Prayer To Overcome Today’s Difficulties
5 Ways to Overcome the Struggle to Pray
Growing up, a favorite show of mine was “Happy Days.” I admired Arthur Fonzerelli: always cool, self-assured, popular and seemingly able to handle any problem. Yet his greatest difficulty was his inability to admit when he was wrong, to be vulnerable and voice his needs with friends.
What the Fonz portrayed on TV is what we can struggle with in our relationship with God—the resistance to admit the truth of how and when we’ve been wrong.
It’s when we resist this kind of vulnerability and specificity with God that we struggle to pray and hit a wall spiritually.
Just as runners hit a wall—the point where they experience sudden fatigue and loss of energy when glycogen runs out—we can also hit a wall in our prayer life when we lose our desire, energy, passion, and inspiration to pray.
How do we overcome our struggle to pray when we’ve hit a wall? Here are 5 ways!
Welcome Influence: Develop Vulnerability
… And when a prayer or plea is made by anyone among your people Israel—being aware of their afflictions and pains, and spreading out their hands toward this temple— then hear from heaven, your dwelling place. Forgive, and deal with everyone according to all they do, since you know their hearts (for you alone know the human heart)
2 Chronicles 6:29-30 (NIV)
When we’re too busy, tired, stressed or unmotivated to pray, it’s because we’ve become hardened from living in denial of what’s going on inside our hearts and lives. The struggle to pray reflects our resistance to be influenced.
It is through the scriptures and honest conversations with friends that God helps us develop awareness about our true motives, emotions, thoughts, sins and desires. (Hebrews 4:12-13, Proverbs 20:5) We can’t be vulnerable with what we are unaware of.
Rather than isolate, welcome the daily influence of spiritual relationships and the Bible to develop heart awareness that will make your prayers real rather than religious.
Eliminate Distractions: Close the Doors
But when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.
Matthew 6:6 (NIV)
No meaningful conversation (especially prayer) can be had in a place filled with distractions.Find a specific place where your only focus is God, which means closing the door to any distractions, whether from your phone, home, school, workplace, or social media.
God wants to hear from you, not your texts, emails, or the stressors around you. Set out inspiring places and times where he’ll have your undivided attention.
Reach Agreement: Confess Sin
Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective.
James 5:16 (NIV)
We struggle to pray when we stop believing our prayers really matter. Specific confession of sin is what makes our prayers effective.
To confess means to agree with with God about our sin—how he views, thinks, and feels about the impact of our sin on our relationship with him and others.
(2 Corinthians 7:10-11) When our primary aim is to deny or minimize our sins (Psalm 66:19-20), prayer becomes a religious practice in ineffectiveness, rather than a refreshing turning point to transformative change.
Specificity Inspires: Understanding Others
Husbands, in a similar way, live with your wives with understanding since they are weaker than you are. Honor your wives as those who share God’s life-giving kindness so that nothing will interfere with your prayers.
1 Peter 3:7 (GWT)
The struggle to pray is marked with a disinterest in understanding the lives and needs of others. Without understanding we can’t genuinely love others. Inspired prayers are fueled by love. Love invigorates us to overcome the walls we hit. When we expect God to attend to and understand our every need and struggle, but lack this same understanding and concern for others (e.g.
husbands for wives), how can we expect God to be moved? Specificity reflects our depth of care and understanding for people. We develop understanding for others through prayer and by spending more effort considering others and less time on self. God reveals to us original thoughts and ways to inspire, involve and influence others through us when we pray about others specifically.
Never Stop: Overcome With Gratitude
Always be joyful and never stop praying. Whatever happens, keep thanking God because of Jesus Christ. This is what God wants you to do.
1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 (CEV)
The times when we hit a wall, quit praying specifically, or stop praying altogether, we can be sure it was preceded by a loss of gratitude.
Gratitude is what jump-starts our prayer life, renews our faith, and inspires others about what God can do rather than what we cannot.
Evaluate your prayer life not by length of time, but how much more gratitude for God and love for others you walk away with. The resilience to overcome our walls is developed in this kind of prayer.
12 Bible Verses to Overcome Anger & Resentment
About a week ago, I received an email from a reader. She saw my post on overcoming disappointment, and she asked if I could help her. She is suffering in an unbearably unjust situation, and she is angry and resentful at the person causing it.
I can’t share her whole story, but the details are unimportant. Your anger and resentment are as real and honest and justified as hers are. They’re understandable.
And she’s looking for answers, just you are.
I prayed about this woman and her family, and I prayed for you. I prayed that God would give me the words to help both of you.
My therapist says that anger is always masking a more vulnerable emotion. I think it’s helpful to look at that more vulnerable emotion and to deal with that, but you can come back to that later. For now, let’s just talk about the anger and resentment you’re feeling.
12 Bible Verses & 5 Steps to Overcoming Anger and Resentment
Concrete steps make sense to me. Give me a numbered list, and I’m a happy camper. So I created a numbered list for you.
Following the steps isn’t as easy as 1-2-3. The steps are where the real work lies. I am praying that you are challenged by these steps, and that you find a way to get through them all.
- Control your temper. (Let’s start right away with the hard stuff!)
When people mistreat us and there’s nothing we can do about it, we get angry. It isn’t fair. Parents see it in their young children who are constantly on the lookout to make sure everything is fair.
The gut reaction to get angry in the face of unfairness never really goes away. God’s Word says that we are to control our tempers, even in the face of unfairness.
Sensible people control their temper; they earn respect by overlooking wrongs. -Proverbs 19:11
Earn respect. What if the respect of men isn’t what you’re after?Understand this, my dear brothers and sisters: You must all be quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to get angry. Human anger does not produce the righteousness God desires. -James 1:19-20
The righteousness God desires. Ouch. We may be able to brush off the respect of men, but the righteousness of God doesn’t go away so easily.
Do to others as you would them to do to you. -Luke 6:31
When we overlook wrongs, we treat others the way we want to be treated. But what if the wrong is something really big? What if we can’t just get over it?
We still have choices. If the wrong is something monumental – abuse, neglect, criminal – then DO SOMETHING. Don’t just get angry, but take action. Enlist the help of someone who can stop it.
The reader who wrote to me has endured her situation for five months. Certainly, she has been slow to anger. But now, she is angry.
2. Don’t let your anger control you. God recognizes that sometimes, we do get angry. Often, we need to get angry to remedy a situation or to spur us on to action.
Don’t sin by letting anger control you. Think about it overnight and remain silent. -Psalm 4:4
He is saying to think about your situation, and see if it merits getting angry.
Are you saying something , “YES! It does! I have a right to be angry. Is that wrong?”
Being angry isn’t a sin, but being controlled by anger is a sin.And don’t sin by letting anger control you. Don’t let the sun go down while you are still angry, for anger gives a foothold to the devil. -Ephesians 4:26-27
So you’re angry. Don’t let the sun go down while you are still angry. Find a way to work out the anger, pray through the anger, move past the anger before you give the devil an in-road to your psyche.
Need a pick-me-up? Go do something kind for someone. Volunteer your time. Do good, forgetting about the person who’s made you angry for a while.
Stop being angry! Turn from your rage! Do not lose your temper – it only leads to harm. -Psalm 37:8
All scriptures are God-breathed, right? Every word is true. So what of this? Stop being angry?! How do you just stop?
3. You pray. Pray for yourself. Pray for the person who is making you angry. Pray for the situation. Pray that your heart will be softened and you’ll forgive.
People can’t change people. Only God can change people.
Right now, you need to be changed, and the person who’s hurt you needs to be changed. Give yourself permission to just focus on you for now. Ask God to change you and get rid of your anger despite the rotten situation you’re in.
But now you must put them all away: anger, wrath, malice, slander, and obscene talk from your mouth.Put on then, as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience, bearing with one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other; as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive. -Colossians 3:8, 12-13
You are holy and beloved, my friend. You are, and you deserve better than what this anger and resentment are doing to you.
4. Forgive. I said these steps weren’t going to be easy. Pray that you can forgive the person who’s making you angry. Pray it every day, every hour, every minute if you have to.
Get rid of all bitterness, rage, anger, harsh words, and slander, as well as all types of evil behavior. Instead, be kind to each other, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, just as God through Christ has forgiven you. -Ephesians 4:31-32
It’s the Golden Rule again. Do unto others as you would have them do unto you. Treat the person who’s made you angry with the same tenderhearted kindness that you treat your kids with.
I heard once that holding unforgiveness in your heart is drinking poison and expecting the other person to die. Unforgiveness is toxic to your soul. It affects every part of your life, and it manifests in sickness, in tension, and in anger.
Do not judge others, and you will not be judged. Do not condemn others, or it will all come back against you. Forgive others, and you will be forgiven. -Luke 6:37
We are required to forgive as the Father has forgiven us. It is not optional – and it does not come easily.5. Love. Forgiveness is one thing, but loving is another thing entirely. Loving your enemy – the very person who’s hurt you – is also required by scripture.
Not suggested, required.
The very thought makes me feel sick for you.
You don’t want to act in a loving way towards the person who’s hurt you. Not at all.
That’s where prayer comes in again. Pray that you’ll have compassion and kindness for that person. (And keep praying it until it happens.)
Love your enemies! Do good to them. Lend to them without expecting to be repaid. Then your reward from heaven will be very great, and you will truly be acting as children of the Most High, for he is kind to those who are unthankful and wicked. -Luke 6:35
This passage goes on to say that even sinners are kind to those who love them, but it takes something special to be kind to an enemy.
You see, we don’t get to have vengeance. It’s not ours; it’s God’s alone. We are called to love God and love one another, the end.
Never pay back evil with more evil. Do things in such a way that everyone can see you are honorable. Do all that you can to live in peace with everyone. Dear friends, never take revenge. Leave that to the righteous anger of God.
For the Scriptures say,
“I will take revenge;
I will pay them back,”
says the Lord.
If they are thirsty, give them something to drink.
In doing this, you will heap
burning coals of shame on their heads.
Don’t let evil conquer you, but conquer evil by doing good. -Romans 12:17-21
You see, Jesus didn’t just die for you, my righteous friend. He died for the person who’s hurt you, too. He loves both of you the same. It doesn’t seem fair (there’s a parable about that), but it is so.
Jesus died for both of you because you’re both sinners.
Different stories, different sins, same black marks.
For God has not destined us for wrath, but to obtain salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ, who died for us so that whether we are awake or asleep we might live with him. Therefore encourage one another and build one another up, just as you are doing. -1 Thessalonians 5:9-11
Download these Bible verses on anger and resentment in a convenient black and white printable below. You can work on memorizing and meditating on them, one at a time
If you need help with a system for memorizing verses, check out this post on our family’s memorization habit.
© 2015 – 2019, Tara Ziegmont. All rights reserved.
6 Steps to Manage Stress and Overcome Difficulties — Purpose Fairy
“When you encounter difficulties and contradictions, do not try to break them, but bend them with gentleness and time.” ~ Saint Francis de Sales
We all struggle with change, stress and difficulties in life. Things happen unexpectedly every day in both job situations and personal lives. Yet, what matters most is how a person reacts to change.
Some people seem to be better than others at dealing with all the unexpected things that happen. They seem to have the knowledge, experience, and mental power to face anything.
Here are 6 steps you can take to help improve your ability to handle anything that happens to you:
1. Change your thoughts.
Any situation can be looked at from a positive or negative perspective. One person may feel threatened by what someone says, while another person seems unaffected.
One person may be devastated by a job loss, while another sees it as a chance to do something new. It all depends on your attitude. Every situation you find yourself in can be perceived in a bad way or good way.
This means what you decide what it means to you.
One way of learning to handle stress and overcome difficulties is to avoid negative thinking about any situation or any person. Gravitate toward the positive.
This means you make a decision to keep positive thoughts in your mind and let go of any negative ideas. Look at the bright side. Use affirmations to remind yourself to keep thinking positive.
This will help you overcome your difficulties and build up your inner power. Mental discipline is something that everyone is capable of, but it must be practiced.
2. Turn away from fear and conflict.
We all make choices every day that either relates to fear or to love.
Often our fears are something that causes us to create or become involved in a conflict, so to avoid conflict, you must do the opposite.
You must let go of the fears in your mind and stay away from conflict. This can be done by choosing a path of love, instead of fear, and keeping your focus on peace, instead of conflict.
Just knowing that you truly desire peace will help you focus on better things. If you follow your fears, you will undoubtedly find yourself mixed up in conflict, but if you choose to look at everything with love, your whole perspective will change and you will manifest more good in your life.We all search for ways to live better and happier lives. Finding your purpose is important. It is a very personal and individual thing and requires some soul searching. People practice mindfulness so they can be in touch with their feelings, live in the present moment, and find happiness in life.
Being mindful of your life’s purpose comes from self-awareness and ultimately leads you on a path of inner peace.
Becoming associated with a type of spiritual practice or religion can help you feel that your life has a purpose and you are connected to others. Those who define their life purpose as being loving and helpful toward others are more ly to avoid conflict and have reduced amount of fear, and less stress in their daily lives.
We all are searching for calmness in a world that can often seem chaotic.
Some of the most popular ways to reduce daily stress with relaxation and calmness are through practices massage, meditation and yoga, or visiting spiritual practitioners.
Many people create areas of their home for relaxation and meditation. Spending quiet time is a way to increase your self-awareness, improve your ability to focus on your goals and something that can help your mental clarity.
4. Identify your strengths.
We all have natural talents that we are born with. Everyone is good at something. There are many talented athletes, musicians, and actors, and brilliant professors, scientists, leaders, and achievers in every profession. Inner strength is about knowing yourself and your abilities.
Take time to think about and analyze what your natural strengths and talents are. Maybe you are good at communicating and building social relationships. Or, you could be very knowledgeable about computers and better at working independently.
Perhaps you have rare musical talent or artistic abilities.
Just recognizing your own personal strengths will help you to explore your abilities and discover what you are passionate about. Many people believe in “doing what you are good at”, in order to be happy at what you do. The sooner in life you can recognize your own talents, the more successful you are probably going to be at developing them and making your dreams become reality.Some people have problems that last for years because they believe that they are helpless to solve them. But, it is their helplessness that actually prevents them from moving past the problem and finding the solution.
When you consider your own abilities, you should never concentrate on what obstacles there may be.
The truth is, you can decide to do almost anything and if you truly desire it and are willing to work hard for it, you will probably make it happen. Most people have the inner power that they are unaware of.
Claiming your inner power is about being bold when you need to, having the courage to take chances, and doing things you have never done before.
6. Do what you can with where you are.
In any situation in life, you are faced with several choices about what you can do. Concentrate on doing what you can with where you are. When your life purpose is to love, you will find opportunities every day in your career or personal life where you can relate to others with love instead of fear, and find peace instead of conflict.
When looking at your goals, be brave about taking steps that you feel need to be taken. Don’t let opportunities pass you by. You can always do something to change a situation, so it is important to know what you can do.
Every goal that you make requires effort. Be passionate about your dreams and don’t let anything stop you from making them come true. When you are faced with obstacles that seem to keep you from achieving something, don’t give up.
Keep trying for the goals you want to reach.
Being willing to do something when it needs to be done will make you a leader. A leader steps forward face their fears and overcome them. If you want to build up your inner power, turn away from fear and conflict, choose love and peace, know your purpose, recognize your strengths, claim your power and do what you can.
Remembering to do these 6 things every day, will make you a stronger, more focused person and no matter what happens in your life, you will be capable of handling it with calmness and purpose while looking for the good that can come it.
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