10 Prayers to Pray When You Just Don’t Know What to Say

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10 Prayers to Pray When You Just Don’t Know What to Say

Life has a way of hitting us when we least expect it. Hard times, relationship struggles, financial strain, broken hearts, burdens too heavy to bear, and misunderstandings that make us wonder if God will ever fix it.

Maybe you’ve prayed but the prayers seem to bounce off the ceiling, and even bowing on bended knee feels like an effort that isn’t helping. The words won’t come and the thoughts are filled with questions, doubt, fear, and anxiety over what has happened, could happen, or over the possibilities of how everything will ever work out.

I know you’ve been there. It seems just when we least expect it - boom! Life hits. It feels like the wind has been knocked right out of your chest and there’s no breath to pray. No words to utter. Faith is on the edge of failing and yet we know the one place to go is to God. But what do we say?

So here we are ready to receive an answer from God, desperate.

Today, I want to share with you 10 prayers to pray when you don’t know what to say or don’t have any breath or words left. They come straight from Scripture, and I hope they will encourage your heart.

1. Psalm 3:3

“But You, O Lord, are a shield for me,
My glory and the One who lifts up my head.”

Often when life is a mess and we feel like a total wreck, we run to God and give Him our laundry list of needs, requests, and suggestions of how He could make things work out for us. But I’m learning to approach God in a different way. Running to God in our time of need is good, but running to Him in a posture of worship is better. When we remember how amazing He is, that He is our shield and our comfort, we run and rest in His presence. The words of this verse give us great hope that He is the only one who can lift our heads in sorrow. It’s less about getting an answer to our problem and more about learning that He is the answer.

2. Psalm 20:7

“Some trust in chariots, and some in horses;
But we will remember the name of the Lord our God."

There are so many things we can do to try to make our lives work out well. We can save more money, go to counseling, fix up the house, get a personal trainer, and eat all the things that the latest diet tells us to, but those things will not fix the problems that keep us awake at night. Remembering the name of the Lord our God is a step in the right direction toward realizing life is bigger than what we are going through. God is able to do more than we could ever manipulate or figure out.

3. Psalm 23:4

“Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,
I will fear no evil;
For You are with me;
Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me.”

Comfort comes in lots of forms. Warm brownies, a romantic movie, a soft blanket, a favorite beverage, a walk on the beach or the fresh crisp air of the mountains. But true comfort that lasts only comes from a relationship with Jesus Christ, the Shepherd. So rather than running toward all the things that make you feel good, run to Jesus. In His presence there is true comfort.

4. Psalm 25:5

“Lead me in Your truth and teach me,
For You are the God of my salvation;
On You I wait all the day."

I have no doubt you are tired of waiting. Waiting is hard. But praying this verse reminds us that we aren’t finished learning all God has for us. I know it’s no fun to wait, but there is value in today. Look up and see what God is offering you in this season.

5. Psalm 27:7

“Hear, O Lord, when I cry with my voice!
Have mercy also upon me, and answer me.”

So you’ve waited, and worshiped and done all the things you know to do. It is okay to say what you think and feel to the Lord. And this verse gives us the words to do that. Say it, write it down, say it again. “Have mercy on me, Lord! Answer me.”

6. Psalm 31:14

“But as for me, I trust in You, O Lord;
I say, ‘You are my God.’”

When the answer doesn’t come in the time or way you think it should, this is your verse. It’s a bold reminder to yourself of Who you are putting your trust and faith in. ‘You are my God’ is not just a cliché of words that sounds good. It is a declaration of belief in the only one who can do anything about your problems.

7. Psalm 32:7

“You are my hiding place;
You shall preserve me from trouble;
You shall surround me with songs of deliverance. Selah

We all need a retreat once in a while. A place we can go where we can quiet our souls and get away from the noise and trouble life brings. God is that place. Every day we have the opportunity to bask in His presence where He promises peace and songs of deliverance. Crank up the worship music if you need to, but go there. Hide in the presence of Jehovah.

8. Psalm 42:11

“Why are you cast down, O my soul?
And why are you disquieted within me?
Hope in God;
For I shall yet praise Him,
The help of my countenance and my God.”

Have you ever asked the question, “why?” It’s one of those questions we feel bad about asking, but we can’t help but asking either. And I want to give you permission to say it and pray it right now. Take this verse to heart and to heaven and pray it in Jesus’ name.

9. Psalm 52:9

“I will praise You forever,
Because You have done it;
And in the presence of Your saints
I will wait on Your name, for it is good.”

This verse brings us to a place of praise. A place we all want to get to, but struggle to muscle our way to in the midst of hardship and anxiety. But this verse might be the most important prayer we can pray because it proves our faith is truly trusting in God’s provision and sovereignty that He will absolutely work it out. God is good and will work out your biggest struggle, but it’s going to take time and faith.

10. Psalm 54:2

“Hear my prayer, O God;
Give ear to the words of my mouth.”

And when you have nothing else to say, say this, “Hear my prayer, O God;

Give ear to the words of my mouth.” Often we don’t know how to pray, what to say, or life just hurts so bad we can’t get the words formed to actually express what we feel. But here we find words straight from God that we can offer back to Him as heartfelt prayers.

Grab hold of one or two or ten and offer them up to the Lord as a prayer, and watch what God will do in your heart and in your life. God is not waiting for you to fall apart or crumble beneath the pressure of life. He is waiting with open arms to hear from you as you wait to hear from Him.

For more encouragement to live full of faith when you don’t feel like it, check out my book James: Tired, Tested, Torn, and Full of Faith

Photo credit: ©Getty Images/Photoboyko

Micah Maddox is a wife, mama, friend, Bible teacher, and author of a James: Tired, Tested, Torn, and Full of Faith. You can find encouraging resources FREE HERE! Micah is passionate about helping women learn what it truly means to daily walk with Jesus. She is on the Proverbs 31 Ministries First 5 Writing Team and writes for Encouragement From Women. Her main ministry is at home with her husband, Rob, who leads worship at Clear Springs Baptist Church in East Tennessee, and with her five children, some by birth, and some by adoption. Micah's heart for her local church is what fuels her desire to keep writing, teaching, and serving. Micah loves to give a voice to hurting hearts and writes and speaks to the one who needs encouragement. You can connect with her on Instagram or micahmaddox.com.