Psalms for Prayer: Day 12

A Prayer for Justice to Prevail Over Evil


Today's Text: Psalm 55:1-23

Scripture Reading: Psalm 55:1-23

I locked myself in the closet and tried to pray despite my bleary eyes and knocking knees. I simply couldn’t face the day. It was too hard, too painful. There was no resolve to muster, no bootstraps big enough to pull myself up by. When I read Psalm 55, I wonder if, perhaps, the psalmist penned it from a similar place.

This is one of the things I love most about the Word of God. It is not sanitized, polished up to a high shine, and put on display. The Bible does not stick to feel-good mantras or platitudes that make us all smile and nod. There is grit between the pages because, let’s face it, there is grit in all our lives.

The psalmist opens this passage begging to be heard. There’s no swagger oozing from the tip of his pen. No pretty, religious language found in these verses. He is desperate. His need to hear from the Lord is visceral.

“Listen to me!”
“Don’t tune me out.”
“Do You hear me?”

His gut-level honesty makes me want to stand up and cheer.

Because there are days I can’t start my prayers neat and tidy. There are moments when my need is so great, and my heart is so tied up in knots, I can’t get much past the lump in my throat. There are times when, if I’m not sure He’s listening, I don’t know how to find the strength to go on. If I could see myself in these moments, I imagine I might look something like Hannah, crying out to God, so wrought with despair that I look drunk or crazy (1 Samuel 1:9-18).

But God heard the cry of Hannah. He heard the psalmist’s plea. And when we are restless, in anguish, afraid and trembling and horrified, or fighting the urge to take flight (Psalm 55:2,4-6), He hears us too. It seems desperation is a prayer language of its own.

It was a medical crisis that sent me to the closet that day. It was betrayal by a dear friend that sent the psalmist reeling here, to writing this psalm. Whether it’s the horror of what you see on the news, or the pain of a personal crisis, cry out! The Lord is listening. He doesn’t need us to get the words right, or ask us to wait until we calm down to come before the throne. We can bring Him our snotty noses and ugly cries. He alone can transform them into peace and joy.

It was in the closet of desperation that I learned this: God is my provider, supernaturally changing my circumstances. And He is also my sustainer, supernaturally carrying me through those circumstances. Both are grace. Perhaps that’s why the psalmist made this declaration, even before his circumstances had shifted:

“Cast your burden on the LORD, and He will sustain you” (v.22).

When we hurl our burdens at Christ’s throne, without attempting to wrap them up in pretty bows, we find He is more than able to carry them. Today, whatever our circumstances, whatever is happening in the world around us, we can bring our desperation as an offering of faith, trusting He will get us through. His will, His love, and His justice will prevail.


Erin Davis is an author, blogger, and speaker who loves to see women of all ages run to the deep well of God’s Word. When she’s not writing, you can find Erin chasing chickens and children on her small farm in the Midwest.

  • I too needed this. I am asking the Lord to heal my body. I am at peace and am trusting the Lord in all things.

  • Courtney Nieman

    I needed this today. I’ve felt like I’m waiting for the sky to fall and I’m weary from all of the stressors life has thrown in my path in the last week. I need to trust in him and let him guide me through. ♥️

  • Emily Almond

    This devotion was so amazing and just what I needed to read today! I’ve had so much going on at work that hasn’t been handled properly recently, and this was just a firm reminder that God will change it or get me through it! He is SO SO good!

  • Julia Hagen

    Awesome devotion!

  • Kaitlyn Whisner

    It seems I’m in a state of desperation quite a lot these days. I could really use some prayer.

  • Laurel Lee Herzog

    My father had a catastrophic brain injury in February, just 2 months after I got engaged. My engagement has been a tug of war between taking care of my dad and planning my wedding. Last week I came to the conclusion that he isn’t well enough to travel to my wedding in 3 weeks. Oh the nights I have spent screaming out to God, begging to be heard, wrestling for the blessing like Jacob, hoping for healing like Lazarus, only to see the sun rise on the same circumstances. It has been such a painful road. Psalm 55 is good reassurance that I’m not the first to walk a painful road.

  • Alyssa Baker

    We just had our first baby, and I am overwhelmed with my selfishness. “I need to sleep, I need to eat, I need time to myself, I need someone else to feed this baby, I need a shower,” it’s endless. I feel like I’m fighting a mental battle every day. My prayers are no longer neat and tidy, just as she mentioned. BUT my father with meet me here. He will sustain me.

    • Susie Given

      You are fighting well, Alyssa! It IS a struggle, it is a juggle. I truly believe the realization of my own selfishness as a new mom was a turning point in my life. God has not only given this precious new baby the mommy that he/she needs, BUT He has also given you the baby that YOU need. To grow and stretch you and cause you to be dependent on Him. Lean into Him. Bless you

  • Amery Barton

    Thankful to go through this day of study today as I have Ben feeling attacked by the enemy on all sides….this gave me stronghold

  • Katelyn Olivier

    When rereading the Psalm this morning, I realized that Jesus’ prayer in the Garden of Gethsemane might have looked similar. He also wanted to flee the situation, to have the cup pass from him, was betrayed by a dear friend, and begged the Lord to deliver him and hear his prayer. Jesus was sustained through the crucifixion, but God did not take the circumstance away. Jesus simply surrendered himself to the Fathers will and trusted in him. What a great example for us all! God is listening to our hearts and will be there in any circumstance to sustain us, but he will not always take the circumstance away.

    • Tamara

      It is a good reminder for us, but what about Marc 15:34? Did God sustain Jesus? I wonder if He wasn’t left alone at the end…?!

      • Kay Coughlin

        Tamara, I have heard a couple of teachings on this. The theme seems to be that this proved the dual nature of Jesus’ existence to the very end of his human life. In other words, His human side meant He could not hear the Father at the end, just as we so often cannot hear the Father. There are other interpretations, none of which imply that Jesus truly believed He was forsaken at the end.

  • Olivia Coghill

    I so needed to hear this today. Thank you God and SRT

  • Eunice Alasa

    Thank you for this

  • Terri Spates

    This was an awesome devotional today. This was right on time and it filled me with such joy in knowing that God’s Word has an answer for everything that we face in this side of heaven. I loved this so much that I’m putting it into my favorites…!!! Thank you and truly God is worthy to be Praised. Bless you Erin and may the Lord continue to use you Mightily.

  • Tanya Rodriguez

    “Desperation is its own prayer language” so good! JAH is the best emergency call we can ever dial in. He answers ALL. THE. TIME

  • For 8 1/2 years I have been a victim of domestic violence at the hands of my husband. On May 1 God gave me the courage to leave my husband, go into hiding and begin the process of building a healthy and safe life for my son and I. It was on May 1 that was reading Psalm 55 all day. To God be the Glory for His resucing hand and provision in our lives ❤️

    • Liz

      Bree, thank you for sharing your life with us here. I can’t begin to fathom what you have endured. I’m sorry for what you’ve been through but I’m so happy you are safe now. <3

    • Rhonda

      Prayers for you, I can’t imagine the strength it would take to flee, but rely on God and he will pull you through!

    • Melanie

      Prayers for you today, Bree! You are so very loved <3

    • Pam

      Dear Bree, I am praying for you & your son! Praising God for your rescue!!! Thirty years ago I had to leave an abusive relationship with my husband & take my two girls to safety…I want to encourage you to keep trusting in the Lord with all your heart!!! (Prov. 3:5& 6)…I can encourage you from experience that God’s rescue is sure & in His ineffable Love & Great faithfulness His provision & guidance will be with you every day!!!

    • Emmy

      You can do this! It will get better! Sending you love and protection. ~ A sister survivor

    • Tina

      Bree, i am sorry for whst you have endured ovr the years… but God…
      So so very thankful for yours and your sons deliverance… God surely has rescued you both…
      Will continue in prayer for continued provision and guidance…and His loving arms to comfort you and yours on those days when you question.. kerp on looking to Hom Bree.. He is all you need…
      He is good and faithful and loving..
      Sending love wrapped prayers to you and yours… xxx

    • Karen Sliger

      Bree, I am praying for you! God is good and a mighty protector!

    • She Reads Truth

      Hi Bree, thank you for sharing. Our team is praying over you today -for encouragement, comfort, and peace during this time. We’re so grateful that you’re here. -Margot, The SRT Team

  • Amanda Montgomery

    He WILL prevail, because Jesus has ALREADY overcome the world (John 16:33)! This week, I’ve had a bit of anxiety over the turmoil that has happened with the culture change in our world in just the last couple of years—the change I see is more evil, more idols, more addictions, more hurt. Even in the Church. I feel a burden for us to pray for the Church without ceasing. This is the perfect psalm for us to turn to when we are overwhelmed by the world. God has already won the battle. But we (I) must turn to Him—keep trusting, keep believing, keep giving Him our burdens. It’s the only way

  • I love how God speaks to “me ” “us”right when we need it. Reading Psalm 55, the devotion by Erin and all your comments touched my heart in a great way. Right where I needed it. Continued prayers are appreciated. Life is still hard BUT GOD is so good!!!

  • Do you feel like you are one endless prayer request? These last few years it seems I roll from one crisis to another. Children, husband, business, relationships, health, emotional mental instability. But. I’m beginning to understand that was God’s plan. Oh- not that we be in crisis, but that we see every bump and turn in life as an opportunity for prayer and relationship with Him. In this world of self-reliance, cause isnt that what the Serpent was selling in the Garden, we are tricked into believing our supplications are a sign of weakness. No way…our posture of need before the Lord is what can make us brave, strong and able, in spite of our circumstances and emotions. I sometimes wonder if I am a fool to cling to the hope God promises but the Psalms remind me that I am not and with good company.

  • Amy Alexandra

    Thinking about this verse—“Cast your burden on the LORD, and He will sustain you…” (Psalm 55:22)—I noticed that it doesn’t say “and He will take the burden from you.” God doesn’t always change my circumstances when I ask Him to. What I can count on, however, is that He will sustain me. He will give me the strength I need to get through whatever I am facing, and when I am weak, He Himself will hold me up. There are some burdens I have to bear—but, blessed be God, I never have to bear them alone.

  • Churchmouse

    The betrayal, false accusations, hurtful rumors… from a “friend.” Who has not been on the receiving end of such things? It slayed me. It reeled me. It cut me to the core. Cry out to the Lord?!? I bellowed, yes bellowed, through my tears. My body shook. It wasn’t a one time occurrence. I bellowed, yes bellowed, to the Lord far more than once. And my dear Lord took it. He took all my raw emotions and Held. On. To. Me. And He. Would. Not. Let. Go. What kind of God is this?!? His love overwhelmed. His Word soothed. And I was able, over time, to let it go. That mean spirited and so sad time…became the most tender of times… Because He was there. In the throes of it all and He. Loved. On. Me. That is worth remembering. That is worth recalling. Not the unjust cause but His loving kindness. God is so great!

  • Jasmine R

    Amen! ❤️

  • I too want to hide away and be done with the sorrow and pain of this world. But God calls me to a life of community and participation. I think that’s because in those moments of pain, I’m relying on Him for my strength. So I will rejoice in my frustration and sadness because they draw me closer to Him.

  • Lizzieb85

    “Whether it’s the horror of what you see on the news, or the pain of a personal crisis, cry out! The Lord is listening. He doesn’t need us to get the words right, or ask us to wait until we calm down to come before the throne. We can bring Him our snotty noses and ugly cries. He alone can transform them into peace and joy.”
    My 3yr olds often come to me snotty nosed with giant tears & unintelligible words, asking for help or comfort. I often ask them to stop crying & use their words as I can’t help if I don’t know what they need.
    God is not like this. He always understands. He is always capable. His love for us is great.
    1-THANK YOU JESUS you are not like me! Thank you that you are capable & loving inspite of my blubbering cries.
    2- With the intention to be more Christ-like, I should extend more compassion to my blubbering 3 yr olds. Maybe they just need to cry it out too.

    • Beth S

      Thank you for this insight. I would like to keep this in mind when dealing with my 3 year old, too. So thankful God is our perfect heavenly Father.

  • God, thank you for hearing me. I praise you for inviting me into your family and taking care of me. When others turn their backs and walk away, You remain.

  • Faith Sims

    So, so good! ❤️

  • Katie Schmoker

    Needed to hear this to start today! God is so great!

  • There’s a great song by Gungor called Please be my strength. Great words and such comfort. These Psalms have been such balm for my soul.

    • Donna Hethcock

      Thanks for that beautiful song!! Close your eyes and thank God for being my strength!!!!

  • A great reminder that He is with is at all times and in all circumstances. Thank you.

  • When I was a child I used to dream about going to the tops of mountains, not for the beauty but because I used to imagine I could meet God there. Maybe I’d heard Exodus 24 somewhere and it had stuck with me but it was so easy to envision sitting and waiting on God in a perfect place like that. In desperate moments it felt more a solution than crying out did but I am beyond words grateful today that we don’t have to climb mountains to reach Him. We can reach Him from; the floors of our closets, from behind our steering wheels, our offices and even desert places, from wherever our worn and aching hearts take us, we can reach Him. Praise God that He is with us in our earthly places, sharing in our days, wrapping His arms around us in our pain and rejoicing with us in our gladness. God is truly good, He does not forsake us … we can cast all our burdens and KNOW that He will sustain us. Psalm 55:22

  • Kelly Chataine

    Praising God for His timing which is always perfect!

  • “Even to your old age and gray hairs I am he, I am he who will sustain you. I have made you and I will carry you; I will sustain you and I will rescue you.”
    Isaiah 46:4.
    He knows me. He will sustain me. Carry me. Rescue me.
    As I head for my mid-50’s this year, this verse becomes more precious.

  • I had that moment of terror walking into an attorney’s office. I stopped in the hall and told God that I couldn’t go in. He clearly said to me, take my hand and we will walk in together. I’ll never forget that moment. We walked in, not with my strength, but His. He literally held me up that day. He hears our cries and answers them.

  • Summer Chavez

    Timely devotional this morning!

  • Tricia Cavanaugh

    Praise you Lord! You are
    My provider. You are with me in all circumstances. You will see me through!

  • I did hiding well.
    If there were degrees to be had in hiding I would have been the first to receive a PhD…!!!
    I hid from facing anything and everything that had a hint of ‘ rejection’ about it..!
    I’m getting better, but in the past I would never have asked for help for anything.
    From an early age I had felt rejection and not belonging so…I would never put myself in a position to be rejected..

    But God…

    His word.
    His Grace.
    His love.. has and continues to work in me…
    I have been terrified..
    I have been gripped by fear..
    I have trembled ..
    I have wanted the earth to open up and eat me…
    Hide… run away … I have been an expert…, and trust me, God, has heard some rants and raves, blamings, the worst from me .. yet, He still heard my cries for help, He brought me back from ‘my battles’ to a place from where, by His Grace, wisdom, love and in hope, I function well.
    I leave my ‘hang ups’ with the Lord these days and I trust in Him to give me the courage to not be afraid…

    Absolutely giving my day to the Lord… whatever it looks like… I will and do trust in Him…


    Sending love wrapped hugs, love and blessings for a God perfect weekend… xx

  • Grace Anne

    Thank you Jesus, our great holy God who gives us strength and grace in times of distress, despair and discontent. Your Presence never ever will fail. Please help us to keep our eyes on You always. Amen.

  • God is my provider, supernaturally changing my circumstances. And He is also my sustainer, supernaturally carrying me through those circumstances. Thank you Jesus for your peace and Joy in my life.

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