6 Helps To Pray When It Doesn't Seem Like It's Working

by Richard Adams on November 02, 2021

You know God loves you. You know He answers prayer. You know your eternal destiny is secured. But have you ever secretly, quietly wondered, “God are you with me right now?”
Intellectually, Biblically, you know He is, but in the quiet of the night, it might not always feel that way. What do you do?  Try these.
  1. BE HONEST WITH GOD.
Be honest with God about your concerns, your true emotions, especially if your prayers don’t seem to be getting through.  That’s the beginning of prayer in tough times and spiritual breakthroughs.  God will meet you where you are.  You might be overwhelmed, overworked, bewildered, may be discouraged. But God will meet you in your honesty.  He will be with you.
  1. BELIEVE THAT GOD CAN MOVE THE MOUNTAIN YOU NEED MOVED.
There are times when our faith is challenged; we pray for the miracle but allow our human interpretation of the situation to dull our faith. Lord, teach us to pray with great faith.  Human circumstances are real, and they influence how we pray; we are not to pray flippantly or foolishly, but still believe that God can.
The moment you stop believing God can – doesn’t change God; it changes how you pray, and sometimes if you pray. It’s easy to get stuck in that thin space between knowing God can but not believing He will. So don’t make up God’s mind for Him; pray your heart’s desire!
  1. ASK GOD TO REVEAL THE BIGGER PICTURE
Who among us knows the mind of God? Yet, He gives us access to appeal to Him about what we don’t know or understand.  At times I’ve thought my prayers were a cop-out when I pray big and bold, but then I include, “If it’s your will.” But candidly, my prayers need to be in alignment with God’s will; He can’t go against His own nature.
And why would we pray differently than God’s will?
With that in mind, it’s better to start our prayers with “God, reveal your will to me” and “Jesus, teach me to pray.” Both of those work well for me and will for you too.  The point is that when we have a better idea of God’s purpose and plan, right where we are leading, we gain more confidence in our prayers.  God is not keeping secrets from us, but we are often not ready for all He knows.
  1. BORROW SOMEONE ELSE’S FAITH
I have heard about a church planter that was struggling as he was trying to start a church.  The planter was ready to give up. He talked to his friend and senior pastor of the sponsoring church who sent him out about maybe coming back.  The pastor responded, “If you no longer have enough faith, borrow mine.”
The pastor believed God was still in it and very much with the church planter.  So, the church planter did just that; he “borrowed” the pastor’s faith and stayed with it for another year.
Do you need to borrow someone else’s faith for a season?
  1. RECALL AND REFLECT ON PAST MIRACLES.
When I hit those moments or seasons when I’m not sure my prayers are working, I reflect on previous answers to prayer and especially the miracles.  I suppose we can say every answer to prayer from God Himself involves the miraculous, but by miracle, I’m speaking of things that we know are not only impossible without God but defy human understanding or ability.  Reflecting on miracles reminds me that God is with me and fully engaged in my calling and role as a husband, father, and leader.
  1. PRAY WITH SOMEONE ELSE.
Have you ever wondered about the prayers that have been lifted up on your behalf that you never knew about, and perhaps by people you’ve never met?
That thought encourages me about the power of the body of Christ and deeply humbles me that I have likely received many of those prayers.  Other people praying for you is incredibly powerful.  Praying with someone or a small group is equally, if not more so, powerful.  When the body of Christ prays together, physically in the same place, whether it’s two, twenty, or a hundred, the Holy Spirit invades that space and Christ Himself is present – the power is transformational, and Heaven meets you there.
When you are not sure your prayers are working, ask someone to pray with you; together, your prayers make that physical place holy ground.

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