Prayers for Endurance and Strength in Difficult Times

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During difficult times we can cling to God’s Word and cry out for strength and endurance in Jesus’ name

When I hear a false teacher proclaiming a false, prosperity gospel, I can’t help but cringe. 

In a very literal sense, I feel my body recoil.

Their false teachings are NOT Biblically based, but they are appealing to our flesh nature and therefore lead others astray.

Recognize any of the following FALSE teaching premises:

  • “Give to get! Give financially to this specific ministry and God will bless you in return.”
  • “Believe in Jesus and you will receive tangible blessings and great possessions in life.”
  • “Name it and claim it! You tell God what you want, claim that it WILL be yours, and if you believe enough with enough faith this will ensure it comes to pass.”

The above teachings are proven false when compared to what the Bible teaches.

  • Material prosperity can be a snare and does NOT always indicate God’s blessing. (Lk. 12:15)
  • Suffering can coincide with blessing and at times is a mark of blessing. (Mt. 5:10)
  • It is not always God’s will to heal in the way we would like. A perfect example is Paul asking the Lord to remove the thorn in his flesh. Paul tells us the Lord’s response,

“‘My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.’ Therefore, I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest upon me.”

2 Corinthians 12:9
  • While financial abundance is NOT wrong or sinful, we are cautioned against setting our hearts on wealth and allowing it to become an idol, or allowing wealth to be our source of ultimate trust. (Ps. 62:10, 1 Tim. 6:17).
  • We also find hope and take comfort in the promise that God can and will redeem the suffering we endure and use it for our good, and His glory. (See Romans 5)

Hard times and difficult circumstances in life are inevitable

Christ Jesus our Savior refutes the prosperity gospel better than anyone else ever could.

It was Him who said, “I have said these things to you, that IN ME you may have peace. In the world you WILL HAVE tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.” (John 16:33)

Jesus told His disciples they would have tribulation in this world. 

According to the Strong’s concordance, the literal meaning of tribulation in that verse is “pressure” (literally or figuratively).

As we study the disciples’ lives, they certainly faced tough times and very real pressures as followers of Jesus – up until their deaths. 

It was also Jesus who said, “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross daily and follow me.” (Luke 9:23)

Jesus exhorted us to die to self and follow Him.

I’m thankful for the above Scriptures that assure us when we encounter life’s challenges it doesn’t necessarily mean we don’t have enough faith or that God is not pleased with us! 

Just read the book of Job.

Trials and tribulations come for all sorts of reasons, and often by no “fault” of our own.

God’s character doesn’t change with times and seasons of life

It’s crucial to have a Biblical understanding of God’s character to ensure we don’t associate who He is in lieu of our circumstances or situations. 



We serve a faithful God; He can never act in a way inconsistent with His truth!

Sometimes we can see storm clouds in the distance and can predict a possible storm of some sort looming in the distant future.

For example, we may be able to:

  • Sense rising tension in a relationship
  • Experience health-related symptoms and when seen by the doctor, he orders a slew of tests to be done
  • See the evidence of financial strain as we pay our monthly bills
  • Becoming aware of negative consequences from a particular sin we’ve been engaging in that may signify a looming eruption of some sort.

Other times storms in life come upon us abruptly without warning, and we cannot understand why or determine where they came from!

Like a tornado touching down in our lives it wreaks havoc and leaves a wake of destruction in its unpredictable path.

This type of storm not only takes us off guard but can leave us shell-shocked, and with a feeling of total loss of control.

Regardless of how or why the storm came into our lives, these struggles can be:

  • Heartwrenching 
  • Heartbreaking
  • Stressful, scary, anxiety-provoking
  • Wearisome

God knows every detail of the storm and the depth to which it impacts you and your loved ones.

Amid our uncertainty, struggles, and suffering, God’s character is constant.

We need to have this cemented in our understanding because when trials in life come Satan will tempt us to doubt God’s faithfulness, goodness, sovereignty, love, and so much more.

Correct perspective is crucial when going through a storm in life.

We choose whether we focus on the raging and threatening winds and waves that surround us… or on Jesus who is sovereign over every wind and wave – including the ones crashing against us.

Sometimes God will choose to calm the storm around us, and other times He chooses to calm US in the storm. 

Clinging to Jesus during difficult times

When life gets messy and hard we can pour out our heart to God in recognition that we’re desperately in need of Him as we cling to Him and His promises.

  • We don’t know when a particular storm will end. 
  • We don’t know how it’s going to end.
  • We don’t know every obstacle that lies in wait.
  • We don’t know how it will all play out… Because we’re not God!

God is God, and we are not.

His ways are not our ways.

He will act according to HIS WILL, not ours.

He will make all things work together for HIS glory, not ours.

Each one of the four statements above seems so basic and obvious, but I want to suggest to you that we ALL need to remind ourselves of each one – often!

If we’re honest, oftentimes we think we know best, and we approach God as though He should act according to what we want, when we want, and how we want it!

Dear Lord, forgive us for our pride when we approach you in this way…

God is not our personal bellboy in heaven…

This brings us back to the fact that we need to know and believe that God is who HE sais He is, and He doesn’t change.

Whether we’re:

  • In a time of plenty or in want.
  • Experiencing joy or sorrow
  • Celebrating life or mourning a death
  • In a time of sowing or reaping

He is the same yesterday, today, and forever.

The Word of God assures us:

  • God’s love is unwavering toward His people
  • His mercies are new every morning
  • He is always faithful to His promises.

There is hope of heaven, my friend. Our ultimate place of healing and rest.

Remember, this Earth is not our home.

 My mentor, Wilda, and I had countless conversations as we wrestled through various trials in life, their impact on our lives, and the scars we’ve experienced because of them.

She’d always say, “Jesus never said it would be easy, Honey.”

She was right. Jesus never said that.

She’d often follow that statement with, “In fact, He told us not to be surprised when hard times come. It’s a good thing He told us that, Honey, so we don’t worry that something is wrong with us!”

Wilda was well acquainted with a need to pray for strength through trials; she experienced the unfathomable heartache of her precious son dying when he was very young.

I simply cannot imagine the devastating heartbreak my dear friend experienced.

She shared in great detail how our gracious God carried her through that tragic loss.

Wilda had a strong faith and love for Jesus that was fierce. There is not a day of my life that goes by that I don’t think of her… she had a profound impact on my life, and I thank God for her.

Praying to the Lord for endurance and strength during difficult times

The Word of God provides countless examples of the Lord providing strength, comfort, and hope during difficult times, and we can find solace in them.

Bible verses to provide perspective AND comfort when confronted with hard things in life:

  • “So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.” Isaiah 41:10
  • “But those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.” Isaiah 40:31
  • “I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength.” Philippians 4:13
  • “Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.” Joshua 1:9
  • “Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his might.” Ephesians 6:10
  • “So to keep me from being conceited because of the surpassing greatness of the revelations, a thorn was given me in the flesh, a messenger of Satan to harass me, to keep me from being conceited. Three times I pleaded with the Lord about this, that it should leave me. But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me. For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong.” 2 Corinthians 12:7-10
  • “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to Him, and He will make your paths straight.” Proverbs 3:5-6
  • “Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God.” Hebrews: 12:1-2

Experiencing God’s love and joy in the middle of a storm in life is possible as we lean into Jesus while trusting Him and in His steadfast love for us as we navigate through our struggles.

When you are weak, He will strengthen you.

When you lack the strength, Jesus will carry you.

I used to love to run.

I quickly learned that you need great endurance to be a distance runner. 

When I was training for a 5K race I’d run the required 5K- no more, no less.

I didn’t account for unexpected variables, however.

I wasn’t prepared for the effects of adrenaline kicking in during the race, and I found myself struggling to settle into my normal pace as I became caught up in “winning” the race! I knew if I didn’t settle into my familiar cadence, I would run out of steam and would be unable to finish.

The second variable was that the race was not well marked out to show the runners the correct path to travel! 

​Not knowing the exact route caused me to take the scenic route; I probably tacked on an extra half mile by taking wrong turns!

I started to experience symptoms that told me I was nearing the official 5k point — since that was the precise distance I trained! It was pure adrenaline that allowed me to continue!

I always trained to open my stride in the last portion of my run, so when my first step hit the track, I opened up my stride and went full blast, pumping my arms as fast as I could. 

I stopped as soon as I crossed the exact line where I started the race (thinking it was also the finish line), heaving in the night air so hard it felt like fire entering my lungs. 

I was so happy that I crossed the line ahead of the other runners in my group (that brought in the rear end of the runners), and it was with satisfaction and reflief that I hung my head between my knees and tried to catch my breath. 

Suddenly, something went very wrong as I heard the sweet voices of my small children yelling from a distance, “Mommy… the finish line is over HEREEEEE” 

I lifted my head to see a ginormous clock on the other side of the track with a crowd to welcome all the runners who crossed the line. 

Don’t ask me how I missed that scene as I approached the track…

I felt as though I had zero effort left in me to run another step, but I was determined to finish.

I started to recite, “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me” with every step. 

By God’s grace, I crossed that line, then immediately laid flat on the ground!

When it comes to the finish line of our trials, we don’t know how, where, or when it will come, but we can know He will never leave us.

As we abide in Jesus through life’s challenges, He will enable us to have the patient endurance required to put one step in front of the other.

NOT in our own strength, but by leaning into the strength of the indwelling Holy Spirit as we yield to His authority with full trust that He will direct us safely. 

Our entire life can be compared to a race.

Dr. Tony Evans states:

“The race we run is not a sprint. It is more like a marathon. It’s not just a race we run today and then are done, but a race that must become a lifestyle. And as we run it, we are not alone. We are being watched and cheered on by a ‘great cloud of witnesses'” (Hebrews 12:1-1).

Large waterfall over a mountain with tree behind it and text that reads prayers for strength during difficult times.

Prayer for endurance and strength

Dear God, we come with our gaze lifted up to you, and our hearts bowed before you. We come exalting you, for you are most worthy of our praise. Lord your Word says that you give strength to the weary and you increase the power of the weak… would you let it be so of us today… O Lord, give us the grace to put one foot in front of the other and see your goodness, grace, mercy, and love for us as we do. Open our eyes to see you and our hearts to trust you as we lean into your Holy Spirit to direct our path. Minister to our heavy heart and revive our soul as only you are able, and may the joy of the Lord be our strength. We trust that the power of your Spirit will enable us to move forward – we know we can’t do that on our own. It is with great humility of heart we surrender to you, and ask you to move in and through us in mighty ways for both our good and your glory. It is in the precious and holy name of Jesus we pray, Amen

Powerful Prayers for God’s help during times of trial.

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