How to Pray When You’re Going through Hard Times

Wendy van Eyck

I Love Devotionals
Published: Feb 08, 2022
How to Pray When You’re Going through Hard Times
How do you pray when your heart is breaking? I searched the Bible and found the prayer Jesus probably prayed as his heart was breaking.

“Now my soul is troubled, and what shall I say? ‘Father, save me from this hour’? No, it was for this very reason I came to this hour. Father, glorify your name!” John 12:27-28 (NIV)

A friend of ours has fought cancer twice. Recently he got a cold and went to the doctor. To cut a long story short they sent him for chest x-ray’s. Those x-rays have shown up a white spot. 

Now for anyone who has had cancer or been a caretaker for someone with cancer you know that phrase strikes pure fear into the heart.

I was away when Xylon heard from his friend and so he texted me to let me know. Ending the message with, “please pray!”

But what do you pray at a time like that? 

How do you pray when your heart is breaking?

Everything inside of me just wants to pray, “God heal him! Let there be no cancer.” (And I have prayed that every time my friend enters my thoughts.)

This news reminds me of how much I hate death, of how even though I know that in Jesus death is not the end; it is still something that hurts. Death is still something I wish everyone could avoid. 

Death is still something I haven’t discovered how to rejoice in. 

So I stuttered out a prayer and trusted that God would meet my inadequate words with his more than adequate love for our friend. 

I prayed and I believed that God would do his best for them whether that came through healing or through loss.

I wondered how Jesus would pray when his soul was distressed? 

What would Jesus say if he had to pray about something that broke his heart?

I searched the bible and found this simple prayer that Jesus probably stuttered through in John 12: “Now my soul is troubled, and what shall I say? ‘Father, save me from this hour’? No, it was for this very reason I came to this hour. Father, glorify your name!” 

In these few lines Jesus tells us he was heart-sore about the choice between life and death. 

Jesus’ heart was breaking with the choice he had to make, but instead of praying for rescue, he prayed that God would be glorified.

At times like this I am so grateful that God came to earth as man, that he let his holiness beat through a heart like mine. 

I love that Jesus let’s us see it’s okay to lift our broken hearts to God - to tell him what we really want is a way out - and then to somehow find the strength to sigh, “God, do your Best!”

If you're anything like me, this prayer probably won't make your heart ache less, and it doesn’t make the outcome easier, but it just may free your heart from fear. And allow you trust that no matter what happens God is doing his best. 

Ponder: Do you believe that God will always do the best for you? 

Pray: My heart is breaking, I don’t know how to pray. I want to say, God give me a way out. But instead God I’m choosing to trust you. Father, do your best. Amen.

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This was originally published on my site in December 2015. To read more posts like this go to ilovedevotionals.com

photo credit: getty images/fizzles

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