Psalm 69. Short, Gut-Honest Prayers.


Today’s Lectio Divina: Excerpts from Psalm 69. (MsgB)

God, God, save me! I’m in over my head. Quicksand under me, swamp water over me; I’m going down for the third time. I’m hoarse from calling for help, bleary-eyed from searching the sky for God. I’ve got more enemies than hairs on my head; sneaks and liars are out to knife me in the back.

God, answer in love! Answer with Your sure salvation! Rescue me from the swamp; don’t let me go under for good. Pull me out of the clutch of the enemy; this whirlpool is sucking me down. Don’t let the swamp be my grave, the Black Hole swallow me, its jaws clenched around me.


King David goes on for thirty-six verses here in Psalm 69. Line upon line. Sentence upon sentence. Paragraph upon paragraph. Complaint upon complaint.

All of it…every word…a mighty cry for deliverance. One entire song…yelling out to God, pleading for Him to step in and set things right.

I recall my mentor, John Wimber, saying that his favorite and most used prayer throughout his life was this…

O God. O God. O God. Help!

John said that this prayer was probably the most sincere and gut-honest prayer he ever prayed. Oh sure, there are times when we try to put on our Sunday best and we speak out our flowery prayers. You know the kind I mean…

Dearest Father in Heaven. Today I come to You in all sincerity, beseeching You, Oh God, to look down from heaven above at Your servant here below. We are in great need, my dearest Lord… etc. etc. etc.

And as I recall, John would, on many occasions, step right in when he found any of his friends praying such flowery prayers and tell them to cut out the fluff-n-stuff and get right to the point with God…

O God. O God. O God. Help!

Over the years, I’ve grown to appreciate John’s candid advice on succinct prayers. As I see it, God doesn’t really enjoy my flowery prayers, dressed up with all my religious words. I think my Poppa in Heaven actually appreciates it when He hears one of His children just getting to the point at hand like David seems to do here in Psalm 69.

Dad, I’m dying down here. I need Your help…NOW!

I’m getting’ sucked into a black hole. The darkness is winning. Send help…NOW!

Could be that you and I need to learn a bit from King David’s short little prayers here and just get down to brass tacks with God when we pray? No fluff. No stuff. Just gut-honest prayers that flow from the emotional hell we find ourselves in at times.

Poppa. Life sucks down here. I’m losing the battle quickly.

O God. O God. O God. Help!

Amen and amen.

My prayer: God, here it is. Short and sweet. Down-home honest. One and done. Take it or leave it. Here, Father, is my gut-honest cry… O God. O God. O God. Help! For Your name’s sake. Amen.

My questions to ponder: Why do I feel the need to elongate my prayers, making them full of big words and religious rhetoric? How can I leave this world of flowery prayers and long-winded bluster and just get down to stating my basic needs with my Father in Heaven?

So what is God speaking to you today as you ponder the Psalms?


Over a 50-week period, you and I will take a deeper look at The Psalms: God’s Songbook of Prayers. In order to keep all the blog sessions organized, we suggest you bookmark our Contemplating the Psalms home page for ease of use. Keep in mind that one of the best ways to explore the on-going applications of this blog series is to walk alongside a biblically-based, Christ-centered spiritual director who is familiar with how to make material like this part of your overall spiritual formation in God. Many of our directors in our Sustainable Faith-Heartland network are available to companion you in your journey with Jesus. Click here for more info.

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Click here to continue on this blog series…

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