Do you pray desperate prayers?


Have you ever prayed a desperate prayer? You know, the kind where you cry out to God because there is absolutely nothing you can do to “fix” the situation?

I’ve prayed plenty of those.

I remember a time I was trying to get to the grocery store for some needed supplies before a snowstorm hit. As I drove down a small hill near my home I didn’t realize it already was a solid sheet of ice. I started sliding and there was no way I could control my car as the glassy surface spun me sideways. I was on the wrong side of the road and headed straight for a large tree at the pavement’s edge. A crash was inevitable.

So I took my hands off the wheel, lifted them toward Heaven and audibly cried out “Help me, Jesus!”

The car turned 180 degrees and came to rest on the road heading back toward my home. Needless to say, groceries were forgotten and I slowly drove to my house. It was a desperate prayer and God had answered.

I’ve prayed other desperate prayers which God dramatically answered, although not quite as quickly:

Jesus, we need the money to pay this bill.

Father, please spare Beth’s life.

Lord, deliver our friend  from his addiction.

And still other desperate pleas which were never answered the way I hoped:

God, don’t let these dear friends’ marriage fall a part.

Lord, please heal Doris’s brain tumor.

Father, don’t let little Dominic die.

How about you? When was the last time you prayed a desperate prayer? Perhaps you are even praying one today.

“Most of us have been to the emotional depths,” says bestselling author Chris Tiegreen. “We’ve been desperate about a situation–relational, economic, physical, spiritual–and we’ve cried out to God with every ounce of energy we have.”

How did you feel at the time? Embarrassed to be so needy? Worried that you weren’t a very good Christian? Concerned that you were bothering God when He had plenty of other things to take care of?

Did you ever feel like you were worshipping God?

You were.

“Desperate prayers are, in fact, one of the clearest ways for us to honor God,” Tiegreen says. “Saying ‘Lord, I need You,’ acknowledges His importance to us. He is essential, after all, and the desperate soul is not afraid to say so.”

Psalm 42: 1-3 The Voice Bible
My soul is dry and thirsts for You, True God,
as a deer thirsts for water,
I long for the True God who lives.
When can I stand before Him and feel His comfort?
Right now I’m 
overwhelmed by my sorrow and pain; 
I can’t stop feasting on my tears.

Psalm 86:6-7
Listen closely to my prayer, O LORD; hear my urgent cry.
I will call to you whenever I’m in trouble, and you will answer me.”

Psalm 69:1-3
Save me, O God, for the floodwaters are up to my neck.
Deeper and deeper I sink into the mire;
I can’t find a foothold. I am in deep water and the floods overwhelm me…
Answer my prayers, O LORD, for your unfailing love is wonderful.

Every time you utter a desperate prayer, you admit to God that He is all you really have. So go ahead and cry out to Jesus, as the song below says. Your desperate plea is an act of worship and that is music to His ears.




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    • Anonymous on October 31, 2022 at 3:06 AM
    • Reply

    Im so deaperate for God to prevent us from ending our lives …please pray for us

      • Lynn on November 2, 2022 at 7:44 PM
      • Reply

      Dear friend, Thank you for sharing your pain with me and I am praying for you to find real HOPE in Him. I certainly have no idea what situation you are in, but I pray you have someone near you that you can reach out to for support. If you call 988, you can reach a national suicide prevention hotline and speak with someone 24 hours a day. God created you, loves you and sent His one and only Son to die for you and prove that love. Please believe me that He does NOT want you to give up and instead, to trust Him with all your struggles.

      I’m emailing you too so that you have my email address. I hope you will write and tell me your name so I can pray for you by name. (I’m so sorry I didn’t see your comment when you submitted it on Monday–we had guests from out-of-state here for several days and I wasn’t on my computer.)
      Your friend in Christ,

    • Phyllis Williams on November 6, 2023 at 6:10 PM
    • Reply

    God says ask and you shall receive , seek and you shall find, knock and the door is open to you. I have been for years, and I still have not received, I actually cry out to him, and it is still zilch.
    By the way what happens to all the prayers I prayed that were never answered.

      • Lynn on November 8, 2023 at 10:57 AM
      • Reply

      Dear Phyllis,
      My heart breaks for your sad heart. I certainly can’t begin to understand why God doesn’t answer all our heartfelt prayers the way we hoped He would. I know that in my own life sometimes He has miraculously changed circumstances and sometimes He has miraculously changed me. I don’t know what your “unanswered” prayer is–perhaps God has said “no” for some reason, or perhaps He is saying “wait.” I’m sure there are many prayers God will answer the way we hoped, but we won’t see it in our lifetime.

      I read this in my Chris Tiegreen devotional yesterday–perhaps it will encourage you: “Prayer and faith are meant to draw us deeper into the relationship (with God), to be the vehicle of His revelation in our lives in which we seek Him in love and He responds in love. His apparent silence is hardly ever a ‘no’.” It’s a call to come closer, seek more eagerly, adjust our thinking and vision, and press in to His presence. He wants us to hear His heartbeat.”

      A book which has has helped me with the topic of unanswered prayer is “Disappointment with God” by Philip Yancey

      May you feel God’s heartbeat of love for YOU in spite of whatever circumstances you and/or your loved ones face.

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