Do You Know What To Say When You Pray?

Do You Know What To Say When You Pray? Loving God, part XIV

I confess that this is my weakest discipline. “Lord, help me pray”

The Bible is great for giving us examples of prayer. I’d like to review some prayers where the petitioners actually complain to the Lord.


Genesis 15: 2 But Abram replied, “O Sovereign Lord, what good are all your blessings when I don’t even have a son? Since you’ve given me no children, Eliezer of Damascus, a servant in my household, will inherit all my wealth. 3 You have given me no descendants of my own, so one of my servants will be my heir.”

Remember this, when Abram was still waiting on a son that God promised him? He struggled with disbelief and spoke openly and honest to God.

A weak moment for Moses

Did you ever get frustrated and ask God “why” questions? Check this out:


Exodus 5:  22 Then Moses went back to the Lord and protested, “Why have you brought all this trouble on your own people, Lord? Why did you send me? 23 Ever since I came to Pharaoh as your spokesman, he has been even more brutal to your people. And you have done nothing to rescue them!”

He sounds pretty frustrated at this point, doesn’t he! Have you ever protested to God?

Have you ever asked these questions? I know I have.


Judges 6: 13 “Sir,” Gideon replied, “if the Lord is with us, why has all this happened to us? And where are all the miracles our ancestors told us about? Didn’t they say, ‘The Lord brought us up out of Egypt’? But now the Lord has abandoned us and handed us over to the Midianites.”

I just wanted to share these moments of doubt and frustration from a few of the greatest figures in the Bible. Their faith was tested and they endured challenging moments. They didn’t know what was going on, but what mattered most is that they took their issues to God, the One that delivered each of them from their pain.

Let’s be honest with God and open up to Him

Here’s an honest prayer from a man after God’s heart, King David…

Psalm 142: I cry out to the Lord;
    I plead for the Lord’s mercy.
I pour out my complaints before him
    and tell him all my troubles.
When I am overwhelmed,
    you alone know the way I should turn.

Despite all these examples, sometimes I come before God and I have no idea what to say. Sometimes I’m not even sure what I’m feeling. But I know that it is OK to just sit quietly before God. You really don’t have to say anything, just sit in silence. If you sit long enough words will start to come out and the conversation will start, just give it a chance.

“Oh Heavenly Father, you are the Lord of Lords and King of Kings. You are the Creator of heaven and earth, things seen and unseen. I long for a closer relationship with you. Sometimes it’s difficult for me to approach you, I don’t always have the words to say, but I know you hear my prayers and you do listen to me. Thank you for loving me in such a way that I can run to you in my times of need, for you are my Rock and my place of refuge. I know that you are there for me. Please help me rely on you more so that I will pray more often. As your Son said, ‘For apart from Me you can do nothing’.  In Jesus Name, Amen”

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Unless otherwise indicated, all Scripture quotations are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright © 1996, 2004, 2007, 2013, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.