a ray of hope if you’re feeling stuck today and don’t know how to pray

October 6, 2016 | 5 comments

If you were to peek into my office during one of my most frustrated moments, you might see this: A blinking cursor on a blank Microsoft Word document. A frustrated stack of scribbled notes. A woman, with her head in her hands, uttering, “Help me, God. Help me, God. Help me, God.”

Sometimes, that’s the only prayer I can muster when I hit a roadblock in my work. For me as a writer, that roadblock often looks like writer’s block.

I don’t know what your most common roadblock is in your work, but I’m guessing you have one. The figures aren’t adding up. The money’s not coming in. The orders aren’t going out. And the expenses aren’t going down.

Or maybe it’s your work as a parent, and it feels like you’re running out of time to do everything you intended to do to prepare your children for the next season of their lives.

It can all be quite overwhelming.

But here’s the good news. You aren’t struggling alone. Even if you can’t find the right words to summon divine help, you are not left alone.

Here’s why:

God is with you, and He is in you.

He joins you every day, in your everyday work, not only to equip you for your tasks, but to help you when you get stuck.

God is the great un-sticker of whatever gets stuck. And one of the ways he does that is by praying for you. God sees your clenched jaw, hears your guttural sigh, and responds to your meager, “Help me out here, God, because I don’t know what to do.”

Paul tells us that something mysterious happens when we are in need but don’t know what to pray.

“The Spirit himself intercedes for us.” (Romans 8:26)

A few verses later, Paul adds: “Christ Jesus, who died—more than that, who was raised to life—is at the right hand of God and is also interceding for us.”

That’s all three members of the Trinity working on your behalf, even when you aren’t sure how to make it work at all. The Triune God is assisting you in the work of prayer, when you are tongue-tied and troubled.

God called you to the work you’re in today—whether you’re an overseas missionary, a truck driver, a stay-at-home mom, a nursing home aide, or a school teacher. God has a stake in it, so that should give us all hope. He won’t leave us to our own resources—or our own prayers—as we carry out his work in the world.

YOUR RUN: Is it hard for you to believe that the Holy Spirit is interceding for us, even in our everyday tasks? How might you take one step today toward believing that ROMANS 8:26 is true for you today?

PRAYER: Dear Holy Spirit, Ugh. Oofda. Ohhhh nooooo. That’s our prayer today, God. It’s not pretty, but it’s how we’re feeling. We are grateful that you know precisely what our frustrated groans mean. Take our groans, and turn them into prayers, in accordance with your will. Amen.


by | October 6, 2016 | 5 comments


  1. lynn__

    Ugh turns to Ahhh! Thanks for this, Jennifer! I even admire your writer’s block 😉

  2. Martha Orlando

    Oh, amen, Jennifer! I can’t be thankful enough for the Holy Spirit who turns our earthly messes into heart-felt prayers. Thank you for this inspiration today!

  3. Theresa Boedeker

    I find that as I get older and realize that I often don’t know how best to pray in a difficult situation, I Find myself relying on the holy spirit to intercede for me as I just say, “Your will be done Lord, your will be done.”

  4. Deborah Will

    Love this Jennifer. Needed this one as I head back to sub today. Last week I had a class like I’ve never had before, but I knew God had me there for a reason although I won’t be going back to that one.

  5. Nancy Ruegg

    That stumbly prayer at the end of your post made me smile, Jennifer. I’m thinking perhaps the Spirit/Jesus smiles as he takes just such prayers intercedes with flowing prose that our words could not express. Thank you also for your Spirit-inspired reassurance that God has called us to the work he has given us to do and he has a stake in it. He won’t leave us to flounder. Those words DO give me hope!


Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Pin It on Pinterest