Are you at that place of exhaustion, when you can’t pray anymore? The struggle has been going on for so long. You’re beyond weary of petitioning God. Words feel mechanical and empty.
It seems you’re just saying the same thing over and over, but nothing ever changes. What can you do?
WHEN YOU CAN’T PRAY — ASK OTHERS TO PRAY FOR YOU
When you no longer feel able to pray for the burdens on your heart – when you are tired and at a loss for words – that’s when the prayers of your brothers and sisters in Christ are SO refreshing and strengthening.
James chapter 5 says this:
Confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The earnest prayer of a righteous person has great power and produces wonderful results. (NLT)
The Comfort of Fellowship
I encourage you to seek out human comfort:
- Find a friend you trust who loves God and loves you. Don’t hide your struggles. Take that step of courage, and embrace the vulnerability of sharing. Ask for prayer.
- Join a prayer group where you lift each other up.
- Not plugged into a church yet? Do some online research, and then visit one this Sunday. If they offer it, go up for prayer after the service.
WHEN YOU CAN’T PRAY — ASK JESUS TO PRAY FOR YOU
The prayers of your earthly companions bring such relief. But what if I told you that Jesus Himself is praying for you? What if I told you that the Holy Spirit Himself is praying for you? It’s true.
Meditate on this:
And the Holy Spirit helps us in our weaknesses. For example, we don’t know what God wants us to pray for. But the Holy Spirit prays for us with groanings that cannot be expressed in words. And the Father who knows all hearts knows what the Spirit is saying, for the Spirit pleads for us believers in harmony with God’s own will. – Romans 8:26-27 (NLT)
Jesus is able, once and forever, to save completely those who come to God through Him. He lives forever to intercede with God on [your] behalf. – Hebrews 7:25 (NLT)
Rest in Jesus. Abide in Him and receive His comfort. Trust that He is interceding for you in accordance with God’s will.
You don’t have to find the right words. He’s already found them for you.
WHEN YOU CAN’T PRAY — DON’T GIVE UP
- Keep praying.
- Remember to give thanks for the good things God has already done in your life.
- Ask God to place His desires in your heart, and to shape your heart to fit His will.
- Yield the outcome to Him. Determine to trust Him no matter what.
God alone is trustworthy and able. He doesn’t miss a thing. He sees you and loves you.
FEEL LIKE YOU CAN’T PRAY ANYMORE?
I’d be honored to offer a listening ear. If you’d like to share your thoughts and questions below, I will always respond. — Blessings to you, Ali 🙂
Emotional abuse that’s been going on since my son was born. Cheating, gaslighting, and other things I can’t even write on here. My parents tell me to pray and ask God for a mercy. I got involved with a person that’s unequally yoked, and now I’m paying the consequences of my actions. When God spoke to me and warned me about this person. It was crystal clear. Now I feel stuck. My heart is broken, and I can’t pray anymore.
Dear Paulina! No words can adequately capture what you’re going through — and how much Jesus is with you — in this trial. Pray in your spirit. Allow the Holy Spirit, Who dwells in all who are born again, to intercede for you. When all you can do is groan, it is enough. He hears the moanings of your heart and soul. If there are emotional and physical boundaries that need to be in place for your health and well-being, please take courage and stay true to those boundaries. Is there a Christian counselor or pastor you can talk to? I am praying for you right now.
I have been a believer for many years. We went through a 15 year stretch where we did not hear from our daughter and could not interact with our grandson. She left a 30 year abusive marriage and lived with us for 3years. She met another man online. We are convinced he is no better than the relationship she left. She does not want to hear about the red flags we see. She is not speaking to us again. It has been four months and I do not know how to build a bridge. I find I cannot pray. Why bother! Nothing changes or things just get worse. It has been years since I have felt intimacy with God no matter how hard I try or how long I sit with him
I won’t give you platitudes. Interceding for someone you love — diligently, tirelessly — comes with sweat and tears. The heartbreak and frustration is palpable. I’m so sorry you haven’t felt intimacy with God for a long time. Can you believe He is there, right with you, regardless of feelings? This is what it is to walk by faith and not by sight (or in this case, not by “feeling”). But there must have once been a time when you did feel intimacy with God. What was that like?
In a time like this when your circumstances and disappointment with your daughter cause you to question God’s attentiveness to prayer, please look into the truth of the Word. I know it’s hard to read the Bible when your feelings aren’t backing it up. But truth doesn’t change just because everything else is in flux. Jesus must be your anchor. Even when you have no words and are SO TIRED of praying the same thing over and over to God, you can sit in silent awareness of His Presence. This is where Christian meditation — upon God’s Word — is SO healing. May God guide you and lift you up, dear Sandy. I offer you this podcast to listen to — “Cultivate Connection” has given me life by connecting me to Jesus — especially when I was so tired of feeling numb. Every week there’s a new Bible meditation — just a half hour to sit and bathe in the Truth of God’s Word. Jesus hears your silent prayers. Allow Holy Spirit to intercede for you with groans. Here’s a link for listening: Cultivate Connection – A Journey Through Psalm 37. I am praying for you right now.
Well, i’ve been feeling like Christianity is not my scene anymore and it’s weird for me to say that as a Christian who grew up in a Christian household but it’s been going on for quite some time, months maybe a year. I haven’t been to the church consistently in months even though I used to go every Sunday with my parents when I was living with them. When I moved, I tried going on my own but it just wasn’t working for me anymore and I don’t think it was because it was just me without my family. I usually don’t mind doing things on my own. I do believe in God one hundred pourcent but I’m not so sure about Jesus and christianity. Again, weird things for a Christian to say… I though it would grow on me, I gave myself time and I thought I’ll at some point miss it and go back but it didn’t happen. I’m considering talking to a priest or someone but I found the website and I was like why not 🤷🏾♀️ so I wrote this.
Thank you for your comment, Ka. There comes a time in life when you’ve got to seek Truth on your own — your parents’ beliefs and convictions only serve as a foundation. They do their best, with what they think is true, and then it’s up to you. Now is the time for you to seek God on your own. God never calls people to “religion”. Religion is a system of rules and do’s and don’ts. Christianity can be practiced as a religion (which is dead and empty) or as a relationship (life-giving and Spirit-filled). The Catholic church, and many others, is full of “religiousity” and self-righteousness. But here’s the truth — you can’t work your way to heaven. Did you know that? You don’t get a relationship with God through doing “good” things or being religious or ticking all the boxes that our sad culture says you should. If you reject Jesus, you reject life itself. There is no life apart from Him. He isn’t a religious teacher, along the lines as Buddha, Muhammed, Krishna, the Pope or New Age gurus. Jesus — the REAL Jesus — the one who is standing next to you right NOW — He is GOD in the flesh. Do you understand how this makes His words matter more than anything? God put on human flesh to pay the penalty you and I deserved — death for our sins! In a human body, He died on the cross because He loves you and me! He took your sin and mine upon Himself, and paid the price for us to be reconciled to God. That is HUGE! Whatever the Catholic church teaches or other religions, the only way you are going to meet Jesus is by honestly and humbly calling upon Him — asking Him to reveal Himself, and then … be willing to surrender the leadership of your life to Him. This is the BEST decision you will ever make. He loves you more than you love yourself, and He knows what’s best for you better than you do. Who wouldn’t want Someone like THAT in charge of their life? Grab a Bible and read the gospel of John. If you don’t have a Bible, go online to: http://www.BlueLetterBible.org and find it there. Ask God the Son — Jesus — to speak to you as you read His words. He is the Way, the Truth and the Life, dear sister. Truth is not a system of beliefs they teach you in college or on TV or Twitter or in a book. Truth is a PERSON. Get to know Jesus and you will know the Truth, the Way … and you will have Life. God promises you WILL find Him if you seek Him with ALL your heart. Don’t deceive yourself. This can’t be a half-ass effort. You must be willing to surrender all. And you will receive eternal life that moment. He gave you His all, and He gives you life. I pray blessings upon your spiritual journey.
Hello. I want some things to go back to normal for me. But I don’t know if that’s what God wants. I feel so odd sometimes. My job changed and I wanted so badly to be treated better. But instead I quit my job and now am trying to find my way somewhere new. I find that my confidence in everything was tied to having a steady job, income, insurance and happiness with tasks and coworkers. I don’t know how to trust my future or my parenting abilities without the solace my familiar job provided. And now I want to go back but feel God is testing me with this new opportunity. I gave myself 90 days to try out this new job. But what happens after that? I know I’m praying for a chance to return to my old place of employment but what if there aren’t any jobs there? Trying to be thankful for what He has provided!
I’m sorry that work and your decisions about it feel confusing right now. Sometimes it’s hard not to overthink things. Seeking God’s will is always the answer — along with patience and gratitude in the meantime. Hang in there!
I am going through a lot right now and I don’t know how to pray. To find the focus and to be mindful to do it everyday. I hate going to god trying to be someone I’m not!!! Please help me
Dear Tyi, thank you so much for being authentic, vulnerable — and sharing your heart. Jesus knows your heart. So, if you feel like you’re trying to be someone you’re not, it’s only you that you are deceiving. Jesus knows. He knows it all. He knows you better than you know yourself. And here’s the best part. He LOVES you infinitely more than anyone else does or ever could! And this, all in spite of the things you’re struggling with or ashamed of. God knows the deepest darkest places of your heart — and He wants you to invite Him in there too.
God’s love is so amazing, and His love is for YOU, dear friend.
How big is His love? He came from heaven to earth, clothed Himself in human flesh, took the name “Jesus” (which means, “God saves”) and lived a perfect life. He then received the punishment for all the blackest, darkest acts of evil in the world — every sin ever committed — and He died on a cross 2000 years ago. Three days later, Jesus triumphed over death and rose from the dead.
God is Love. THIS is love. All you need do is put your full trust in Jesus — believe in Him — surrender control of your life — to Him. He is worthy. And in His hands is the safest place you’ll ever be.
Once you are sorry for the things you’ve done wrong, ask Him to forgive you, and He does! Instantly!! Your sin was nailed to the cross with Him! His blood was shed on your behalf. God’s blood cleansed your sin. Think of that! And now, when you become His, you are free!
With regards to praying, it’s not about words or saying things right or trying to “present” to God. Jesus does the “presenting” for you — He took your sin, you take His righteousness. What an exchange! You can pray in your heart, without even speaking. You can cry and if your heart is directed towards God, no words, just tears. Do you see? God sees your HEART.
Once you are “in Christ” — this means you’ve repented of sin and surrendered your life to Jesus, believing in Him and trusting Him — you are a new creation. And being in Him, as I said before, is the safest most peaceful place to be. Sure, your emotions may ebb and flow, but once you yield to Jesus, and you’re no longer the one in charge, He becomes your anchor. The storms of life may crash around you, but He holds you safe and secure. He is in control.
Prayer is more an attitude of your heart towards Jesus than it is about finding those perfect words. So don’t worry about “scheduling” time to pray every day — allow Jesus into every aspect of your life — talk to Him about what’s going on right now. Commune with Him in your heart, in your spirit — moment by moment. He LOVES just to be with you.
I hope this helps. Here is my testimony about how I came to know God, and perhaps it will encourage you: https://momentbymoment.com/about/.
Also, you may find these three posts helpful: https://momentbymoment.com/on-remaining-in-gods-presence/ , https://momentbymoment.com/when-you-feel-invisible-the-hidden-value-of-anonymity/ , https://momentbymoment.com/when-god-is-not-who-youd-prefer-him-to-be/
I am praying for you. Feel free to comment on other posts too, and I will answer there too. If you click on the “God” category in the menu, you will also see other articles. — blessings to you, Ali