Too Tired to Pray
Wendy Pope

"Then I prayed to the God of heaven..."
Nehemiah 2:4b (NIV)


Have you ever been in the midst of an ongoing challenge of life whose sting never ceased? As one day faded into the next, you wondered how you would have the energy to make it through. You looked for direction asking, "What can I do that will make my situation different?"

I have been there, done that, and bought the t-shirt. I am a survivor of some tough challenges. Challenges that stole my energy, zest for life, and belief that things could change. In fact, I am currently living such a challenge and have been for several years.

During difficult days my godly friends offer wise counsel. They point me to scripture with aspirations of encouraging me and bringing hope to what I deem hopeless. My friends hold me up in prayer. They remind me to pray. However, there are times when the weight of my circumstances are so heavy, when I bow my head to pray I find I am just too tired.

I am tired of moving forward one day, only to run into another obstacle that prohibits progress the next day. I am tired of expelling my energies trying to make a difference, only to find myself right back where I was before. Because this situation robs me of spiritual, mental and physical energy, I feel too tired to pray.

I am too tired to pray until I remember a man in the Bible. This man found himself in a challenge that had the potential to rob him of spiritual, mental, and physical strength. He ran into one obstacle after another and worked hard each day trying to make a difference. Unlike me, this man was not too tired to pray.

The man is Nehemiah. He wept and mourned over the condition of Jerusalem after the exiles returned from Babylon. He was motivated to help his people rebuild. Having the favor of the king and the presence of God on his side, one would assume the assignment would not be a challenge. However, government officials Sanballat and Tobiah, made it their personal business to undermine the rebuilding progress. Nehemiah responded to each insult and obstacle the same way: he prayed.

Nehemiah and the Israelites found praying was the needed prescription to revive them, restore their energy and continue building! Through the power of prayer their enemies were defeated and the wall was rebuilt. What a wonderful lesson for anyone struggling through life’s challenges, too tired to pray. Let's examine this prescription for those who are overwhelmed.

We can simplify Nehemiah's prayer prescription as SAP (Stop and Pray). According to Dictionary.com the word sap means energy and vitality. Vitality is defined as exuberant physical strength or mental vigor; power to live and grow. Nehemiah had it right. He made prayer his first choice, not his last resort. He discovered prayer would revive his spirit and restore the mental and physical energy needed to overcome challenges.

Do you find yourself facing a challenge? Have you felt just too tired to pray? Join me today as I SAP -- stop and pray. Let's allow the power of prayer to revive our spirit and restore our physical and mental vigor. By following Nehemiah's example we will have the energy needed to defeat the enemy and thrive in the midst of our challenges.

Dear Lord, through the power of prayer, today's challenge can be tomorrow's victory. Forgive me when I make prayer my last resort instead of my first choice. Help me remember the truths You have taught me today. Help me SAP when adversity comes my way. Thank You for prayer and the power I receive when I turn to You. In Jesus' Name, Amen.

Related Resources:
Do You Know Jesus?

Visit Wendy’s blog to find out how to be part of the amazing online study through The One Year Chronological Bible. Read testimonials of those involved in this study for two years and hear Wendy share how this Bible has changed her life and her love for God’s Word.

What to do in the W.A.I.T: Finding Contentment in God's Pauses and Plans by Wendy Pope

Divine Prayers for Despairing Parents: Words to Pray When You Don't Know What to Say by Susanne Scheppmann
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Application Steps:
Write the word SAP and its meaning (energy and vitality) on several note cards. Place them in your home, car, work and Bible, to remind you to SAP.

Each time a difficult situation occurs, no matter how small, SAP.


Reflections:
How do I feel about my prayer life?

Am I willing to SAP whenever a situation occurs? If not, why?

Am I currently in a tough life challenge? Do I really believe prayer can change it? Why or why not?

Power Verses:
Daniel 9:19a, "O Lord, hear. O Lord, forgive. O Lord, listen and act!" (NLT)

Habakkuk 1:5, "Look at the nations and watch and be utterly amazed. For I am going to do something in your days that you would not believe, even if you were told." (NIV)

Ephesians 3:20, "Now to Him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to His power that is at work within us." (NIV)

Romans 8:26-27, "In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groans that words cannot express. And he who searches our hearts knows the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for the saints in accordance with God's will." (NIV)

© 2010 by Wendy Pope. All rights reserved.


10 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Meeting an ongoing challenge today. Wanted to give up the whole shootin' match...go "belly up"....Pray? I think I pray a lot...but can't seem to feel God's nearness anymore...

Tired? yes. Weak and discouraged? yes. Beat down? yep.

So I will pray again...and my prayer is, "Help, LORD!"

Anonymous Anonymous said...

So glad to have found your website! What a blessing it has been to me in the last couple of weeks. Today's devotion is particularly encouraging. Two friends and I have committed to praying for some (seemingly) insurmountable situations. The "power verses" at the end were especially appropriate. Thanks and God Bless :)

Blogger bambi said...

To Anonymous who posted at 9:45 am and anyone else who's been there: I've been there too. And I know what a dark place it can be when you can't feel God's presence in the midst of your struggles. I knew what his word said...that He would never leave me nor forsake me. But it didn't change how I felt. I had tried to pray, and pray, and pray. Still I felt He was so distant from me. I had confessed sin, knew He forgave me, believed His Word, still I felt an emptiness. It seemed my circumstances were just to big to push through. I knew I didn't want to continue on this way.

So I asked Him, "Lord, why can't I feel your presence. I know what your word says, You'll never leave me nor forsake me. That your with me always. So why can't I sense you anymore?"

And immediately the words were spoken to me, "He inhabits the praises of His people". And suddenly I realized, that over the course of my struggle, my praying had turned to complaining. Somewhere along the line in the midst of my circumstances I had stopped praising Him. So, even though I didn't feel like I had anything to praise Him for, I determined in my heart that I would start to again. It wasn't easy at first. I didn't feel Him at first. But I continued to praise Him in the storm. I even turned on the radio and began singing to Him. And you know what happened, He showed up. As I knelt there on my knees in my living room floor, I felt His Spirit literally rush in and meet me in my place of need. Suddenly an overwhelming sense of His peace and power and strength filled me in a way I will never forget. My focus was no longer on the weight of my circumstances, but my eyes were turned to Him.

So all this to say, even when we feel like He's not there, He is. Praise Him, because He is great and greatly to be praised.

Isaiah 64:4-5a says, "For since the beginning of the world men have not heard nor perceived by the ear, nor has the eye seen any God besides You, WHO ACTS IN BEHALF OF THE ONE WHO WAITS FOR HIM. YOU MEET HIM WHO REJOICES AND DOES RIGHTEOUSNESS."

Hope this can help. love you and praying for you.

Blogger bambi said...

Another verse that came to mind but couldn't find it until now:

Isaiah 59:1 "Behold, the Lord's hand is not shortened, that it cannot save; Nor His ear heavy that it cannot hear."

Blogger Denni said...

bambi - well said! Wendy and all others who are experiencing this in their lives. Please remember even when we are too tired to pray, when we don't know what to pray, or even just simply don't have the words to pray...God hears the utterances of our heart. Just turn your attention to Him in prayer...you don't even have to say a word...He knows he has your attention and then commune heart to heart with God. This may sound corny but I have been there and know that the times I had nothing left and no words God heard the ache in my heart and responded.

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wow ,talk abt an on going challenge, I am really stuggling , have been dealing with a situation for almost 6 yrs, thought I was dealing ok, trusting>>>>> not praying as much recently, but it reared its ugly head last week and here we are again.
Thank you for this devotion I will SAP , as a matter of fact God woke me up in plenty of time to have a quite time with Him before I got ready for work. He is good ,all the time

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anonymous at 09.45...I could have written these words as well! But don't worry too much - just keep going, hard as it may be and much as you may not feel like it or feel that anything is happening. Keep asking. Keep praying

Blogger T-Reese said...

What a word! I have been praying for my husband and our marriage for so long and I truly have become tired of praying. I totally understand the previous comments as to praying and yet feeling so distant from God. One of my favorite scriptures is:

Isaiah 26:3- You will keep him in perfect peace, Whose mind is stayed on You, Because he trusts You.

I am a living witness that although I have been praying for 10 years that when I keep my eyes on God, my situations no longer feel overwhelming by any means. I praise God that He alone can do this for me. And since we can't do anything in and through ourselves by our own decision, the Holy Spirit is the one who can do it for us. Praise God!!!!

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I came to the site yesterday morning before work but this devotion was not up yet. As I read todays devotion I continued down the page to find yesterdays. I can not tell you how I felt yesterday. JUST PLAIN TIRED! To tired to care, to tired to pray, to tired to do just about anything. My husband and I had a disagreement on something and I felt he just did not love me enough to see my point of view. I feel like that alot. I love my husband very much. He knows I have a tough time with issues and I just want alittle understanding. He used to be so understanding. I know I am venting and maybe no one will even read this since I am a day late. But I am so encouraged by the comments I read. Thanks for the devotion. I will SAP.

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I need some christian lady friends to talk to on the internet. I have friends at church, but I would like some new friends to talk to and get to know. My name is Denise and my email address is
neesy_9758@yahoo.com, I posted the last comment above and really need some encouragement from others daily. I will tell you I have felt at times I just wanted to give up. So please if you are interested in being my friend please email me at the address above. Thanks

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