonderful privilege which cost the blood, and the very life, of our Lord Jesus Christ, in order to make this possible for you and me, how disgracefully proud it is for us to reject it rather than, enjoy and avail of it, in our desperation.

If we will but cultivate “praying without ceasing…..for this is the will of God, for you, In Christ” (1 Thes. 5:14-15), we will meet those times of desperation head on, with prayer to the LORD and be able to testify, with David,“… and He listened, and saved me out of all my troubles.”

Are we desperate enough to begin with the LORD?

Are we desperate enough to pray to the LORD, and maintain praying to Him, who listens compassionately, and lovingly, who has the power to meet us and if He so chooses, to deliver us out of all our troubles, or grace to sustain us in our troubles! Is prayer a priority or a past-time? In times Of desperation  the reality will be revealed!

There is hope in seasons of  “calm” to study to show yourself approved unto God rightly dividing His Word” (2 Tim. 2:15), seeking the LORD of the Scriptures, during seasons of calm, taking time to develop and cultivate the habit of focusing on the Him. Use these times to seek to know Him, and hide His Word in our heart, praying to Him, that He might be gracious, influencing our hearts to obey and trust Him out of love. {Gal. 2:20.}

Take comfort in the faithfulness of God to a man, who out of desperation, prayed, and the LORD listened, and delivered him out of all his problems! Let the praying begin


Memorize, meditate, pray and share this verse –

“In my desperation I prayed, and the LORD listened; He saved me from all my troubles.” – {Psalm 34:6-NLT}

Write the verse on a 3 by 5 card to carry with you, and when you have a moment, look at it, read it, and pray for opportunities to practice it. Pray it and share it with others.