“Have mercy on me, O Lord, for I am in trouble” (Psalms 31:9 NKJV).

This psalm of David reminds me of what the Eastern churches call the Jesus Prayer: “Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me, a sinner.”
It also reminds me of Jesus’ story contrasting the prayers of the Pharisee and the publican. The Pharisee stood praying, “Thank you Lord that I am not like the publican”, whereas the publican prayed in humility, saying “Lord have mercy on me, a sinner” (Luke 18:10-14).
It is when we admit that we are “in trouble,” that the Lord moves to help us. As long as we move in our own strength, laboring in our own wisdom, we struggle alone. But when we admit our need, the Lord answers. As Jesus told his disciples, “Everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted” (Luke 10:14).