When you’re going through a difficult time, it’s hard to pray. But today, I’m sharing how you can pray through life’s trials and how we can pray through them so we can experience Christ on a deeper level.
Power of Prayer Workbook: https://ashleyvarner.com/prayer
Renew180 (formerly 180Confidence): https://ashleyvarner.com/mastermind
Highlights From The Episode:
We’re all going to go through difficult times and struggles and seasons where it feels like God doesn’t hear us. In those times, how do you pray? How do you even know what to pray?
Today I’m going to talk to you all about how you can still have a thriving prayer life in the middle of a difficult season. Let’s jump in.
Hey there, my lovely friends and welcome back to “The Renewed Mind.” Thank you so much for being with me through this entire series that we’ve done on prayer. I have really enjoyed just sharing some of the things that I’ve learned over the years about prayer and things that I’ve added into my own prayer life that has made a difference for me. So if you haven’t checked out the entire playlist, make sure to check it out.
I shared all about taking a personal prayer retreat and there’s even a free agenda that you can download for with that video. I’ve talked about how you can create a prayer room for yourself, and I showed you a tour of mine. Then I shared a little bit about adding meditation into your prayer life, and we also talked about if prayer even changes anything, and how we can really pray in a way that changes things. Today I wanted to talk to you about praying when things are hard.
This isn’t a topic that I actually was going to speak on something else for this last week, but I really went through some things personally this week in the last couple of weeks that have made me really wanna share with you guys about praying through hard times.
Prayer is something that we do because it connects us with the Lord. It’s something that we’re called to do, we’re commanded to do to pray and communicate with him. It’s a way that he’s made for us to go to him and it’s really a blessing in my life.
I don’t know how some people make it without the Lord. I don’t know because for me I would be on the ground every day without him. And not that my life is so hard or anything like that, but I just lean on the Lord so much throughout my day, through the good times and the bad times, and this is a relationship that takes time to cultivate.
If you are brand new to really experiencing powerful prayer time in your life, then I really want to recommend that you download “The Power Of Prayer Work Book” that I have on my site, it’s completely free.
Power of Prayer Workbook: https://ashleyvarner.com/prayer
What it does is it breaks down how to have a powerful prayer life. And the reason why I’m sharing this on the channel and on a channel that’s really dedicated to mindset and everything is that your prayer life will directly impact your thinking and your emotions, and your emotions impact your actions.
And so, as we are going through hard times it can be hard to change our mindset. You can go to the Lord and pray and it feels like maybe he doesn’t hear you, or maybe you don’t even know what to pray. And as you are going through hard seasons I want to encourage you that God always stays the same. As you are going to him feel free to share your entire heart with the Lord whenever you’re going through a hard time because he already knows what you’re thinking, he already knows how you’re feeling. If you use that emotion to run to God it’s going to make a difference.
See the enemy really wants hard times and hard struggles to push you away from the Lord. He wants you to see this pain as being caused by the Lord and then he wants it to push you away from the Lord. But if we can see the heartache and the hard times that we go through as a way for us to lean into the Lord, that is what I believe negative emotions are meant to do.
Sometimes Christians view negative emotions as something to avoid, something to really stay away from and to always be happy, always to be joyful, always to feel peace but I’m kind of in a different camp about that. I believe that negative emotions have a way of teaching us about the Lord in ways that positive emotions don’t.
So whenever you are struggling with something that’s really hard, you can go to the Lord and say, God, I don’t understand what’s happening. I don’t understand why this situation is happening to me. It hurts. Sometimes I just tell the Lord, “Lord, this hurts, “it physically hurts me.” And as I go to him it makes a difference in my walk with him because then you learn that he is the comforter, that he is someone that you can trust.
Now, this week, my family kind of had a difficult couple of days. We had a child in our home that we were thinking we were possibly going to adopt another child and that child was taken from us.
It wasn’t a bad situation, the child I’m sure is doing just fine, but it was a very abrupt ending to a relationship that we had been building with this child. And my children were already attached to him. Whenever he was taken from our home, and this just kind of the natural progression of things it wasn’t by any negative things that happened, it’s just kind of how the system works. But when he was taken from our home I could see my children in pain. I could see them crying, hurting, wondering, questioning God.
And so even in my own prayer time, I had to seek the Lord and say, God, I don’t understand why this is happening. I don’t understand why you are having us go through this pain, but I choose to trust you.
Now, anytime that you’re going through hard times I can’t pretend to know the answer. And I think any Christian who tries to just jump to that really robs the person who’s in the struggle of being able to lean on the Lord through the uncertainty.
A lot of times we wanna rush around negative emotions and so we’ll say things like, “Well, it was the Lord’s will” or we say things like, “There must be a reason. “You know there’s always a reason. “When God shuts one door he opens another.”
You know, we say things like that and they’re all well-meaning right. They’re all from a place of love. But whenever you’re in the middle of a heartache don’t try to jump past the negative emotions, learn to experience the negative emotion and then it to the Lord.
There’s a reason why Jesus talks over and over and he’s saying, “Come to me, you who are weary. “Come to me you who have heavy burdens “and I will give you rest.”
Negative emotions can and should drive us to the Lord. And so whenever you are struggling with something hard, I just want to encourage you to stay connected to the Lord.
Whenever you’re not sure about a situation, maybe you have a decision that you have to make and it’s a huge decision and you don’t know what to do. You can just go to the Lord and say, Lord, I’m confused. I don’t understand. I don’t have the answer.
And it might not be that you get the answer right away. It might not be that you get the answer that you want, but you’re going to him, you’re building that relationship and truly that’s what prayer is all about.
So as we’ve been talking about prayer, there are a lot of fun things that we can add-in. There’s, you know having a prayer room or having a prayer journal, those kinds of things, the practical things. But at the end of the day, prayer is all about building and solidifying our relationship with the Lord.
So whenever you’re going through a hard time, realize that that negative emotion that you feel, one, realize that it is just a physical sensation in your body that you can experience. And then two, realize that God is allowing that negative emotion into your life so that you can lean on him.
Now, I’m not saying that he causes bad things to happen, but I am saying that during those hard times he has created a way for you to go to him.
Oftentimes I hear people quote scripture and they say, “God won’t give you more than you can handle.” And that verse is in there, it’s talking about temptation though it’s not talking about suffering. And so often we use that verse in the context of suffering. And we say, “Look, God’s not gonna give you anything “harder than you can handle.” That verse was talking about temptation and it talks about how God provides a way out whenever you’re in temptation, but suffering is a different story.
I wanted to share another verse, it is in II Corinthians chapter one it’s verses eight through eleven. And it’s Paul talking to the church in Corinth and he tells them, “We do not want you to be uninformed brothers and sisters “about the troubles that we experienced in Asia. “We were under great pressure, “far beyond our ability to endure “so that we despaired of life itself. “Indeed, we felt we had received the sentence of death. “But this happened that we might not rely on ourselves “but on God who raises the dead. “He has delivered us from such a deadly peril “and he will for us again. “On him, we have set our hope “that he will continue to deliver us. “As you help us by your prayers “then many will give thanks on our behalf “for the gracious favor granted us “in the answers of the prayers of many.” This verse brings me a lot of hope, especially in hard times.
So if you are in the middle of a struggle, if you are suffering and you’re wondering how can I even pray during this time? Realize that Paul felt the same way. He was saying, “Look, I was put through way far more “than I was able to endure.” And he says, “But this happened “so I would learn to rely not on myself, but on the Lord.”
Isn’t that such a beautiful way to redeem a hard situation? To say, you know what, I’ve gone through a lot of hurts but I’m going to allow God to redeem this hurt by relying on him and by growing in him through this.
Now I know that prayer can be kind of tough whenever you are going through a hard season. And so I just wanted to end by sharing a tip that I found really benefited me and my family during this hard season that we had. And it’s really a season, there are several things that are kind of going on for us right now so we do appreciate your prayers just like Paul appreciated the prayers of the Corinthians.
One way that we can lean on the Lord during a hard time that is a way of prayer but isn’t necessarily the kind of traditional prayer that we think of, like kneeling on our knees or writing in a prayer journal, and that is listening to worship music. If you have a Christian playlist that you listen to, or you have a Christian radio station, sometimes just having the faith of other people through their music kind of infiltrating your thoughts and your mind makes a big difference.
After the child was taken from our home and it just felt kind of quiet, right. And I turned on some Christian music that evening and then the next morning, while the kids were getting ready for school, and we just worshiped together. And there’s this song that really spoke to my heart during this time, it’s by Sanctus Real and I’ll find a music video and leave it in the description for you, but really, this song really touched me, it’s called “My God Is Still The Same.”
It reminded me that whenever we base our thoughts, whenever we’re basing the place where we are putting our faith, the place that we’re putting our hope, if we try to base it on the things that we’ve done or the circumstances around us, we’re ever going to have a positive mindset, we’re never going to have confidence. But if we base our confidence, if we base our emotions on the truth of who God is, that’s something that never changes. God never changes.
So as you go through hard times, I realized, and maybe it’s something I’ve always known but it was just something that stuck deep into my heart during this time, I just realized that God that I was praising the day before the child was taken from our home is the same God that I’m praising now after the fact. He’s the same, he hasn’t changed.
Some of the verses in that song really stuck out to me. And the very first line of this song by Sanctus Real says, “Just ask the waves if they are stilled “at the mention of his name, “they’ll say my God is still the same.” Then it says, “Ask the walls if they still fall “at the mighty sound of praise “and they’ll say my God is still the same.” Then the chorus of this says, “When did he break his promise? “When did his kindness fail?” Says, “Never has, never will. “My God is still the same.”
And I love that quote because when I was going through a difficult time and I couldn’t really think of the words to say because it wasn’t just my pain that I was dealing with, but I was thinking about the pain of my children and the pain they were going through having to sever this relationship that they had been building. And I kept thinking, I need to rely on the faith of other people, right? Because I can’t feel it right now. Now, these were all things I knew were true.
These were all things that I believe in my heart, but whenever you’re in the middle of a hard time it’s hard to recall those back. And so if you are struggling, make sure to tap into the power of worship, make sure to find worship music that you can listen to that’s going to encourage you and lift you up.
And like I said, I would definitely recommend this song if you’re in a hard time because what it does is it reminds you that your circumstance doesn’t matter. Your circumstance doesn’t change the fact that God is always the same.
And so if you’re going through a hard time and you’re trying to figure out how am I supposed to pray through this? How am I supposed to grow from this? And especially when you’re in the middle of the pain right, make sure that you’re going and filling your mind with the truth of God’s word through worship music. That is one huge tip that I have for you.
It’s one that we’ve been leaning on this whole week. Anytime that we find ourselves really struggling with the circumstances, we change our thinking to that of knowing that God is faithful and that his promises are never going to fail us. It’s not that the circumstance has changed, it’s that our thoughts about the circumstance have been changed.
And so please remember that my friends, if you are going through a difficult time I would definitely recommend that you check that song out. I’ll maybe leave a couple of other ones that I have really benefited from these last couple of days.
I hope that you enjoyed this entire series on prayer. If you did, make sure to leave a comment so that I know, because it is my desire to help you to build your confidence to really experience a better mindset, but truly that all is under the umbrella of knowing who God is and knowing your identity in him.
All right, that is all I have for you guys this week. I will see you next time.