When You Feel Hopeless, Start with Prayer
BY RICK WARREN — JULY 31, 2020
“From inside the fish Jonah prayed to the LORD his God.”
Jonah 2:1 (NIV)
Have you ever felt swallowed up by life? Maybe you were surrounded by depression, conflict, worry, or guilt—and you felt hopeless.
I hope you’re not feeling that way right now, but at some point you will. You might lose a loved one, your job, or your health.
When you’re faced with a hopeless situation, think about what Jonah did.
After Jonah had run from God’s mission for his life, God prepared a great fish to swallow him up. As he sat in that great fish, Jonah looked up to God.
In fact, the entire second chapter of this book is Jonah praying while he sinks into the ocean and gets swallowed by a giant fish. It’s a lesson to us that when we’re feeling overwhelmed, we need to look up to God in prayer.
From the very first verse of the chapter, you see Jonah turning to God: “From inside the fish Jonah prayed to the Lord his God” (Jonah 2:1 NIV).
Some problems in life will never go away unless we learn to look to God in prayer.
In Mark 9, some of Jesus’ followers had been trying to drive a demon out of someone, but they couldn’t. They asked Jesus why.
Jesus responded: “This kind can come out only by prayer” (Mark 9:29 NIV).
Some problems are so deeply rooted that only persistent prayer will solve them. It’s not just about just a one-time prayer, either. If you only care about something enough to pray about it once, you don’t really care about it. If you truly want to see something happen in your life, you will pray about it over and over.
God wants to see whether you want it desperately enough to keep on praying! He’s more interested in building your faith than he in answering every little prayer.
If you’re feeling hopeless today, look up to God and keep praying. Never give up!
Talk It Over
Why do we often treat prayer as our last resort when we feel hopeless?
What in your life have you been praying about most persistently?
Is there any area of your life where you feel hopeless and in need of prayer? Who can you ask to pray with you persistently about this issue?