52 Workday Prayers: Psalm 13 - When Your Unhappiness at Work Goes On and On

Prayer / Produced by partner of TOW

How long, LORD? Will you forget me forever?
How long will you hide your face from me?
How long must I wrestle with my thoughts
and day after day have sorrow in my heart?
How long will my enemy triumph over me?
But I trust in your unfailing love;
my heart rejoices in your salvation.

Psalm 13:1-2, 5


Some of us have considerable freedom when it comes to choosing a job. Others are not so fortunate. They do not have much flexibility, perhaps because of their particular work situation or the responsibility to support a family. And, though some of these workers are surely glad for the work they have, others suffer in jobs that are consistently painful. They have, as Psalm 13 says, “sorrow in their hearts.” A good friend of mine shared that the first word that comes to mind when he thinks of work is “suffering.” He is not alone in this experience.

You may find that the following prayer gives expression to what you’re experiencing these days in your work if things are not going well. If you’re in a good situation, however, pray this prayer for others, for those who are desperate for God’s help.


How long, Lord?
How long? Indeed!
You see me in this job.
You feel my pain and discouragement.
Yet here I am, stuck, without relief, and without hope.
How long, Lord?

Will you forget me forever?
How long will you hide your face from me?

Now, my faith tells me you have not forgotten me.
But, honestly, right now it feels like you have forgotten me. It really does.

I know that you have not hidden your face from me,
yet I wonder how you can look upon me and not help.
I need your deliverance, Lord.
I don’t know where else to turn.

O Lord, help me to trust in your unfailing love,
even when I’m discouraged, even when I feel so alone.

Save me, Lord, so that I might rejoice in your salvation.
Allow me to taste your goodness so my heart might praise you anew. Amen.

Ponder Throughout the Day

No matter what you face in your work today, you can put your trust in God’s unfailing love.

For Further Reflection

Read all of Psalm 13, paying attention to what the Spirit of God is stirring up in your heart, especially in relationship to your work. Talk with God about what you are thinking and feeling.

You might also reflect on the following passage from Hebrews:

For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who in every respect has been tested as we are, yet without sin. Let us therefore approach the throne of grace with boldness, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need. - Hebrews 4:15-16

This prayer is part of a collection: 52 Workday Prayers: Learn from the Psalms How to Pray through Your Work. To purchase this devotional and small group guide, visit the De Pree Center store.