There are times in the life of faith when we feel energized, impassioned, and ready for action. We have a strong sense of calling, an eagerness to obey, and we feel God’s guiding presence each step along the way.
But there are also times—sometimes long, heavy seasons—when we feel stuck. Perhaps we have a dream, but our life circumstances aren’t lining up with our deepest passion. Or maybe, despite our best efforts, our spiritual fervor has stalled out. Or perhaps we want to step out in faith and obedience, but what that step of faith ought to be is anything but clear.
Thankfully Scripture provides us with powerful examples and compelling words to guide our prayers during those days—or months or years—when we feel stuck.
When You Are . . .
• Unsure. Like Gideon did with his fleece (twice!), pray for confirmation and then wait for it. Be on the lookout for God to make his will clear to you—perhaps through circumstances, the words of other believers, or other answers to prayer. Determine not to act until God has made his will clear through confirmation.
•Bored. You may wish you were doing something truly amazing for God, but in reality, you’re living what feels like a “normal,” boring life. But here’s the truth: God’s calling can often look just like that. Use Micah 6:8 to guide your prayer, inviting God to show you how to embrace this big-picture calling in your current reality.
• Discouraged. When you feel inert and lifeless, sometimes the very best thing to pray is nothing at all. Prayers of stillness, silence, and quiet—in which the Holy Spirit communes with you without words—may be the most honest and the most healing way for you to connect with God. Make a habit of silent, emptying prayer; God can work in and through your stillness.
•Questioning. If you are struggling with doubt, prayerfully contemplate Proverbs 3:5–6 (especially verse 5!) and invite God to challenge and grow your trust. One of my favorite prayers for moments when trust feels fragile is to simply echo the cry of the father in the Gospel of Mark: “Lord, I believe; help thou mine unbelief” (9:24, KJV).
•Frustrated. When your current circumstances are undesired and your daily reality is grating on your emotions and wearing down your soul, pray the very words of Jesus: “I want your will to be done, not mine” (Luke 22:42). Your calling in this “stuck” season may be to fully, completely, and absolutely surrender your own will and seek God’s—even when it feels like it’s directly at odds with your own hopes.
If you’re facing your own moment of surrender—when what feels like a God-given dream is running up against roadblock after roadblock—our TCW cover story will take you deeper into what acceptance and obedience may mean for you. Read “When God Puts Your Dreams on Hold” by spiritual director Beth Booram as you reflect on and pray through God’s calling in your life. For further insights into the implications of accepting God’s call on your life, read “Moses, a Burning Bush, and Your Calling” by Bianca Juarez Olthoff.
Feeling stuck isn’t easy. Your dream may have collided head-on with a roadblock. You may feel mired down in daily drudgery. You may be weakened by pain or struggles. Prayer isn’t an instant, magic cure to feeling stuck—but it is the most soul-healthy choice you can make. God is present, even in your most mired-down, soul-stuck moments. Meet him there.
5 Prayers for When You Feel Stuck
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