How to Pray When You Feel Like Giving Up
Prayer is one area where followers of Jesus can feel like they’re not doing it right or not praying often enough. My observation is many people have a desire to pray, yet too often, they can feel discouraged when their prayers don’t lead to their preferred outcomes (Tempted to give up? Here’s why you shouldn’t!).
Here are some examples of why people tend to give up on prayer:
– They’re unsure about how to pray.
– They tried prayer, but nothing happened.
– They feel like they don’t deserve an answer to their prayers.
Jesus invited his followers to bring their needs to him in prayer. And he taught his followers how to do it.
How to bring your need to Jesus when you feel like giving up:
Here are four counterintuitive actions that will help you bring your need to Jesus when you feel like giving up:
1. Be bold.
Active faith gets God’s attention.
Boldness is not arrogance. Boldness means fearless. There are many examples in the gospels where someone was in a desperate situation. They traveled a great distance to get to Jesus. They interrupted what he was doing. In one situation, a group of four friends were so determined to get their crippled friend to Jesus that they went through the roof (Mark 2:1-12).
When you have a request, be bold.
2. Be specific.
“If your child asks for bread, do you trick him with sawdust? If he asks for fish, do you scare him with a live snake on his plate?” Jesus used the parent-child relationship as an example. Just like a good parent will meet the needs of their children because they love them. God is a good Father who loves his children and will meet their needs. When you have a request, be specific with what you need.
3. Be persistent.
Human tendency is to ask one time and give up. Jesus taught constant, persistent prayer when he said,
“Keep on asking, and you will receive what you ask for. Keep on seeking, and you will find. Keep on knocking, and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks, receives. Everyone who seeks, finds. Everyone who knocks, the door will be opened” (Matthew 7:7-8).
When you have a request, stay constant. Be persistent.
4. Don’t pray alone.
When we have a need, the first step is to bring it to Jesus. Asking another person to agree with us in prayer is a good second step. If you are struggling, worn out, tired, and ready to give up, it’s important to ask someone to pray with you or for you. Together we can bring our needs to Jesus.
Faith is not meant to be walked alone.
I love the local church. Our church community is designed to help people know Jesus, grow together, and serve our world.