When You Don’t Feel Like Praying

In the darkest months of our daughter’s prodigal years, I was too exhausted and overwhelmed with emotion to pray. In my great weakness all I could say to God was, “Help. Please help.”

In the years leading up to this moment I had fasted, prayed alone, and prayed with a group of other moms; I’d believed God for my daughter’s safety and rescue. But it seemed my prayers hadn’t worked. 

Her downward spiral away from us and away from God had continued. At my lowest point, in those darkest days, I was completely dependent on the prayers of others–mostly on the prayers of the Holy Spirit Who promises to intercede for us because we don’t know how to pray.

God’s amazing love for His created children moved Him to send His Son Jesus to the cross. Our debt has been paid, our sins cancelled. God could have stopped there.

But His love continues to pour out on us because He can’t stop loving. So He sent us His Holy Spirit to be with us forever. And not only that, but His Spirit prays for us because we do not know how! He knows our condition. He knows we are weak and frail and needy.

Though there are days when we feel confident, all of us will experience days when we don’t know what to do or what to pray. This promise in the Bible is for all of those moments. What a comfort this picture is: of our Holy Spirit friend interceding before God’s throne for our deepest needs that we can’t even express in words.

-Have you been unable to pray because of a heavy burden?

-Have your children experienced great loss and, like you, are bewildered and don’t know what to pray?

Teach them this verse. Print our free printable image to remind you and your family that the Spirit prays for us, groans for us, because He loves us so very much.

May you rest in His unfathomable love for you even when life hurts.

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15 thoughts on “When You Don’t Feel Like Praying”

  1. Thank you for your reassuring emails. We too have a prodigal son who is 16. His actions have affected our entire family. My husband and I have grown closer to God and each other. We have days where we feel confidence and strength and we have lots of days where we feel anxious, weak and so alone. However, I know that God has a plan and not sure how it will finish. We just have to trust in Him. I rely on this verse to help me when I’m weak.

  2. I too have relied on this verse in the past year due to our prodigal daughter. There have been many days I haven’t known what to pray, but that’s when I rely on the Holy Spirit to interceded for me. Many friends have done this as well. Grateful. I know it will most likely be a long process for our daughter to get right with God and us, but I know He is faithful and will sustain us. Thank you for the reminder.

  3. Really needed this encouragement. Thanks for sharing. sometimes life gets hard but I am thankful and grateful that we serve a God who is able and willing to help us. God is love.

    1. Thank you for this wonderful encouragement. The last few months have been extremely difficult and painful for me regarding my family and the well being of my five year old nephew. I love him dearly and want the very best life for him. My family has turned their backs on me because I took a stand to do something when everyone else “appeases” a negative situation. I know God is with me and loves me and knows my heart. I will stand on the Word of God and remember that He is working ALL things for my good.

  4. Christine Andrade

    My son was/is addicted to heroin & suffers from depression. He tried to commit suicide one night but police busted him with the drugs and he ended up in jail instead. Thank God he’s alive but he’s in jail now, they are trying to get him on possession to sell but he was trying to end his life. 😢 thank you God for intervening 🙌🏻

  5. I have walked in the same steps you have. I have a prodigal daughter who we haven’t seen or heard from for almost six years. She has told many lies and has destroyed many relationships. It has been a very heart wrenching experience. She has borderline personality and is addicted to prescription pain killers. My heart aches and continues to cry out to the Lord. Please pray for her and for my family. I thank God for His Holy Spirit who has put words to my groans and has brought comfort to my heart. I could not make it through this journey without Him!! Thank you for your post.

  6. Thank you Barbara and I thank God for His Spirit. May every prodigal child come to know and receive love of The Father.

  7. Thank you for the beautiful post. It came at just the right season of my life. I too am dealing with a prodigal child. My son 14 and is currently on probation, has completely turned his back on God and is making such awful choices. This is breaking my heart day after day. I am now in the place of not knowing what to pray. Thanks so much for the encouragement. God bless!

  8. Thank you for this Spirit-filled reminder. God is so powerful, and His power is made perfect in our weakness. God, help us to grow in you and to listen to Your Spirit.

  9. Cynthia Hillard

    I have been relying on this verse as I pray for a prodigal daughter. Thank you for the reminder.

  10. Barbara, thank you for this post. How did this chapter end…. How did God answer your prayer with your prodigal after walking thru those dark days?

  11. This is so profound and it came a very difficult time for me. Thank you for sharing your story because someone just like me may be in the same spot. God is so awesome!

  12. Barbara, thank you for sharing. As we waked through our son’s prodical period it was so difficult to balance the emotions, the hurt, the wrestling with God and the very full life of caring for our family. So many days all I could pray was “Lord help me to stand with you so that He would be my strength and show me how He wanted me to respond. I did not want to oppose God in my heart and mind as I struggled with anger, fear and rejection.
    He was and continues to be faithful in growing me even as the healing that is slowy happening as the relationship is being re-established. I learned so much about God, myself and now have a deeper perspective on Christ’s heart for me and others because of this very difficult experience. I want to say I would give anything to eacape that experience but God was so good to me and He changed me for the better because of it and I would not want to go back to who I was before.

  13. Thank you so much for this devotion today. My marriage has crumbled (my husband was deported) and isn’t faithful to our marriage covenant, yet I love him, have been faithful, and forgiving. Sometimes I react very badly, but each time I would repent and forgive him. He has asked for a divorce. I do not feel led to agree. Instead I’m fasting, struggling to pray. This devotion is encouraging to me to not give up, but to pray! Thank you.

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