Just not having a good day. I’m tired of praying these same prayers!
I debated whether or not to update my Facebook status to reflect how I really felt. Not every day is a good day. This day was especially hard as I held my prayer journal. My confidence was shot and doubt was oozing in. I thought, I just don’t have it in me to pray those prayers again. I’m exhausted, worn out. I might be able to read my Bible, but pray? Not today.
I decided to share the reality of my emotional state on Facebook. I hoped my honest words would encourage someone else who was having a bad day; struggling to pray for things that break her heart as well.
There was another woman whose prayers were hard to pray. Her name was Hannah, and for years she prayed for and longed desperately for a child. Each year, Hannah traveled with her husband to worship the Lord. One year in particular, the burden of her prayer was more than she could take. The Bible says, “In her deep anguish Hannah prayed to the Lord, weeping bitterly” (1 Samuel 1:10, NIV).
As she prayed in her heart, her lips were moving, but her voice was not heard. The priest thought she was drunk! “‘Not so, my LORD,’ Hannah replied, ‘I am a woman who is deeply troubled … I have been praying here out of my great anguish and grief’” (vv. 15,16). Eli, the priest, sensed Hannah’s pain and stepped into her situation with words to encourage, “Eli answered, “Go in peace, and may the God of Israel grant you what you have asked of him” (v. 17). The story tells us that Eli’s words made a difference, and Hannah left no longer sad.
While a priest didn’t respond to my Facebook status, my dear friend Julie did. She had read my post and called, asking, “Are you OK?” Julie knew of the struggles I was having with one of my children and she wasn’t afraid to step into my hurt. With those three short words, my dam of keeping-it-all-together broke. “No, I’m not.” The flood of weariness from unanswered prayers poured out.
From there, my friend reassured me she was praying for me, but it was her challenge that did my heart the most good. Her words enabled me to “go in peace,” like Eli told Hannah to do.
Julie encouraged me to pick up my prayer journal. Not so I could pray the prayers again, but to see God’s faithfulness in the past.
“Go through and read all the prayers God has answered in your life,” Julie said. She assured me that remembering God’s goodness would fuel me to keep praying and trusting God for those answers yet to come. I recognized wise advice, so I took my prayer journal and read of God’s faithfulness to me and my family. As I read God’s history of faithfulness to me and my family, I reminded my forgetful heart of all God had done for us before and my faith was raised to believe again.
God finally answered Hannah’s prayer for a son after many years of prayer. And while I don’t want to wait years to see answers to my prayers, Hannah’s story inspires me to keep worshiping, praying and looking for His answers.
Do you have a prayer you are weary of praying, maybe for your child? Maybe it’s time to focus on God’s faithfulness in those answered prayers in your past to help you to keep on praying. When we can trust our faithful God; build unshakeable confidence on our unshakeable God… He will help us to keep praying.
Dear Jesus, You are faithful, always. Though I may grow weary in praying for Your will and Your ways to be accomplished in my life, You never grow weary. Though I may not see what You are doing, I know You are working. Today, I rest in the comfort of what You have done in my past and all You will do in my future. In Your Name, Amen.
Lynn Cowell is a Proverbs 31 speaker and the author of several books, written for young girls, teen girls and women of all ages. Her newest book is Brave Beauty: Finding the Fearless You for tweens. Make Your Move: Finding Unshakeable Confidence Despite Your Fears and Failures, a Bible study for women, releases this fall. Her husband and their three children live in North Carolina where they love hiking, rafting and anything combining chocolate and peanut butter. Connect with Lynn at LynnCowell.com and on Facebook and Instagram @Lynn Cowell.