A Prayer for Those Who Want to Give Up
By Victoria Riollano
“The LORD himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged.” - Deuteronomy 31:8
I understand. Years ago, I was at what felt like the highlight and lowest point of my life. On the surface, so many things were going right. I was a worship leader at my church, a leader in a worldwide organization for Christian moms, and a youth director at my church. To top this off, I had just earned my master’s degree while being a mom of four children. If anyone looked at me, I had the word “blessed” stamped on my forehead.
Yet, in the secret places of my heart, I was far from happy. My Sunday morning smile was a mask for the inner turmoil. I was lonely, depressed, anxious, and overwhelmed by all of life’s responsibilities. And after years of trudging through, I wanted to give up. On a Monday night in October, I imagined life would be better without me and made plans to end it all. No matter how hard I tried to shake it, I just couldn’t erase the thought.
Coincidentally, this week was also our weekly church leadership meeting. Although I fought with everything inside me to go, I went to the meeting with my head down, praying not to be noticed. Yet, within moments of walking into the building, the pastor stopped speaking and stated that I needed to be prayed for. In a room full of church leaders who had no idea of my silent struggles, each person took turns speaking God’s Word over me and praying that my heart be healed. In a moment of time, God removed the turmoil, the shame, and the lies of the enemy that my life needed to end. Giving up was no longer an option. God had a great plan for my life, and I wanted to be around for it all!
In the Bible, we find the prophet Elijah in this same place. From being instrumental in ending a drought to defeating the false prophets of the pagan god, Baal, we see numerous stories of God moving miraculously through Elijah. However, in 1 Kings 19:4, he reaches his breaking point and is overwhelmed with the reality of being used by God, while being hated by those in power.
“Then he went on alone into the wilderness, traveling all day. He sat down under a solitary broom tree and prayed that he might die. ‘I have had enough, LORD,’ he said. ‘Take my life, for I am no better than my ancestors who have already died.’” (NLT)
A man who appeared victorious outwardly was defeated on the inside. However, in true godly fashion, the Lord intervenes and appears to Elijah and provides comfort for the journey ahead. God reminds Elijah that he is not alone.
Today, my prayer for you is that you do not give up. Much like I was surrounded by an army of believers who prayed for me, and God was with Elijah in his toughest moments, God will also be with you. I won’t profess to know your story or what hurts your heart. Some moments are too hard to carry within our own strength. Yet, I want to remind you if there is breath in your body, God is not through with your story. Stay the course and know that you have a God who still cares, still heals, still comforts, and who uses the trials of this season to be a testimony for the next.
Lord, there are times when I want to give up. Sometimes, life’s circumstances feel crushing. God, I ask that when these moments come that you bring those who can see my pain and pray for me. I pray that you will bring me the comfort I need, Lord. Help my soul not to grow weary as I await things to change. Help me when the enemy attempts to steal my joy. Show me how to seek you more when I want to isolate. Lord, remind me of your plan for my life when I feel like I want to give up. I need you, Lord, and I trust you.
In Jesus’ Name. Amen.
Photo credit: ©GettyImages/KatarzynaBialasiewicz
Victoria Riollano is an author, blogger, and speaker. As a mother of seven, military spouse, Psychology professor and minister’s wife, Victoria has learned the art of balancing family and accomplishing God’s ultimate purpose for her life. Recently, Victoria released a parenting book called Warrior Mother: Equipping Your Heart to Fight for Your Family’s Faith. This book empowers mothers to find strength in trusting the Lord with their children. Ultimately, her desire is to empower women to live a life of victory, hope, and love. She believes that with Christ we can live a life that is ALWAYS winning. You can learn more about her ministry at victoryspeaks.org.
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Originally published Thursday, 27 July 2023.