Ever Feel Like Giving Up on Prayer?

In this excerpt from Daily Talks with God, Karen Barber shares insight for times when you wonder if your prayers are doing any good.

By Karen Barber, Alpharetta, Georgia

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Simon Peter answered him, Lord, to whom shall we go? Thou hast the words of eternal life. John 6:68

Those of us who have been praying for many years can relate to having so many confusing things about life and faith thrown at us that we feel like giving up on prayer. We get weary. We get dragged down by rejection. We get depressed. We suffer through bad, unjust situations in our workplaces, our homes and our communities. We struggle to understand why all of this has happened and where God could possibly be in any of this.

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Is the way of suffering, sacrifice and hard labor really God’s way? We begin to feel it’s time for God to send us some sort of sign that He’s there. It wouldn’t hurt to have a miracle to prove that prayer still works. After a while we even stop praying regularly, asking ourselves, “Is it really doing any good?”

Life often brings us to a point where circumstances ask us the same question Jesus posed to His disciples, “Do you want to leave Jesus and prayer behind because of how hard this is?” It’s not an easy question to grapple with, but it can be potentially redemptive if we don’t ignore or run away from it.

The question asks us to imagine what life would be like without prayer. Where on earth could we possibly go to find the same spiritual grace as prayer? What alternative things would we be doing instead? Throwing pennies into wishing wells? Sacrificing bulls? Putting plates of food in front of statues? Drinking magic potions? The question is good because the answer is clear: Prayer is our only true lifeline, the only way to remain in fellowship with Jesus, the only way to be perfectly content because we trust in the One we are talking with Who is the Giver of Life, the One Who Feeds Us with bread that truly satisfies.

What are the alternatives to prayer? There really are none.

Excerpted from Daily Talks with God.

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Your Comments (8)

Thank you for your article, today I have been questioning if God is even listening. I have had a rough time with trying to pay bills, take care of grandchildren, and my rescue dogs finding them homes. I know that God is able to move hearts of loving individuals to adopt these babies - what's taking so long and Lord you said you would meet my every need - O.K. Lord, car insurance is past due. HELP!!! I am trying to be reminded that His way isn't my way and His thoughts aren't my thoughts. "I believe Lord, help my unbelief!" Your article was great, didn't feel like you were putting other faiths down, using them as options. Only one way - Jesus Christ! Thank you.

You do not come to a Christian website where Christian truths are taught and demand that rituals of other faiths, when they clash with your beliefs are honored.

It's not being disrespectful to other faiths on a Christian site to state that prayer with Christ is the only lifeline we have. Our bible teaches there is no other way and not to be superstitious, which throwing fountains in a coin is.

It's amazing to me how people can demand respect for their religion while disrespecting the faith of the person writing this article.

Excuse the dyslexia. Throwing coins in the fountain, is what I intended to say.

Was a little disappointed in this article because like the other reader it seemed to me to be making fun of rituals of other faiths. I love prayer but use it In conjunction with meditative techniques, some borrowed from my Buddhist friends. It helps with spiritual connection, treating issues in life with acceptance and love. Also reading a lot., walks in nature, music, and even talking with people of other faiths, to learn from them, not convert. Prayer can pull us into ourselves sometimes and a spiritual open-mindedNess is key.My God is not judging or particular about how I keep up my end of our connection. Prayer is wonderful, but You can hold God in your heart ask day without it

Jesus said, "I am the Way, the Truth and the Life. No one comes to the Father but through Me."
No human being can verify those words or prove them. But if you ask Him, He Himself will show you whether the truth.

I need prayer today. I need to get my driver's license today an I am coming up short on money to get it done.This is so I can work my two jobs. I am short 40 dollars. I really need to keep my jobs right now .I am hurting trying to get my stuff paid right now. I am 9 days late getting my license.because I have an outstanding ticket that has to be paid first. It is really important that I get my license today.

I am not certain what plan God has for you but I am lifting you up to him. Trust his to do bin will be empty by days end and you are in it. Try asking for an advancment on your paycheck.

Nice article and helpful for when life's circumstances feel overwhelming. However my comment to the author is that no matter what we know and do in our own faith, we must also show utmost respect for others' faiths and cultures. I've spent time in several Hindu, Buddist and Islamic countries where things like "Putting plates of food in front of statues," are a very real and sacred part of their prayer life. I felt it just a little disrespectful of other faiths the way this was worded and grouped in with "throwing pennies in a well." Though these practices are not what we as Christians know to be the way to connect with God, let's have respect for those of other faiths. After all, we're all trying to achieve the same result - a close personal relationship with Him. God bless.