The Day I Stopped Praying
The days were becoming increasingly harder. My situation was pushing me beyond my mental, emotional, physical, and spiritual capabilities. My flesh was growing weary and discouraged by the second.
My husband had asked me if I had talked to the Lord and prayed about what I was going through.
My response, “I stopped praying.”
As I was floundering spiritually, he was taken aback by my honest and raw response. I guess he was expecting me to show up as his warrior-wife in our circumstances, but what he got instead, was his weak wife.
He told me I needed to be tough so we could get through our situation.
I told him that wasn’t going to happen. I had been in the trenches far too long and my boot straps had been pulled up one too many times that the straps were now torn. In fact, I’m no longer going to wear boots because this warrior needs to put on a pair of slippers!
A person can only endure and persevere so much. Even soldiers come off the battlefield to get some rest and to be replenished.
I realized my perspective and my strivings in my circumstance was causing a stress fracture to my spirit. I was on thin ice and if I wasn’t careful, my heart was going to turn bitter in a matter of seconds.
I know that all trials are designed to draw us closer to the Lord not further away from Him. But my heart was starting to turn away from Him because I couldn’t fix our situation no matter how much faith, wisdom, and discernment I applied.
I look back now to what took place in my heart just a few weeks ago and I can’t help but ponder what I was missing. What was it that I was lacking when faced with a toppling wave from yet another storm that came our way?
Here are 3 things that God brought to light to my heart and mind. Perhaps they will help you too when you’re faced with another storm?
1. It’s okay to be too weak to pray.
I didn’t have the strength to pray, but God, in His infinite wisdom, knew there would be times in the lives of His children that we would need assistance.
And the Holy Spirit helps us in our weakness. For example, we don’t know what God wants us to pray for. But the Holy Spirit prays for us with groanings that cannot be expressed in words. Romans 8:26 (NLT)
2. Cease striving.
At some point in my storm, I just ceased striving. I stopped trying to fix, work hard, muster up enough strength to just get the job done, type of mentality. Instead, I just laid down, let go, and let God do His perfect will in my life.
It is useless for you to work so hard from early morning until late at night, anxiously working for food to eat; for God gives rest to his loved ones. Psalm 127:2 (NLT)
3. Wait patiently.
Personally, I think waiting patiently, instead of trying to fix the problem, is one of the hardest things to do when you’re in the middle of the storm. Fear can easily consume you in the midst of waiting. Perhaps the Lord needs to wear us down sometimes so we rely more on Him?
Be still in the presence of the LORD, and wait patiently for him to act. Psalm 37:7 (NLT)
It is easy to lose site of what God is trying to teach us during the trials of life. Sometimes all we can see is more loss and pain, and then our emotions show up on the scene and turn what God meant for good to a self-serving perspective filled with discouragement. God is a faithful God to complete His work in us.
And I am certain that God, who began the good work within you, will continue his work until it is finally finished on the day when Christ Jesus returns. Phil. 1:6 (NLT)
Remember, we don’t do miracles, but we serve a God who does!
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Jolene, thank you so much for sharing your truth with us. You are very courageous and an inspiration! I too have had moments in my journey where discouragement and hopelessness have kept me from prayer, God’s word and church attendance. I’m so grateful for God’s love, grace and mercy during these weak moments. He is a shelter in our storms, a hiding place to rest in until these storms pass by. May God continue to bless and encourage you in your journey. Praying for you always. — Beth
Glad to hear you were encouraged by what I shared! I think every believer, at some point, goes through discouraging times! You’re not alone. God is always with us working out His perfect will in our lives. Thanks for stopping by!
Praying for comforting, refreshing & refilling for you and yours in this time Jolene.
Thank you so much for being such a blessing to women across the world xx
Thank you sweet friend for your words of blessing on my life!
I’m so glad I’ve stumbled onto your blog site!! It’s been a blessing to me, especially this post!
I thought I was alone as far as stop praying in the midst of my storm. As a Christian, I too have done this! It was like having a battle with your self and checking myself to see if I’m alright!
I felt so close to the lord one day and before you know it I’m having panic attacks followed by anxiety. This started a year ago.
This year so many events took place and I found my self prayer less and overwhelmed. A little over a month ago my 14 year old decided to mutate her body in attempt to commit suicide. Fear started to really grip me and I was weak, not an ounce of energy. Not even enough energy for praying, my mind was not there. I’m slowly coming through this! It’s about giving it over to God Almighty who can change everything! I’m doing my best to stop playing till of war with Him. I praise God there are so many people praying for me and my daughter. I’ve been take one day at a time!
I’m glad to hear I’m not alone in feeling this way!
Thank you for sharing your experience!
Welcome, Beth! Blessed to hear you were ministered to by what I shared. God knows what His daughters need! Even David and the Apostle Paul had moments of discouragement in their souls! You’re not alone in your struggles. It’s okay to let God carry us in our moments of weakness.
Dear Jolene, Beautiful, powerful thoughts you gave. Reading it, though, made my heart hurt to hear your hard trials. I’m thankful others’ prayers carried you when you didn’t feel like praying. I love Philippians 1:6. I rest my faith in that verse. Thank you for sharing your battle with us. It just makes me want to pray for you more faithfully. Love and prayers, Cordy
I learned in bible class to pray UNCEASINGLY …you can pray while washing the dishes, doing laundry, copying at a xerox copier at work, pray lunch hours when you walk just as Jesus did!
Short and sincere prayers and always gives THANKS for everything!
I’m so glad I stumbled onto this blog post today. I’ve been going through a situation with my boyfriend of almost 4 years. We’ve decided to go our separate ways due to his fear of commitment. He has so many past emotions from his childhood (e.i. parents divorce) that he hasn’t dealt with that is holding him back. Also he’s shown interested in being more spiritual. He even mentioned how he wished he could be a pastor some day, but that ‘he’ could never do that because he’s not that “good” of a person. I want so badly for him to have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ, but its a long-suffering situation. I’ve been so overwhelmed and torn between how the world says I should act toward the situation, and how I know Jesus wants me to react. This blog post really helped me realize what I need to be doing now. Thank you. Prayers would be appreciated.
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