Could you use some hope in the middle of a mess right now?
Life often doesn’t go as planned, does it? And it’s possible this year will throw some unexpected curve balls your way if it hasn’t already. So, let’s be prepared with an arsenal of prayers.
Panicking doesn’t help. Worrying makes it worse. And becoming drama to those around us only makes everyone else’s life painful. What we need to do is pray, as Scripture tells us: “Don’t worry (or panic) about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand….” (Philippians 4:6-7, NLT).
To help you experience that incomprehensible peace from God, here are five prayers to maintain hope when life throws a curve ball.
- A Prayer for Perspective
No matter what happens in life, it could always be worse. But it’s easy to think we are the only ones struggling when life takes a sudden unexpected downturn. In order to not sink into a pity party, pray this and keep your perspective:
Lord, thank You that in spite of what has come my way, I am still breathing. Thank You that I am not abandoned or alone, but am able to call upon You for help at any time. Thank You that I am not without hope, because I have a Savior, Redeemer, and Rescuer. Don’t let me sink into despair like David did when he prayed “How long, O Lord, will you forget me forever?” (Psalm 13:1). Help me to, instead, rise to my feet in praise as David eventually did when he sang “I have trusted in Your lovingkindness; My heart shall rejoice in Your salvation. I will sing to the Lord, because He has dealt bountifully with me” (verses 5-6).
2. A Prayer to Stay Anchored in God’s Word
If we are looking at our circumstances, we will surely falter when they do. But when we keep our hearts focused on the Word of God, we will maintain hope and stay tethered to His faithfulness.
Heavenly Father, I acknowledge that my hope is not in my circumstances. My hope is not even in the hoped-for answers to my prayers. But my hope is in You and Your Word, that it will sustain me, guide me, and give me wisdom in the midst of all that is happening around me. May my prayer echo that of the Psalmist’s: “You are my refuge and my shield; I have put my hope in your word”(Psalm 119:114, NIV).
3. A Prayer to Be Grateful in Spite of Your Circumstances
Scripture commands us to pray continually and give thanks in “all circumstances” (1 Thessalonians 5:17-18). If you’re not automatically thankful for the unwanted things in life (and who is, by the way?), then ask God to make you thankful for Who He is, that He is in control, and that He can handle anything He has allowed to come your way:
Lord God, thank You for Who You are. Thank You that You are with me in all that I go through. And thank You that You are in control of all things and that nothing is too difficult for You (Gen. 18:14). Help me to remember that pleasing You is of utmost importance to You, so I ask You to give me a heart that is thankful in all circumstances – even the ones I don’t understand. As I praise You –regardless of my circumstances – fill my heart with hope.
4. A Prayer to Experience His Joy
Scripture equates suffering with joy (1 Thessalonians 1:6) and exhorts us to consider it “pure joy” when we face trials, knowing the testing of our faith produces endurance, which will result in our being made mature and complete, lacking in nothing (James 1:2-4). In other words, our sufferings make us more like Jesus, and when we become like Him in our sufferings, we experience His joy. Ask God to help you relate to His Son in all you are going through so you can experience His joy.
Lord, Your Word says “In your presence is fullness of joy; at your right hand there are pleasures forever” (Psalm 16:11, NASB). Thank You that whenever suffering is present, You are there with me to show me how to be more like You through it. Help me to focus not on the hardships, but on the divine opportunity to become more like Your Son. Fill my heart with joy, as I not only bask in Your presence, but become more like You.
5. A Prayer to Become a Blessing to Someone Else
One of the best ways to get out of the dumps and end the pity party is to get our minds off of ourselves and onto others. Ask God to help you look outside your circumstances long enough to become a blessing to someone else.
Lord, I know when my focus is on You and then others first, that joy is the result. Lift me up out of this feeling of despair and fill my heart with hope as you bring others my way who need a smile, a touch, or just an encouraging word. Give me opportunities to pour into others and as I do, sense Your Spirit pouring into me.
Which of these prayers will you make your own this week? I’d love to hear it in the comment section below. And watch for Part 2 next week: 5 More Prayers to Maintain Hope When Life Doesn’t Go as Planned.
Thank you Cindi. This beautiful letter came to my email when I needed it most. I was at the peak of discouragement and The Lord used you to reach out His Hand to me in the perfect moment. This has truly re-anchored me & calmed my soul. My peace is restored. May God bless you abundantly for your obedience.
I’m so glad this blog of mine dropped into your email inbox at just the right time. Thanks for taking the time to let me know you were encouraged. He goes before you, He walks alongside you and He’s got your back. No matter wha you’re going through, it did not take Him by surprise. Have a hopeful week in Jesus!
Hi Cindi, Thank you so much for these prayers, I will be using number 5. ( A Prayer to Become a Blessing to Someone Else), a lot this week. So many difficulties, & troubles, so many folks who need a special mention in prayer. Good read, and very much appreciated.
Thank you, Carol, for taking time to encourage me through YOUR words, too. 🙂
Thanks for these prayers, they really helped me realizing things could be worst and there is so much to thank God for each day. It also reminded me prayers are so important because God always wants to hear from us, just like a mother wants to hear from her child. I also know He is always at our side because He always lifts me up when and I’m down, just like now, through Him you gave me prayers to pray and a whole a lot of joy! Thanks, Janet
You’re welcome, Janet. I’m so thankful that this ministered to you. Thank you for your encouraging words.
Thank you Cindi !!! I will use all these prayers to get through each rough, rough day!!
Thank you, Lisa, for taking the time to read and leave your comment. Let me know how the prayers help change your perspective and bring you joy.
Glad your blog doesn’t exclude men! This was just what I needed to hear. Thank you.
I found myself headed in the direction of a pity party. Thank you for coming along just when I needed a fresh breath of the spirit in my prayer life. I will be praying all week to have a new perspective. I’m so excited to see the outcome!
I have never regretted subscribing to your newsletter and your inspiring messages reach me when I need them most.God is really using your blog to encourage and change people’s life. God bless you
Thank you so much, Ama, for your sweet and encouraging words. God bless you, too.
Cindi, I am going thru some health issues with my right eye. I had an eye occlusion in 2018.
I have had a hard time keeping a positive feeling even tho I trust God. The path has been up
and down. A Prayer to Be Grateful in Spite of Your Circumstances seems to fit me for sure.
I pray that I can focus more on gratefulness and get the joy I so desperately need.
Thank you, Linda, for sharing your heart and your circumstances. I know it’s difficult to be grateful for the situations we DON’T want. I recently had some skin cancer removed from my forehead and it resulted in some swelling, bruising, pain and overall facial distortion for about a week. While I was miserable, as I focused on gratitude I realized if this is the only form of cancer I get (and even repeated forms of basal (surface) cell carcinoma) I am blessed. So many people I know are experiencing far worse. It’s a “sacrifice of praise” when we thank Him in the midst of the suffering, but it pleases His heart because it shows our obedience (1 Thessalonians 5:18) and our faith. Thanks, again, for sharing what you’re going through and your desire to praise Him and experience His joy.
I always look forward to reading your blog. You are such a blessing to me!❤
Thank you, Sherry. I hope YOU are continuing to write, as well. 😉
So timely! So encouraging! Life has thrown me a curve ball with my husband’s Alzheimer’s and the destructive consequences of his decisions. I have lived in fear for many years but with God’s merciful intervention, he is living in a facility. I am at peace and will never go near him again as he put my life in grave danger. I always remember the verse – You intended to do me harm.
Mary, are you referring to Joseph’s words to his repentant brothers in Genesis 50:20 when he said “As for you, you meant evil against me, but God meant it for good in order to bring about this present result, to preserve many people alive”? My heart goes out to you — and your husband — as Alzheimer’s is a disease that can cause people to do things so uncharacteristic of themselves. Keep your heart softened, forgive him and pray for him. That will help the healing come. Blessings to you.
I enjoyed this article and the concepts selected. Lessons the author learned in hardship were effectively communicated to benefit all readers.
Thankyou; I am so happy to read your words deepening my connection to Jesus, God and Holy Spirit. This is a wonderful journey.
In Jesus name, love always, Oonagh xx
I just discovered your blog today, and what a peace it was to pray through these scriptures for my current situation. God has always been faithful, and I’m thankful for the Holy Spirit to remind me of His faithfulness by putting this column in my path today. Thank you and God bless you for sharing the wisdom of the Word.
Thank you so much, Michelle, for reading and taking the time to leave me a comment. I’m glad you found my blog and I hope we can stay in touch. Blessings to you, Cindi.
Thank-you, Cindi. This was so encouraging to me as I’m going through a physical challenge and I’m not one to get sick or stay sick more than 2 weeks. It has been 2 months but I am learning so much through this time of being set aside.
The scripture and prayers you’ve shared i’ll be using all week but as for today I’m putting into practice #5 with the help of my husband. A co-worker’s Mom passed away unexpectedly last weekend so my husband and I are going to make a meal for him and his Dad.
This was my first experience of reading anything of yours and I’m so thankful for my cousin who shared it with me. You have given me hope and re-direction through the scriptures.
thank-you so much
Thank you so much, Beth, for taking the time to leave such sweet words of encouragement to me and to my readers. Keep in touch.
I just happened to stumble across your website and this blog. I’m so glad I did. It was exactly what I needed to read for my heart and all that has been going on in my life. Thank you for this reminder to return to God and not quit just because things get tough. I like the direction you’ve given and what exactly to pray about. Your words perfectly describe what I’ve been feeling and thinking but couldn’t express. Thank you .
Thank you, Elena. I’m glad you stumbled on my blog and I hope you’ll come back again. Blessings to you….