Prayer Fatigue: What to Do When It’s Hard to Pray

18. February 2018 faith 7
Prayer Fatigue: What to Do When It’s Hard to Pray



A few years ago I was disenchanted with prayer. Prayer fatigue left me broken and weary.

I was angry and confused.

Grief stricken.

“Why do we pray if it doesn’t make a difference?” I yelled to the sky.

Why do we keep on praying when we see no answers? 

The answer I found to my rant after months of anguish and wrestling was very simple. We pray because . . .

We are told to.

It’s that profound my friends. We pray because we are told to pray.

Paul wrote to “pray without ceasing.” 

Jesus instructed his followers to go into their prayer room and petition in secret. He promised God would reward them.

The Perks and Perplexities of Prayer

I could tell you that prayer is our opportunity to bring heaven to earth—it’s an opportunity to partner with God. I could tell you that prayer changes us in the process and draws us closer to the Life-Giver.

Yet, for every perk of prayer, there are perplexities. I could tell you that prayer heals people on this side of heaven and sometimes it doesn’t. (But you know this all too well.)

Scripture tells us that faith is essential for answered prayers. The people Jesus healed were often healed because of their great faith.

But Sometimes faith is not the key factor to the answered petition. Sometimes we have all the faith in the world, but other factors, like God’s will or the will of the person for whom we are praying, alter the answer. The dichotomy of the sovereignty of God and free-will is beyond my comprehension.

I’ve also begun to notice that for each healed person in the Bible you can find a scripture about persevering through suffering.

But we are told to pray.

Peter wrote,

“The end of all things is near. Therefore be clear minded and self-controlled so that you can pray” (1 Peter 4:7 NIV).

The Greek words under the English translation mean “sane and sober”. So we need to be sane (I’m not sure how we can control that) and not drunk. (I do know how we control that.) But we need to be that way so . . .

We can pray.

And all I can think of is that Peter wrote this because, whether we see the evidence of our prayers working on this side of heaven or not, our prayers have got to be making a difference somewhere. Our prayers matter.

If they didn’t, I don’t think Peter would’ve written this. Nor would’ve John written about this vision in Revelation:


“And when he had taken it, the four living creatures and the twenty-four elders fell down before the Lamb. Each one had a harp and they were holding golden bowls full of incense, which are the prayers of God’s people” (Revelation 5:8 NIV).


Not one prayer is lost. All are collected. All fill heaven with sweet fragrance.

Prayer Fatigue

But I know when you’ve petitioned for twenty years for healing, or for a loved one to know Jesus, or your marriage to improve, or ______________________ (you fill in the blank), and prayer fatigue is beginning to wear you down, it becomes harder to pray with hope. 

Doubt seeps in.

Doubt of God’s goodness.

Doubt of God’s love.

And I really think this is what Peter was saying when he wrote the instruction to be clear minded and self-controlled. Our prayers get muddled when we begin wondering why they aren’t being answered. We begin to doubt the Bible, ourselves, and/or God.

So, this week’s Bite of Bread Bible reading plan is filled with verses to strengthen your faith, not in receiving answers to prayer, but in the goodness and faithfulness and wisdom of God. Because this is where we need to go when prayer fatigue sets in. 

There are two reasons for this. The first is the most powerful.

Satan wants us to be mad at God. He works to place a wedge between God and his children. He is delighted when we become embittered in prayer fatigue.

I wrote this a few weeks ago in a post on spiritual warfare:

I am learning to take this new perspective when I feel under attack or life seems to be unraveling and pray:  “Okay, Daddy-God, what are you showing me? You be glorified in this hardship, this pain, this wound, this grief, this fear.” . . . Our trusting God’s goodness and faithfulness is Satan’s kryptonite.

Spiritual Battle

Don’t forget we are in the middle of the now and the not yet. Jesus is seated at the right hand of God, but we are waiting for everything to be placed at his feet. Therefore, we must pray. Don’t forget to ask God how to pray before you begin, especially if prayer fatigue is setting in, and discouragement paralyzes your petitions.

Be released to pray whether you see your prayers answered in our reality or not.


Bible Reading Plan





Sneak Peek of Scriptures and Printable Prompts


Monday: 1 Corinthians 15:58: Therefore, my dear brothers and sisters, stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain.

  • I consider prayer labor. It doesn’t feel like an important job for the Kingdom of God, but it’s the first thing we should always do. How would your prayers change if you knew this was one of the ministries God has given you? Would you pray differently?

Tuesday: Hebrews 10: 23: Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful.

  • What is our hope? When we’re muddy in the trenches of prayer, we must go back to our eternal hope and the faithful character of God.

Wednesday 2 Thessalonians 3:5: May the Lord direct your hearts into God’s love and Christ’s perseverance.

  • This is such a beautiful prayer. Turn it into a prayer for yourself. “Lord, help be know beyond knowing and that you love me so I can trust and rest in your love and work with you in prayer rather than fight you. And please give me the perseverance of Jesus who suffered many trials on this earth but never stopped obeying and trusting you.”

Thursday: Galatians 6:9: Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up. 

  • Don’t give up! Ask God how to pray and continue helping saving souls with your prayers.


Friday: James 1:12:  Blessed is the one who perseveres under trial because, having stood the test, that person will receive the crown of life that the Lord has promised to those who love him.

  • Persevere in prayer even when you’re weary. Keep trusting His love for you and those you’re praying for. Keep your eyes on the finish line.

Saturday: Hebrews 10: 35-36So do not throw away your confidence; it will be richly rewarded. You need to persevere so that when you have done the will of God, you will receive what he has promised.

  • Keep confident in the goodness of God even when prayer fatigue threatens. He promises great reward as we keep on trusting Him and praying through hard days, months, and years.

Sunday: Romans 5: 3-5: Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance;  perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us.

  • Are you suffering in prayer? This verse is an answer to such waiting. If you are struggling, stop petitioning the same prayer and start simply worshiping and asking Him to fill you with His love.

Download the printable for when it’s hard to pray.


No Live Teaching This Week!

I’m attending a writers conference this week and unable to teach my Facebook Live broadcast. I’ll miss hanging out with you in my kitchen and drinking coffee together. I pray you will have some deep time with the Lord using the printable.  If you need some encouragement, you can always go to my YouTube channel to watch a previous teaching. The last few weeks we’ve dug deep into some powerful scripture studying setting boundaries, dealing with difficult people, and marriage to an unbelieving spouse. Take this week to catch up!


Join the Conversation

What have you learned about prayer lately? Leave a comment!


Your. Prayers. Matter.


Dig Deep!




PS. If this was encouraging, and you don’t want to miss any Bite of Bread reading plans and posts, subscribe today! You’ll receive a 22-Day Devotion on Psalm 119 called Finding the Beauty {Full} in God’s Word.Just click here to dig deep to live fully. 🙂 


Helpful resource:

One of my friends, Sandy Chambers, wrote a book on prayer that I found very helpful. Check out, Lord It’s Boring in My Prayer Closet. 





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7 thoughts on “Prayer Fatigue: What to Do When It’s Hard to Pray”

  • 1
    Laura Menefee on February 21, 2018 Reply

    I needed this today.

    • 2
      Andy on February 23, 2018 Reply

      Thanks for stopping by my friend! So glad it helped. Yay God!

      • 3
        Andy on February 25, 2018 Reply

        Kathy, I’mso glad you found this article and the scriptures. I pray they speak to you as you spend time with the Lord. I am praying for you. Blessings.

  • 4
    Tina Snyder on February 19, 2018 Reply

    Just before I check my email this am, I told myself this is a week I get back to focusing specifically on prayinging. You see I will be TDY this week for the new job God had given me. I will have new work to do but no other family responsibilities to do. So my plan is to focus on Him. Your topic this week is Gods timing. He is so Good!!! Please keep me in your prayers for Gods favor as I meet with military authority to inform them about The PLAY Project Program for their military families with children with autism. Thank you my friend,
    Going forth in Him
    Tina Snyder

    • 5
      Andy on February 19, 2018 Reply

      Hi Tina! That is so cool! I love how God does that. I will hold you in prayer. Praying for favor with the authorities that they have sensitive hearts to this need.

  • 6
    Sandra Chambers on February 19, 2018 Reply

    Such a good word, Andy! I’m convinced that there is not one person who doesn’t struggle in prayer at some point in their lives. We have to remember that prayer is warfare. In prayer, we are taking back God’s Kindgom from the enemy and sometimes we do become battle weary. But we can’t let our feelings or circumstances dictate how we pray (I’m talking to myself here) and that is reallly hard! You really nailed it when you said, “Our trusting God’s goodness and faithfulness is Satan’s kryptonite.”
    Thanks for encouraging us!

    • 7
      Andy on February 19, 2018 Reply

      Hi Sandy! Thank you! You are such a warrior, and it’s comforting to know we’re not alone in this battle. Thanks for stopping by!

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