Prayers for difficult times
Biblical Encouragement, Faith, Prayers

3 Powerful Prayers for Difficult Times

Prayer is a powerful tool that can help us find strength, hope and encouragement in difficult times. In the place of prayer, we find comfort, peace, wisdom and succor at the feet of our heavenly father. Not only do we find stability in the chaos when we pray, we are led into God’s presence where we experience his loving kindness and find grace for help in our time of need. Let’s take a look at 3 Powerful Prayers for Difficult Times.

7 People in the Bible Who Prayed to God in Difficult Times

1. Jonah- Trapped in the Belly of a Fish

Jonah was trapped in the belly of a fish for three days and three nights. And it was in this predicament that he cries out desperately to God in prayer. Jonah calls out to God while in the darkness that encircled him in the belly of that fish. It was a situation that looked like there would be no way out. Yet, in that difficult place and situation, he turns his eyes to God and says a prayer.

I cried out to the Lord because of my affliction, and He answered me. Out of the belly of Sheol I cried, and You heard my voice. For You cast me into the deep, into the heart of the seas, And the floods surrounded me; all Your billows and Your waves passed over me. Then I said, ‘I have been cast out of Your sight; Yet I will look again toward Your holy temple.’ The waters surrounded me, even to my soul; the deep closed around me; Weeds were wrapped around my head. I went down to the moorings of the mountains; the earth with its bars closed behind me forever; Yet You have brought up my life from the pit, O Lord, my God. When my soul fainted within me, I remembered the Lord; and my prayer went up to You, Into Your holy temple.”- (Jonah 2:2-7)

2. Hannah – A Barren Woman’s Heartfelt Prayer

Hannah was the second wife who was ridiculed by the first wife because of her inability to bear children. In one woman’s moment of despair, the bible paints a vivid image in our minds of Hannah’s heartfelt prayer to God. The priest watched as a woman in deep anguish cried out to God in prayer without speaking out words that others could hear. “As she was praying to the Lord, Eli watched her. Seeing her lips moving but hearing no sound, he thought she had been drinking”. – 1 Samuel 1:12-13

It was a cry for help from the deepest part of her heart. She wanted a child to call her own. So, she called out to God in prayer to remember her and end her barrenness. And it  was in this solemn moment of prayer that she made a vow to God.

Hannah was in deep anguish, crying bitterly as she prayed to the Lord. And she made this vow: “O Lord of Heaven’s Armies, if you will look upon my sorrow and answer my prayer and give me a son, then I will give him back to you. He will be yours for his entire lifetime, and as a sign that he has been dedicated to the Lord, his hair will never be cut.” – 1Samuel 1: 10-11

3. King Hezekiah – Jerusalem Under Siege

Sennacharib was the powerful King of Assyria who had laid siege on Jerusalem. King Hezekiah was in a difficult place as a leader. He had to encourage his people to keep their faith in God despite the planned attack against their city.

Meanwhile, the kings of Assyria had a reputation of capturing kings and destroying nations that stood in their path. When King Hezekiah received the letter from the messengers, the Bible says he spread it out before the Lord and prayed. What will your response be in times of attack?

 And Hezekiah prayed this prayer before the Lord: “O Lord, God of Israel, you are enthroned between the mighty cherubim! You alone are God of all the kingdoms of the earth. You alone created the heavens and the earth. Bend down, O Lord, and listen! Open your eyes, O Lord, and see! Listen to Sennacherib’s words of defiance against the living God.

 “It is true, Lord, that the kings of Assyria have destroyed all these nations. And they have thrown the gods of these nations into the fire and burned them. But of course the Assyrians could destroy them! They were not gods at all—only idols of wood and stone shaped by human hands. Now, O Lord our God, rescue us from his power; then all the kingdoms of the earth will know that you alone, O Lord, are God.” – 2 Kings 19:15-19

4. Elisha and his Servant –  Surrounded by the Enemy

King Aram set out to launch out an attack against Elisha. He was furious that Elisha’s prophetic insight was giving his opponent, the king of Israel the upper hand. So, he sent out a battalion to surround the city where Elisha was in preparation for an attack.

The prophet’s servant woke up the next morning to see that they were entirely surrounded by a great army. In a state of panic, he cried out to his master. Meanwhile, Elisha who was unmoved says a prayer to God to open the eyes of his servant. His trust was in a God who fights our battles for us. May God open our eyes to see the angelic hosts of heaven that surrounds us daily and shields us from the enemy’s assault and attack.

“Don’t be afraid!” Elisha told him. “For there are more on our side than on theirs!” 17 Then Elisha prayed, “O Lord, open his eyes and let him see!” The Lord opened the young man’s eyes, and when he looked up, he saw that the hillside around Elisha was filled with horses and chariots of fire.” – 2 Kings 6:16-17

5. A Dying Thief – Asking Jesus to Save Him

Two men hung next to Jesus on the cross. One on the left and the other on the right. They were criminals who had been condemned to die. One of them mocked Jesus asking him to save himself since he was the Messiah. However, the other criminal who knew Jesus was blameless rebukes the other criminal.

And in his dark and dying moment, he boldly says a prayer of faith asking Jesus to remember him in eternity. This man was not afraid to call out to God in his dying moments to save him. Remember, it is never too late to seek forgiveness for your sins and true repentance.

Then he said, “Jesus, remember me when you come into your Kingdom. And Jesus replied, “I assure you, today you will be with me in paradise.” – Luke 23:42-43

6. Stephen – A Prayer for Compassion

How does a man in the face of death say a prayer asking God to have compassion on his killers? I once saw a video of a woman telling her child’s murderer in court that Jesus loves him. And I imagined how tough it would have been for her to utter those words.

Stephen was one of the pioneer deacons of the early church and was described as a man full of faith and the Holy Spirit. He was also the first Christian martyr who in the face of death refused to hold grudges against his offenders. Rather, his last words before transitioning to glory was – ‘Lord, do not hold this sin against them.’ Can you find the courage today to pray for those who have hurt, used and abused you?

 While they were stoning him, Stephen prayed, “Lord Jesus, receive my spirit.” Then he fell on his knees and cried out, “Lord, do not hold this sin against them.” When he had said this, he fell asleep.” – Acts 7:59-60

7. Jesus – A Prayer of Surrender and Obedience to God

In the last few days of Jesus life, one of the moments that remain unforgettable is him praying in the garden of Gethsemane. It was an intense moment where though he was the son of God, his human nature still struggled at the approaching pain and his separation from God. The bible says that he was in great distress and that as he prayed, sweat fell from his face like great drops of blood.

It was a difficult moment for Jesus as he struggled between his emotions, the suffering that lay ahead and surrendering to the will of God. But he embraced the latter in complete obedience to God. Sometimes, you may never fully understand God’s plan and what he is doing in different seasons of your life. A prayer of surrender and obedience helps you to lean on God alone as you trust him with the outcome of your life and future.

Then he said to them, “My soul is overwhelmed with sorrow to the point of death. Stay here and keep watch with me.” Going a little farther, he fell with his face to the ground and prayed, “My Father, if it is possible, may this cup be taken from me. Yet not as I will, but as you will.” – Matthew 26:38-39

prayers for hard times

10 Good Reasons Why You Should Pray in Hard Times

1. Prayer changes things.

2. Prayer gives us strength and hope.

3. Prayer increases our faith.

4. Prayer draws us nearer to God.

5. Prayer gives us wisdom and direction.

6. Prayer helps us to defeat Satan.

7. Prayer reveals the will of God.

8. Prayer helps us to forgive others.

9. Prayer transforms us from within.

10. Prayer can work miracles.

3 Powerful Prayers for Difficult Times

1. A Prayer for Strength in the Storm

God’s Promise:

My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness. Therefore, I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. – 2 Corinthians 12:9

Dear father, I am asking for strength in this storm that I may come out whole and victorious. Help me to keep my eyes on you as I turn my gaze away from the winds and waves and stop observing lying vanities. The stormy waters have surrounded me and I am being drawn deeper and farther away. Lord, hold me and strengthen my weak hands and mind.

I admit that I will never be able to walk through this storm on my own. I call on you Lord to strengthen my spirit, mind and body. Help me to hold on to you in faith. Clothe me with your presence and lead me to a place of calm and peace. Even in my weakness, I choose to embrace your power and grace to carry me though this storm.

I declare again that your grace is forever sufficient for me and that your power rests mightily on me. I will come out victorious. I will keep my eyes above the waves. I will not be the same person after the storm. Amen!

2. A Prayer for Hope in my Hopelessness

God’s Promise:

“And the God of all grace, who called you to his eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered a little while, will himself restore you and make you strong, firm, and steadfast”.1 Peter 5:10

Lord, my heart is heavy and I am overwhelmed by these challenges. I feel helpless and lack the courage to fight these battles on my own. I come before you and leave these burdens and anxious thoughts at your feet. Take away this hopelessness that is sinking my heart deeper into sorrow and faithlessness. Open my mind and heart to remember your faithfulness in times past and let my heart find hope again. Show me that I am not alone in this fight and lead me with courage to face every opposition.

Lord, I will not be broken in this suffering. I will not be battered in the face of this adversity. I will not be wounded by this pain and grief. Heavenly father, I ask for grace and strength to stand firm in faith and not lose hope. God, you are my anchor and will be my everlasting light in this dark tunnel of life. And whenever my hope seems to be fading away, fill my heart and mouth with your words to carry me through each day.

I declare that I will win this fight because God is with me. I will remain steadfast in my faith in God. I will not give up because my heavenly father is walking and fighting with me. Amen!

A prayer for strength

3. A Prayer of Surrender to God

“He went on a little farther and fell to the ground. He prayed that, if it were possible, the awful hour awaiting Him might pass Him by. “Abba, Father,” He cried out, “everything is possible for You. Please take this cup of suffering away from Me. Yet I want Your will to be done, not Mine.” – Mark 14:35-36 NLT

Dear Jesus, thank you for showing me what it means to surrender through your own life. May it not always be about what I want but what you want for my life. Teach me how to let go and embrace the father’s will over my own will.

Lord, I have tried many times to do it on my own with little results. Today, I ask for wisdom and guidance from you. Direct my feet and align my thoughts to agree with your word and will for my life.

I surrender my mind, will and desires to you afresh today. Help me to give up control and learn to trust in you alone. I surrender my today and my future to you. I will trust in your plan and purpose for my life even in the difficult seasons. Give me the patience to trust what you are doing and to see the beautiful ending of my story. I yield myself completely to you and submit to the sovereignty of your will for my life. Help me Lord to take up my cross daily and follow you. Amen!

You may want to read this also:

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  1. What a thorough and wonderful post, friend! This blessed me deeply!

  2. Wow, Stephen! May we all have that amount of compassion and forgiveness in us. Beautiful article.

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