When You Don’t Know What to Pray

Have you ever felt like you should pray, but you don’t even know what to say? Have you ever felt so empty and numb that words don’t even form?

In times like those, I have chosen to pray the scriptures. There are some powerful prayers in the Bible that have become valuable tools for me. The following is one of David’s prayers, recorded in Psalm 3. I have printed it here in case you need some prayer help today. I hope that you will be encouraged as you pray this to God:

Lord, how many are my foes!
How many rise up against me!
Many are saying of me,
“God will not deliver him.”
But you, Lord, are a shield around me,
my glory, the One who lifts my head high.
I call out to the Lord,
and he answers me from his holy mountain.
I lie down and sleep;
I wake again, because the Lord sustains me.
I will not fear though tens of thousands
assail me on every side.
Arise, Lord!
Deliver me, my God!
Strike all my enemies on the jaw;
break the teeth of the wicked.
From the Lord comes deliverance.
May your blessing be on your people.

Unfortunately, God never promised us a life free from pain, discouragement or trials. When you are in those times, though, I hope that you will use them to turn to God, instead of away from God!

  • I do have those times when I sit down for my morning prayer time and just sit there blank, unsure of what to say or how to pray. On those days I try to listen, try to hear what God wants to tell me. I usually turn those times into a thank you prayer time, a time to thank God for all He has done and all He has blessed me with. For all the love He has shown me on the cross. And remember Roman’s 8:26-27 “In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us through wordless groans. 27 And he who searches our hearts knows the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for God’s people in accordance with the will of God.”

    1. I couldn’t agree more! Jane Frances de Chantal has been quoted as saying, “In prayer, more is accomplished by listening than by talking.” I have a hard time with the listening part; that is something I need to work on daily. Thanks for the reminder.

  • Very nice, and well told. It might be good to know what it is that we are fighting against and attack the source. I realize that whenever I have an opponent; it is usually because of my lack of considering the con-sequence. Everything has a sequence and everything has a consequence. And that is often overlooked. There-in lies the problem; not enough consideration.
    Then I pray that I have considered every step in the sequence.

    1. It’s good to hear from you, Chris. You make a good point. There are always consequences, some pleasant and some not so pleasant. Great advice to think about those consequences before we act!

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