Thursday, August 3, 2023

When Prayer Feels Hard


By: Donna Bucher

Afflicted with the “overachiever disease”, I easy become super focused on doing things "right". This often has me feeling like a failure believing I haven’t done enough, or even believing what I have accomplished fails to measure up.

Of course, I'm the one who decides if my work meets [my] quality standards or if I accomplished enough. Believe me I'm a cruel taskmaster!

In other words, I'm my own worst enemy, can you relate?


Even if you aren't an over achiever like me, you probably have times where you feel like you fail to measure up.

Recently having one of those weeks where I felt like I fell short in several areas, I realized my devotional time with God seemed lukewarm. What had me most frazzled was my prayer time; I felt lost and unmotivated.


"Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need."

Hebrews 4:16

Meditating on Hebrews 4:16, desiring the ability of connecting with God more fully, three important truths brough immediate comfort to my heart.


Prayer is a lifestyle, not a once and done in the morning or evening laying out all of your requests before God, seeking His blessing and protection, then moving on with your day. It should be a posture throughout the day, an ongoing conversation.

Prayer is about trust, coming to God with cares, concerns, confession, and needs. While trusting Him to hear, save, understand, and deliver. How often we come to Him with these things, then go away with our own expected outcomes in mind, rather than trusting Him to act according to His will.

Prayer is pursuing God. The purpose of prayer is to pursue God, not having all of our requests granted, cares removed, or ailments healed. So much more than those things, prayer is the privilege of entering the throne room of the God of the universe, sitting in His presence, and hearing from Him. Imagine His gracious lovingkindness as He listens and speaks to you!

Ultimately realizing the need for more intention in my prayer time, I compiled a list of prayer prompts to keep in my journal.

They keep me focused and meditative, while also giving me opportunity as I journal to write down anything God impresses on my heart.


If you struggle becoming comfortable with your own prayer life, try these prompts to breathe new life in your time with God!


Prayer Prompts:

Three things for which you are grateful today.

Unconfessed sin or sin you struggle to gain victory over.

A friend or family member in need of prayer.

A fruit of the spirit lacking in your life.

An area of guilt or shame in your life.

Something causing you anxiety right now.

A decision requiring clarity.

Pray through a psalm of your choice.

A specific need for today.

Something causing bitterness or resentment in your heart.



Remember, God invites us to come to Him at any time!




Which of the 3 truths mentioned about prayer above are an area of struggle for you?


How can you be more intentional in your prayer time with God?



Find more encouragement and FREE Resources at Serenity in Suffering!


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