when it’s hard to pray

This post was first shared as issue 20 of These Sacred Words

I know for so many the world outside, and maybe even your own personal world, feels too heavy and too overwhelming. I hope you’ll allow me to be a friend and a resource to you if you need it. A friend to listen to you, a sister to pray for you, or just a body to be with you. Please please (whether we’re best friends or have never met in person or spoken!) always feel the freedom to reach out to me and let me know how I can care for you and encourage you!

Maybe you, like me, have had a hard time finding words to pray. Maybe this isn’t unique to this time and what’s going on in the world. Maybe you always find it hard to talk to God? 

You’re not alone, and I want to share something that has proved helpful to me when I just don’t have the words. 

I wrote the prayer below while reading through a Puritan prayer called True Religion in the book Valley of Vision. This book is a collection of beautiful Puritan prayers that has long helped me direct and articulate my prayers to the Lord. This little book has become an essential part of my quiet time with God.

When you’re having a hard time finding the words to pray, I encourage you to rewrite a psalm or prayer in your own words, allowing God’s Word to help shape your own words back to him. 

You can buy a copy of Valley of Vision here – it also makes a great gift!

Oh Lord, what I want is not anything on this earth (a home, a family, a plan, an answered prayer, peace, wealth, comfort, stability), but to be closer to you. Help me to long for the better reward, the eternal blessing – intimacy with you. Protect me from thinking too highly of myself, search my heart and help me to know if it is set on you. Help me to know and trust and follow the leading of the Spirit rather than my own inclinations.

Change my heart and my life so it is in accord with your gospel. Point my gaze upward, remind me that I am but a sojourner, this is not my home. Comfort me, lead me, protect me, I ask, and keep my mind stayed on you.

Give me more Jesus, always more of Jesus, that in being filled with Jesus I would love you more, trust you in the difficulty and darkness, and have peace in you amidst life uncertainties.

Lord I believe, help my unbelief.
Lord I love you, help my unlove.

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