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4 Simple Prayers for Hard Times (+ Scripture That Supports Them)

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Looking for some simple prayers for hard times?

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Have you ever acquainted simple prayers with powerless prayers?

Sometimes the situations we face seem too big for our solutions and too complex for simple prayers. I found myself consistently battling those very thoughts during our family’s out of the blue move to North Idaho in 2018. We knew we were stepping out in obedience but boy was it a bumpy road.

I had to remind myself more than once that the power of prayers isn’t in the number of words we use or the eloquence of our speech but is one-hundred percent in the God who hears them.

Sincere hearts and simple prayers, plus the listening ear of the Sovereign God go a long way.

“The effective, fervent prayer of the righteous avails much.” James 5:16

To prayer fervently means to pray passionately or intensely. When life deals you hardships the most productive thing you can do is bring them before God. Below are four simple prayers that you can prayer persistently and fervently during hard seasons when your heart is overwhelmed.

prayers for hard times

4 Simple Prayers For Hard Times (When You Don’t Know What to Pray)

1. Lord, Give Me Wisdom

I don’t know about you, but asking for help isn’t something that comes easy for me. I’m a fixer. I like to have all the answer and I like to be the one to come up with solutions. Life is so much easier for me when I don’t have to depend on other people for those things. It challenges me to the core to when I have to lean on people, and even on God, for help.

I am constantly pulling me off my pedestal and reminding myself if I have not sought God for wisdom on the matter, my research is not complete. I need to seek God.


In Proverbs. 3:5-6 King Solomon reminds us,

“trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him and He will direct your paths.”

I may not have all the answers, but God does. His wisdom is sufficient. We also have James 1:5 as our assurance that when (I am constantly reminding myself that it’s a matter of when not if) we need wisdom God is not just willing but committed to being our answer. James 1:5 reads,

“If anyone lacks wisdom, let him ask of God who gives liberally and without reproach, and it will be given.”

When you don’t have the words to pray, adopt simple prayers like this; “Lord, give me wisdom.”

2. Your will be done.

Nobody sets this example better than Jesus did, praying in the Gethsemane moments before He was arrested. He knew what was coming. He knew the road was going to be hard. He didn’t want to suffer – but still, He surrendered.

…“Father, if it is your will take this cup away from Me, nevertheless not My will but Yours be done.”
Luke 22:44

Surrender is hard. Especially when we can’t see the end results. Can I let you in on a secret? Surrendering to God’s will is ALWAYS worth it.

Maybe you’re not sure what His will for that moment is. Can I share another secret? And please, pass these on. They’re far too important for us to keep to ourselves. Obedience to God will never put you outside of His will for your life. If you aren’t sure where to start, start there; with obedience and the willingness to pray, “Lord, your will be done.”

3. God be glorified in this.

Therefore we also have as our ambition whether at home or absent to be pleasing to Him.
2 Corinthians 5:9-11

No matter what road God takes me down the end goal is always to same. I want God to be glorified not just by my actions, but by the outcome.

So whether it things work in my favor or not I want the boldness to pray God, be glorified in this. If I’m knocked down, God be glorified. If it hurts, God be glorified. If all is well, God be glorified. I may not know exactly what “this” is or where it’s going but Lord, be glorified in this.


4. Use this hardship to point the lost towards you.

God can use our trials and tribulations. Nobody explains this better than Paul himself in His letter to the Philippian church. A letter, that by the way, was written in prison. How is that for hard situations?

What encourages me about Paul is that he knew that no matter where He was positioned, a prison cell or a at the “pulpit”, no matter what circumstances lay ahead of him, his mission was still the same and the hope of the gospel was still worth sharing.

He explained it like this,

“But I want you to know, brethren, that the things which happened to me have actually turned out for the furtherance of the gospel, so that it has become evident to the whole palace guard, and to all the rest, that my chains are in Christ and most of the brethren in the Lord, having become confident by my chains are much more bold to speak the word without fear.”
Philippians 1:12-14

God can use our hardships. It’s not just that he can; He does. He has a track record for it. Ask God to use your hardships to lead the lost to Him. 

Seeking God In Rough Time

There are a lot of simple prayers you could pray during hard times. The key is to keep seeking Him. In John 16:33 Jesus is speaking to his disciples and he tells them,

“I have told you these things so that you may have peace. In this world, you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”

He has overcome the world.
Does anyone else find an unusual sense of peace just hearing that? A sense of hope?

Philippians 4:6 Paul encourages us,

Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.

The peace and hope we are looking for during hard times can only come from Jesus. So commit to seeking Him friends; every day and in every hardship. Cry out to Him; even if the only words that manage to exit your breath are short and simple prayers.


  • Alonda Tanner

    Hi friends! I’m Alonda Tanner; an Alaska Grown author and educator, with an ever-growing love for Jesus, books, and sparkling cider. In addition, I love serving the world by creating free education and resources that inspire women to embrace their God-given identity and live purpose-driven, faith-filled lives.   I’m a firm believer that it all starts with digging into the Word. Ready to venture into a richness of the Bible? Join our Bible Study community and I’ll send you our most well-loved resources – our Bible study Highlighting Key – for free!

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Monday 17th of August 2020

Love this! I do okay at praying for the first three but often forget to pray that God uses all messes and trials to point people towards HIM! Thank you for the reminder on how to pray during hard times.


Monday 10th of August 2020

I am so thankful God understands even the language of our tears. Our prayers during hard times often come from the deep place of surrender.


Monday 10th of August 2020

Prayers are powerful weapons. As you said, it's not in how many words you say, but your heart. Sometimes our tears can speak to the Lord as we empty ourselves to Him


Sunday 9th of August 2020

Thank you for your timely post. My husband and I have some very serious work related decisions to make this week and I don't know even how or what to pray but I know the Holy Spirit does. Thank you for this encouraging post.

Lo Tanner

Monday 10th of August 2020

Praying for and with you Karen <3 Trusting God to guide you through the uncertainty. I know He will!

Donna Miller

Sunday 9th of August 2020

This was so sweet and refreshing! There are many times when I don't have the strength to speak out anymore than "Jesus!" But Jesus always meets me right where I am at when I call out His Name.

Lo Tanner

Monday 10th of August 2020

Yes! He knows our hearts and He can do so so much with a sincere heart. Also, perfect time to suggest the song, "Say the Name" by Martha Munizzi. If you haven't listened to it, go now! So amazing!

Betty Rojugbokan

Sunday 9th of August 2020

Thank you for this reminder and prayer for hard times. Obedience is key to doing God's will and absolute obedience is better than half obedience.

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