If you came over from Encouragement Today, welcome!
In today’s devo I shared the story of Mary.
I can see her plainly. Life marked her. She was jittery. Nervous.
Do you know that feeling when you feel God? Really feel him? That’s what I felt as we prayed together. He reached down and wrapped this broken woman close and she felt him for the first time.
This same encounter with Mary reminded me of the ones I am still praying for. . .
and the answers that have not come yet.
So, how do we keep that hope reservoir filled up when we’ve prayed and the answers haven’t come.
Reach out to others
I may not have the opportunity to see God work in my loved ones life, but that doesn’t mean He isn’t working.
When you reach out to others, you get to see God work. It’s a reminder that prayers are heard. That your loved one is valuable to God.
Mary’s grandmother stood behind her quietly, tears running down her face. I have no doubt that this grandma had worn patches in the carpet praying for this granddaughter.
I was privileged to be there when all of her grandma’s prayers came to fruition.
As we reach out — perhaps to a neighbor, a friend, a stranger, to your childrens’ friends — we just might get to see someone else’s prayers unfold. That pours hope over your own prayers as you bend your knees to talk to God over your loved ones.
Pour hope into your empty well
If we pray enough. If we do enough. If we say the right words.
All of these are good things, but if they are our total focus, we’ll soon be empty.
Face it, there’s a bottom to our well. And it’s not about our enough. It’s about His.
Christ promises living water that will not only fill us up, but splash up and over into the lives of others, in our marriage, over our children.
What might happen if they look over and we’re splashing joy and intimacy with God all over the place? When they are ready, they will know what you have is true because of that overflowing river of peace.
We cannot keep going without stopping daily to fill up.
That might be carving out a portion of your day. Or worship music softly playing. Reading your favorite devo. Journaling. Prayer and praise and conversation with your Heavenly Father.
It’s not about the method, but walking in with open hands to receive all that God has for you.
We put on new lens
Our eternal perspective is that planted seeds will one day come up in the life of loved one.
You love. You speak truth. You do what you can do, but leave the rest in God’s hands.
God loves them even more than you do. You can’t fix another human being, but you can trust that God is working in ways you may not see.
Not too long I was ministering in a small church in Arkansas and the pastor asked me the name of a loved one. I looked up in surprise. “Why?” I asked.
“Because God wants me to pray for her,” he said.
Then he prayed the most beautiful, powerful prayer of homecoming and healing that I’ve ever heard. He didn’t know my need or that of my loved one, but God did, and he whispered it in a pastor’s heart to pray.
Just one more eternal reminder that God is bigger than me, and His loves reaches farther than I can span, and that even when I think nothing is taking place, that eternally God is mindful of my loved ones.
They were His loved ones first.
Hope. Hope. And more hope.
Today I pray that you will be filled with hope all over again.
Please pray for me, the worry and angst you talk about seems to have a choke hold on me. My well is very dry. I know better, but the pain is great.
I’ve lost hope for my husband of 25 years who has left us. My children are angry and we are all in such unbearable pain. He is a believer, but is so deceived by satan. I know God meant for me to read your story today. Please pray for me to be able to find hope again.
Thank you for the offer to pray…..My son has been struggling with God since his dad died last year at the age of 48. I have to admit that my prayer life has suffered because of it as well. If God is going to do what He knows is best then what is the point in praying because it just leads to disappointment and it is so hard to trust a God who allow so much suffering. I find myself just waiting for the next crisis because God did promise there would be tribulations and it is hard to keep “getting up” after each one so it seems easier to stay “down” So prayers for each of us would be appreciated.
Also the marriage of my son’s future in-laws is in trouble and it is creating such a strife for all in the household, please lift that family up as well.
I keep crying out to God and nothing changes. I don’t know what to do to receive this hope and peace thats talked about so much. Fear and worry and anxiety cripple me so much and I just wish they would be released off of me and I would be filled with hope and peace. I don’t usually reach out, but I am today. I will continue to trust in God although my heart feels so heavy and broken that the fear isn’t getting taken away. Thanks for praying.
My heart is burdened for Missy, Betty, Kenner and Heather, and so many of the others that are not able to bring themselves to request prayer. God is here and there with you and he hears your requests for prayer and I am praying for you. I am in a bad situation in my marriage but I reach out to God almost continually and remind myself of His promises through scripture. I get weak and broken and my well gets dry, but God does refill me and He will refill you too. Know that there are many believers out there praying for you and lifting you up to our Father. God has begun a good work in you and will see it through to the day of completion. I am praying for all of you. My marriage is struggling and daily life is hard for me, my husband and our children. But, God is working and I look to those times to see progress and have hope in what He is accomplishing in me and my husband. Thank you for giving me a visual that the prayers I am sending up are like seeds being planted to open up a hardened heart. Your ministry has touched me so much.
I too have a loved one I have been praying over for a long time. I would appreciate any prayers for my loved one. Pray that God will open his heart, heal, and restore. I know all things are possible with God. Don’t give up hope.
Thank you for praying for me as well. My story is too long to tell – but God knows what it is – so – prayers for the unspoken prayer requests are good, thank you all for those. Restoration of hope – faith and joy. And prayers back for all of you who have posted – and those who will not – a-men.
I was about to give up hope on my marriage of 20 years. I have been praying and hoping for God to open my husband’s heart for so long. It is very hard and painful in my marriage right now. I just want to give up and move on. Some days I can’t even function and I am not winning him over with my reactions to his actions. And then I read the devotional and then the comments and I realize I am not alone. God is bigger, greater and more awesome than my husband, my marriage and any problem I have. Thank you ladies for reaching out. I am praying for each one of you.
Please join me in praying for my brother. This is a very serious situation that will go to court on Thursday. His situation has put our family at odds. Pray for my parents, his wife & especially his children.
I will be praying for the needs of the other requests posted here. I know God is listening & will answer in His time!
This story resonated with me today because my husband and I are trying to help our 19-year-old grandson, who is living with us while attending a vocational college near us. We all need prayers to be open to God’s will; we all need his daily filling of the Holy spirit.
Like many of the others who have posted, my marriage appears to be continually getting worse despite my continual prayers and willingness to not give up or forgive. My husband left me and our two kids when I was about 6 mo pregnant with our 3rd child to live with the woman he had been having an affair with for I don’t know how long. My husband is struggling to come to terms with his childhood and is running away. Please pray for him, our marriage and family, and for renewed hope and strength for me and my kids. My extended family needs some prayer too as they are harboring hate and unforgiveness toward my husband. I struggle daily to keep my hope and trust in God because I know that despite my circumstances Nd feelings He is working! I pray for all struggling marriages because I think there is a serious epidemic happening all around with satan trying to destroy our hope and joy.
I felt like this devotional was for me also. I have been praying for my children and grandchildren for a while now that they would seek the Lord and find it in their hearts to accept Him into their lives. My daughter, the one I live with is in a relationship with a woman and I have been praying that God will help me to show her that is wrong. I believe that she knows in her heart that it is but satan has her so blinded to the truth. Pray for me that I may remain strong in the Lord and trust Him always.
My husband struggles with not knowing his identity in Christ and causes him to be very defensive and argumentative. We are due to have our first child in 2 weeks and as can imagine the hormones, waiting, and etc that comes with pregnancy is hard enough. I’ve been praying for him for two years in this area and have realized that I have lost hope and lost my peace. But I realize now that God is working behind the scenes even though I don’t see it. Please pray for my hope to be refilled and I not become bitter and angry with my husband but love him through the eyes of Christ.
My third grandbaby was born last night – a beautiful baby boy who is truly a gift from God. I ask for prayer for my children and their children – that they would let God open their hearts and that they would let Him in. I was not the best example for my children as they were growing up – I pray that I will be the best grandma I can!
Thank you for the wonderful visual reminders (I am a gardener, so seeds are perfect!) that God is at work ALL of the time. Thank you for being a source of hope and I ask for prayers for my loved one, that his heart soften and his eyes be opened to God’s truth. I also ask for prayer for my own heart–that I do not fall to discouragement and doubt, that I continue to GROW in faith and learn to FULLY lean on God’s great promises. The going is tough. God is tougher.
Sending private emails to many of you. Praying for all.
Father, Missy is hurting. I remember being at a place where it seemed that Christians talked about something that was for everyone but me. Your joy is for her as well, for you see her. You have always seen her, and she matters to you. You have marked her life with purpose, and sometimes God you work in ways that we don’t understand, but I know for certain that Missy is on your radar. You have not abandoned her, but we pray together today that her journey will begin one baby step at a time as she begins to grasp how high, how wide, how deep the love of Christ is for her.
This is Ephesians 3:14-21, Missy, and it’s my prayer for you today. It was my prayer for my own life years ago. Be patient with the process. Begin to anticipate what God wants to show you, beginning right this moment.
For this reason I kneel before the Father, 15 from whom every family[a] in heaven and on earth derives its name. 16 I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, 17 so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, 18 may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, 19 and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.
20 Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, 21 to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen.
A prayer for Heather’s brother:
Father, sometimes you put us in a place where we have no other option but to kneel before you. It may seem like the end, but it’s the beginning as our desires collide with your will for our lives. I pray that this serious situation, in Your hands, becomes a crossroads where all involved turn to You for help, for sovereign wisdom, and for change. Thank you for showing up in the hard places. Amen
Lord, the unspoken shouts to You. Every thing that is on the heart of Karen is open to your sight. You see her. You see that she needs rest, and restoration, and hope, and refueled faith. Kindle it inside of her. Ignite that love that once burned, and let it overflow into her life in every aspect. In Jesus’ powerful name, amen.
Lord, we pray for this loved one. I get it. I’m there now, but I will never ever give up, and if that seed of prayer comes up where and when I can’t see it, I still trust that every prayer is heard by You. I believe that prayers of a faith-filled woman are powerful and effective, in Jesus’ name, amen.
I’m so sorry for your grief, for your loss, and for the gap it left in your family. I won’t say trite things to you, but will say that I am praying for you today. My prayer is that God fills those gaps left by a wonderful dad and father, that He will wrap His love around your son’s heart, and yours and be your comfort, and strength.
Praying for you right now.
Lord, In these broken places, fill it up this temple. This child of yours, and her children who are her heart. Reach to this father and husband, and make clear your presence. Call him back to yourself. But in the meantime, even in those times when we can’t see it, may Kenner and her family find strength in you, renewed joy, and peace. Lead her to others who can walk alongside her. Wrap her close today. Lead her intentionally deeper into Your presence daily to be filled, and refilled. In Jesus’ name, amen.
Thank you for this message. I too, like many of the others, have been praying for a loved one. My step-daughter who lives with my husband and I and our two other kids needs God the Healer, God the Protector, God the Life Changer to help her. She suffers from self hate, anxiety, depression, abandonment, and rejection. She “punishes” herself with self harm behaviors. Somedays (like today) it’s hard to worry and know that God is working even though I can’t see it. But I needed your message of hope to keep going humbly to God with expectant and specific prayers. God bless you!
Oh, Father, we stand with Bri today. You are the Counselor. You are the Healer. You are our Provider. You love and see this girl. As she has suffered from self-hate, may she, through the power of the Holy Spirit, begin to understand Your love (Romans 8:38-39). As she struggles with anxiety, may You begin to pour out calm (Zephaniah 3:7 – you quietly calm our thoughts). As she has struggled with depression, may joy begin to be her constant companion (Psalm 5:11-12). As she has felt abandoned and rejected, just as You went through those as You lived and died for us, may she feel that she is Your girl and can call you Abba Father (Romans 8:15). We ask these things in Jesus’ powerful name, amen.
Lord, many marriages are in a bad place. Today, cover those who are trusting You, but feeling the heartache of unfullfilled expectations. Show each the way. Give wisdom. Pour out unexpected joy in the most surprising of ways. Thank you that you are our strength and help in every day and in all ways.
I have never felt so broken in my life. My marriage is cold and ugly, I have virtually no trust for anyone, Christian or non-Christian. I feel the church has hurt me in more ways than I know how to deal with. My childhood was abusive beyond belief. My best friend died from drug overdose Jan 1 of this year after I fasted for her sobriety, and another friend committed suicide. I feel betrayed by virtually all those that have ever said they loved me. I start a very demanding/sacrificial type job this week and do not know how I will function. I also have incurred a serious neck injury not to mention our finances our in severe trouble. I pray, I tithe, I do all that I can think to do (not perfect by any means) but I am completely zapped of any strength. I feel more alone than I’ve ever felt in my life. I have a personal relationship with Jesus and that is literally the only reason I am alive today. I need prayer now like I’ve never needed prayer before. Thank you.
Plz pray for me… Life has kept throwing things at me way hard the past 7 months; and now I’m worried for the one I love and have prayed for for 10 yrs to come to Christ; but specially the last 2 yrs and a half non-stop… Not only is his spiritual life in danger but also his physic life and he’s pushing me and everyone away… I’m tired, beyond tired… Can’t think of how to go on… And don’t know what to do… Just keep on putting worship songs and feel better for a while but sadness crowds my mind again oh too soon… Thanks for the words; really can relate. Calling on to God to renew our spirits and our hope. We have to hold on.
Thank you all for your comments. It restored my Hope to continue to pray for my children , family & friends believing & trusting that God is working in & on them in His way & time. Just wanted to say that I heard the word “HOPE” the beginning of this year and I am trusting that God is going to restore all that was loss. In Jesus name amen
Thank you for this devotional today. I have been praying for my son, who is 19, for quite some time. He says he is saved, but seems to be confused about what it means. He continues to live in a way that shows otherwise. I too, had ran dry on prayer and hope, then one day realized, God is hearing my prayers, and will answer in His time. It is my job to keep praying and planting the seeds. I now pray, not asking, but believing my son will find his salvation. It took 5 years of praying by my family before I opened my heart, and I know my son will too one day.
Thank you for this devotion that I didn’t even know I needed but, hit home hard.
I am very concerned about a friend who recently discovered that her unborn child has a trisomy 18. This syndrome is often fatal for the child. I hear the fear and hopelessness in her voice. I want to support her and encourage her. I want to assure her that God is the great physician and that with faith in The Lord our God, all things are possible. She is a believer but is overcome with grief at the thought of what the future holds. Please lift her and her unborn son up in prayer. I pray that their hearts and faith are renewed and their little boy is healed.
Oh Robin, I hear such faith in your comment below. Yes, we’ll pray that your husband will be “arrested” like Paul was on the road to Damascus. Father, stop this man in his tracks and let him know that you have another way for him. Lead Robin to women, strong godly women, to Your presence, and to resources that will strengthen her and give her the tools, the wisdom, the heart to know what to do. In Jesus’ name, amen.
It’s never too late, Carla. I pray that your love for Jesus will be so rich and pure and transforming that they cannot help but ask, “What’s going on with mom?” and see you in the light of God’s grace.
Father, together we pray with Glory. She’s tired. Be her strength. She’s unable to to draw her loved one close. Lord, draw her close instead. Hold her tight. Pour out peace. Perspective. Wisdom. In this dark place may she sense Your presence. You know what it is to be pushed aside when you are reaching to love someone. You understand her fatigue, and her worry, and her hurt, and those are the places You fill as You come alongside. Today, we trust in You. We place this loved one in Your hands, because nothing is impossible with God. In Jesus’ name, amen.
It is your last words that spoke to me. In the midst of such hard circumstances, you still show your love and intimacy with God. It’s almost like David crying out in the wilderness – an honest assessment of what you see, what you feel, and what you hope for. And yet such courage as well. I see God in you, Colleen. Maybe others see your pain and miss that, but God sees it. What faith! What incredible faith, and yet I also hear your heart. I’m so sorry you are suffering, and my prayer is that in the midst of your suffering, God’s presence will be so tangible that you feel it and soak in it, and find what you need for today, and then again tomorrow, and the next day. My heart hurts with you, Colleen, but I promise that I am praying right now with you as well. Suzie
We are seed sowers! What a beautiful image. We aren’t intended to pull the plants up by their roots, or tramp the seeds in the ground, but to simply sow them and let God water however it works out. Love this!
For every marriage represented here, Father, we pray for hope. For renewed love. For wisdom. For drawing together rather than pulling apart. For sin to stop ransacking families. For the enemy to be pushed back so that Your presence becomes the deciding factor in these relationships and homes. For the Holy Spirit power to fill every woman who is reaching for answers, and that You are their need-meeter when their spouse cannot or does not fill that need, for they are fallible, and you are God. Move in, Father. Let us move out of the way in whatever that looks like as you lead, guide, convict, draw to the cross, and heal these marraiges. In Jesus’ name, amen.
Father, pour out your gentle presence over Heather. Release the choke hold of anxiety, and pour in anticipation of who You are and what you mean to her, and how that will lead her and guide her, no matter the decisions she must make. Help her choose the path that walks with you, even if it’s scary, or unfamiliar. She knows you, but she’s dry. Today, lead her to an intentional place of refilling, not based on feelings or what might happen, but simply to sit in your presence.
Heather, the verse that comes to mind is Matthew 6:6 in The Message. It’s such an invitation from God to each of us.
Find a place where you can simply be alone with God. Don’t role play. Just sit as quietly as you can. And the focus will shift from you to Him, and you will begin to sense His grace.
I love this verse because there’s no pressure. It’s not about how we feel, or what we bring or who we are, but simply sitting in His presence. He knows what we need before we ask (verse 8) so words aren’t even necessary.
Praying for you right now.