Have you ever been in a situation where you felt like you couldn’t pray for yourself? Or perhaps you’ve been at that place where you just cannot find the words. This list is for you. I can’t think of a better way to start a conversation with the Father himself than with the promises in His Word. Below are nine of the many scriptures I use to get through the toughest of times, and short prayers to start you off if you can’t find the words.
Maybe your family is jumping rope on your last nerve. Or a road warrior cut you off on the interstate, going nowhere fast. Perhaps you have one coworker you want to “reach out and touch.” Don’t get fired – or give the devil the satisfaction of influencing you.
Be angry and do not sin; do not let the sun go down on your anger and give no opportunity to the devil.Ephesians 4:26-27
Prayer: Lord, I’m so mad. Give me the self-control to not sin in my anger, and misrepresent you and myself. I was created in your likeness; help me make my actions and words look and sound like you.
The mind can be a powerful tool or your worst enemy. One of the best ways to counteract a negative thought is with a positive one. Fight that attitude with gratitude, even if it’s just for the smallest things. This scripture has been dear to me through many of my struggles with depression, and I call upon it often.
Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.Phillipians 4:8
Prayer: Lord, thank you for ________. I’m struggling with ______; help me to trust you with it. I know things don’t look the best in my eyes, but you know best.
Stress seems to be the hallmark of life these days. We have so much pressure to balance work, family, finances, and much more. Each day can feel like a real Mission Impossible. The good news is that we aren’t in charge! God is. You know the Manager personally, and you have Him on speed-dial. It’s above you now. You love the Lord and you’re the called according to his purpose; it’s all going to work for your good. (Romans 8:28).
do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.Phillipians 4:6-7
Prayer: Lord, thank you for hearing my prayers. You knew what I would be facing today before I knew it. I ask you to do ___________ for me today, and I trust you to do it.
Alone is a physical state of being, but loneliness is the state of the heart. It is sneaky because it can distort our perspective about life and ourselves. It is the thing that makes you feel alone in a house full of people. Loneliness is also dangerous because the emptiness it causes drives us to seek fulfillment- often with the wrong things. The enemy can exploit our loneliness and encourage us to attach to toxic people, thoughts, and situations to try and separate us from God. Don’t believe the lie! Your God is omnipresent; you’re never alone.
It is the Lord who goes before you. He will be with you; he will not leave you or forsake you. Do not fear or be dismayed.”Deuteronomy 31:8
Prayer: Lord, I’m lonely and I feel alone. Comfort me and help me to find contentment in my situation right now. Show me new ways to occupy my time and mind. Surround me with love and help me to receive it. Protect me from any person, thought, or setup that means me no good. Fill my empty spaces with more of you.
Sometimes you just don’t know. And it’s okay. God is not the author of confusion, but He’s certainly the answer to it. If you’re having a conundrum and don’t know the answer, it’s pretty awesome to know someone who knows EVERYTHING. Don’t ask Jeeves, ask Jesus!
Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths.Proverbs 3:5-6
Prayer: Lord, I admit that I don’t have the answer to this problem. Show me what to do, even if that is nothing at all. I trust you to fix it for me.
Doing something wrong and knowing it can be a crippling feeling. Not only does the action itself often have negative consequences, but the recognizance can really hurt your pride and self-image. Have you ever had a faux pas that comes to your remembrance years later? It makes you cringe a little on the inside like it’s fresh. God has forgiven us for these things, but we are too unforgiving of ourselves to walk in it. Shame seeks to bind; forgiveness seeks to free. You are not condemned. Do search yourself and rectify the underlying deficiency that caused you to sin, then go and sin no more. Do make amends or an attempt to fix what you have broken, then let it go. Ask God for forgiveness and repent, then move on. Don’t stay locked up in the place where God has made you free.
Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.Hebrews 4:16
Prayer: Lord, thank you for sending your Son to die for me and my sin. I am grateful that in you, I don’t have to be named “sinner;” I am named “Saint.” Forgive me for ________. I desire not to do that again, so help me, Lord, to do what is necessary not to. Please be merciful and gracious to me. Show me myself and change me.
7. In Trouble
“Molly, you in danger, girl!” Even if you don’t get this obscure reference from the movie Ghost, I’m sure you understand what it means to be in danger. Unlike Molly, you don’t need a “Sam” to guide you through your perils – you need the Holy Ghost. The dangers threatening you in the physical are really manifestations of spiritual powers and principalities. Never fear, the Lord is here.
Prayer: Father, I’m in trouble and can’t see my way out. Protect me and help me to be strong. Help me.
God is our refuge and strength,a very present help in trouble.Psalm 46:1
This is for that situation where the odds are stacked against you. Perhaps you are in an unfamiliar situation or have a new opportunity.* Maybe you are experiencing illness or hardship. Or just maybe you have a boss or coworker that’s itching to see you brought to injustice, and it looks like they’re going to succeed. Who gon’ check you, boo?! No one when the Lord is for you. (Romans 8:31). Don’t be over there sweatin’ or shakin’ in fear. See also number 6.
The Lord is my light and my salvation;whom shall I fear? The Lord is the stronghold of my life;of whom shall I be afraid?Psalm 27:1
Prayer: Thank you, Lord, for the courage and confidence I can have in you, knowing that you are my salvation. I will not fear because you are with me, and I believe you can and will deliver me from evil.
My husband often preaches that the situation is not over until it looks like what God said. Failure may seem imminent, but we can only see the handful of feet in front of us. It is discouraging when we try to figure out all the ways WE can solve our problems. When we understand that we don’t provide the fire in our engine, we can have confidence in our ability to go forward. *By the way, just in case you haven’t heard it today, you are not a fraud. God didn’t just open that door for you because you were sooo qualified, anyway. He called you there. You’re ready; don’t be “scurred”. Okay?!
I can do all things through him who strengthens me.Phillipians 4:13
Prayer: Lord, show me who I am. Show me what you created me for and remind me of what you promised. I’m struggling and I KNOW I can’t do this on my own. Strengthen me to succeed with your help.
You will have what you say. Imagine saying, “God please do this for me…but I know you can’t do it. You won’t do it.” Sound crazy? That is what doubt sounds like. Matthew 14 tells the famous story of Jesus walking on water. The disciples saw Jesus walking on the sea with their own eyes, but Peter didn’t believe it. He tested Jesus, asking Jesus to command him to come to him if he was the real deal. Jesus said “Ok. Bet.” Peter got out there and let his fear of the wind cause him to doubt – and sink. Sometimes our sinking in life comes from doubting that God and will do what He says. Have faith, please God (Hebrews 11:6), and receive his promises.
“And whatever you ask in prayer, you will receive, if you have faith.”Matthew 21:22
Prayer: Lord, I humbly ask__________, and I believe you can do it. (repeat it until you believe it.)
What scriptures do you rely on to turn your frown upside down? How do encourage yourself in prayer? Share with us below!