A prayer for when you’re tired of praying
‘Moses said to Joshua, “Choose some of our men and go out to fight the Amalekites. Tomorrow I will stand on top of the hill with the staff of God in my hands.” So Joshua fought the Amalekites as Moses had ordered, and Moses, Aaron and Hur went to the top of the hill. As long as Moses held up his hands, the Israelites were winning, but whenever he lowered his hands, the Amalekites were winning. When Moses’ hands grew tired, they took a stone and put it under him and he sat on it. Aaron and Hur held his hands up—one on one side, one on the other—so that his hands remained steady till sunset. So Joshua overcame the Amalekite army with the sword.’ (Exodus 17:9-13, NIV)
‘Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.’ (1 Thessalonians 5:16-18, NIV)
Prayer can be tiring, and it can feel like a battle, particularly when you have been praying for the same thing for a long period. Sometimes we can feel tempted to give up entirely. But in those moments we need to remember that even when we are unable to see the effects of our prayers, our Father in Heaven sees and hears our every cry. And He will answer in His perfect way, and in His perfect time.
Take some time to think through these questions, and consider how you can rely on God and on others to continue praying:
- How do you think God feels about your prayers? Do you believe He has heard them all? Do you think He is holding out on you? Or do you trust that His timings and plans, though mysterious to you, may be better than you can imagine right now?
- Where have you previously seen breakthrough and answer to prayer? How can celebrating those past successes motivate you to keep going now?
- Are there people who you can lean on, like Aaron and Hur, to support you as you continue praying for breakthrough? Are you making the most of the Christian community around you?
- If your current rhythm and approach to prayer has grown stale for you, are there different approaches that you may want to try? Ask the Holy Spirit to give you a new strategy for continuing to pray.
I have stretched out my arms in prayer,
Crying out for you
To stretch out your arm in power.
I am tired.
My words are drying up,
My muscles are aching,
And every day the sun sets
On my unanswered prayer
Is another day that leaves me exhausted.
I pray that you would strengthen me,
With a caffeine-shot to the soul.
Remind me of past victories
Won through prayer,
So that I may draw stamina from them,
And keep on going.
Give me the humility of Moses
To accept the help of others;
To rest my trembling hands
On the shoulders of friends,
And to rest my tired legs,
By sitting on you, the rock.
Help me to trust
In your perfect timing,
In your perfect plan,
In your power to sustain me,
And your sure and certain victory.
When we find ourselves tiring in prayer, it can help to get encouragement from others around us. And we also can be an encouragement to others, supporting them in prayer. This week, reach out to a Christian friend from the church, or from your Connect Group, and do some of the following:
- Ask them to pray for you and with you. If you are finding it difficult to keep praying, arranging regular time to pray with others can be a really helpful way of sharing the burden and re-energising you.
- Ask them to share an example of how God has answered a prayer in their life, to encourage you.
- Do you have any friends who you know are tired of praying. Can you be like Aaron and Hur to them? Share a story of how God has answered prayer in your life. Your testimony may be what your friend needs to hear right now.
- Ask for tips and suggestions about how your friends pray. Learning to pray in a different way may help you to get going again.
For more ideas of how to pray, check out the recommended resources on our website. You may particularly enjoy books and videos from Pete Greig, for example How to Pray, Dirty Glory, The Prayer Course or The Unanswered Prayer Course.