Unfortunately, many people around the world are financially stressed, physically exhausted, mentally confused, and spiritually depressed. When you’ve exhausted all of your options on your own, it’s time to place your hands together and pray in desperation to God—the one who longs to assist you.
So, how do you pray in times of desperation when the words won’t come? Let’s look at God’s Word to find out.
Bible Meaning of Desperation
In the Old Testament, the Hebrew word for desperation is yaash, which means to cause despair, to be desperate, or to be of no hope.
In the Bible, we read about prayer in desperate times of need or when men and women cry out to God to change situations. We also see men and women cry out to God in desperation to be near to His presence to guide them or give hope when they lost theirs.
Following are a few people who were in desperate situations in the Bible.
Hannah Prayed From a Place of Desperation
Hannah was desperate to be a mother, but year after year she couldn’t conceive. To make matters worse, her husband was a polygamist, who had another wife, Peninnah, who birthed lots of children. The Bible states her sister wife made Hannah’s life miserable.
A depressed Hannah poured her heart out to God at the temple and vowed if she had a son, she would give him to the Lord. After Hannah prayed, the high priest insulted her by calling her a drunk in the temple!
Imagine how she must have felt!
So Hannah explains her prayer in desperation to the and high priest and he announces God will give her a child. And that’s exactly what happened. She had a son, Samuel, who became a great prophet.
Hannah transformed from being barren to a mother because of her desperate prayer. Below is Hannah’s joyful prayer:
“My heart rejoices in the LORD! The LORD has made me strong. Now I have an answer for my enemies; I rejoice because you rescued me.”
Components of Hannah’s Prayer In Desperation
- Wept In Anguish
- Spoke from her heart
- Sorrowful in Spirit
- Poured out Her Soul to the Lord
- Voiced Her Complaints & Her Grief
- Made a Vow
Hannah prayers were spoken before the psalms were written but these following prayers of desperation verses fit Hannah’s experience perfectly.
In my distress I called upon the LORD; to my God I cried for help. From his temple he heard my voice, and my cry to him reached his ears. Psalm 18:6 NLT
Trust only in God every moment!
Tell him all your troubles and pour out your heart-longings to him.
Believe me when I tell you—he will help you! Psalm 62:8 TPT
Prayer in Desperation Cast Off
Have you ever been wounded by someone close to you who used and discarded you without regard for your feelings? Then you can identify with this biblical family. They prayed to God for help, and He helped them.
Hagar was driven away, not once but twice. First, her mistress, Sarah, was jealous. Since Hagar was having a baby with Sarah’s husband, Abraham. But it Hagar’s defense, Sarah pushed her on Abraham. It’s complicated!
Imagine the lonely pregnant Hagar in the wilderness. She’s been abandoned by the father of her child and the woman who gave her permission to be with her husband. Hagar’s prayer of desperation was crying. God hears her pleas and sends an angel to carry a message to Hagar:
“For the LORD has heard your cry of affliction.” Genesis 16:11.
The Lord told Hagar what she should do, next go back to Sarah. Hagar calls God the Lord who sees her. God sees you too, especially when your brokenhearted when someone mistreats you.
Soon after, Abraham and Sarah give birth to their own miracle child, they cast Hagar back into the wilderness. This time she’s not alone, she has Ishmael, her and Abraham’s child. They are dying of thirst since the little food and water Abraham sent them is gone. The Bible states, “the water in the skin was used up.” Genesis 21:15.
Used up is a pretty accurate term for what this mother and son must be feeling. Haven’t we all felt used up at one point in our lives?
God sends another angel to Hannah, but this time, God hears Ishmael’s cries for help.
“Hagar, what’s wrong? Do not be afraid! God has heard the boy crying as he lies there.”
Ishmael’s father rejects him, so he is crying and crumpled up on the ground. One reason Abraham kicks his son out mainly because of Ishmael’s attitude toward his half-brother, Isaac. Genesis 21:8.
Even though Ismael made mistakes, God comforted him in the following passage,
“Arise, lift up the lad and hold him with your hand, for I will make him a great nation.”
Arise, lift up the lad and hold him with your hand, for I will make him a great nation.Genesis 21:18
God then tells Hager to open her eyes and sure enough, sees a well right in front of her.
Sometimes, when we are desperate, we can’t see the things God has provided for us that are right in front of us.
Below are some prayer points based on Hagar and Ishmael’s rejections.
Prayer in Desperation Prayer Points
- don’t hold your emotions, cry out to God
- God might reveal your next step
- God might reveal how to receive provision
Lessons learned from this mother and child: when you cry out to God in despair, your life will change! This following verse turns out to be true for many who cried the prayer of desperation.
“He lifted me out of the pit of despair, out of the mud and the mire. He set my feet on solid ground and steadied me as I walked along.” Psalm 40:2
Don’t we all want our Father to rescue and help us when we pray in desperation for God’s help?
David’s Prayer in Desperation
In 1 Samuel 30:6. David, city of Ziklag, was destroyed, including their home. Their wives and children were kidnapped, and all their possessions taken. David’s friends were bitter and contemplating stoning him to death.
“David was greatly distressed… But David strengthened himself in the Lord.”
Prayer In Desperation Action Steps
- you can worship the Lord through tears
- rehearse the victories in the past
- meditate on God’s goodness
- determine to not let your emotions rule you
- not letting what other think distract you
After all, David was a man of action, so his desperate prayers seemed action oriented. David encourages himself in the Lord, then he was ready to inquire of the Lord.
When we are in a desperate place, sometimes, it’s helpful to get your eyes off the problem and soak in God’s presence so you can hear God’s divine solutions.
Jesus’ Agony In The Garden
In Luke 22:39-44, we see Jesus’s conversation with his Father on the Mount of Olives. It was here that Jesus uttered his prayer in agony, pleading for the cup to be removed from him while maintaining the burden of carrying out God’s purpose, not just for himself, but also for humanity.
“And going a little farther, he fell on his face and prayed, ‘My Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me; nevertheless not as I will but as your be done.” Luke 22:42.
Below are some prayer points we can learn from Jesus in the garden.
Prayer in Desperation Prayer Points
- Get alone time with God
- Hold your ground, wait for God’s timing
- Be obedient to God even if it costs you everything
- Pray God’s will over your life
- Withdraw from others
- Ask others to pray for you
“In all their distress He was distressed, And the angel of His presence saved them; In His love and in His mercy He redeemed them.” Isaiah 63:9.
Jesus died for our salvation and so much more, but God has given each one of us a purpose too! God’s will for our life differs from Jesus’, but God’s plan for each one of us is important.
Prayer for Someone in Desperation
Because we are relational beings who live in a community with others you will experience two distinct types of desperation in your life: personal despair and the pain of a loved one. When someone close to us is hurting, we may frequently ask ourselves, “What should I pray for a friend going through a hard time?”
When you pray for your friend’s present situation, may I ask you to dig a little deeper? As you are praying, ask the Lord to make His presence known to the person you are praying for. For where He is, peace, joy, and strength are found. Then, ask God how you can pray for that person and their specific situation and lean into the Holy Spirit’s prompting during your prayer time.
How Do I Ask God For Immediate Help?
How do you ask God for something in the middle of a crisis, when you are experiencing difficulties, pain, and frustration?
Prayer can help you. It is important to ask for things that you need. Philippians 4:6-7 says:
“Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”
This scripture is a great way to stay connected to the heart of the Father while you are asking God for a provision or a miracle.
4 Steps to God’s Immediate Help
1. Do not be anxious. Before you pray, take a breath and release any tension that you may be feeling mentally, physically, or emotionally. If you’re still tense, appeal to the Holy Spirit for assistance.
2. Be thankful. Begin each prayer with a grateful heart. God is constantly at work in our lives, and there’s always something to be thankful for, large or little. If you can’t think of anything, sit for a minute until it comes to you.
3. Ask God for what you need. Of course, the Father knows what you need. But He also delights when His children come to Him to ask.
4. Receive His peace. Anytime we rest in the presence of the Holy Spirit, our atmospheres are changing. If you don’t feel peace, ask the Father to give it to you. Then, as you keep your eyes on Him, He will prepare you with His strength and mercy.
Prayers In Desperation Verses
“They cried out to God during the battle, and he answered their prayer because they trusted in him.” 1 Chron. 5:20
When you’re in a battle, remember to cry out to the Lord. He will help you!
“I cry out to God Most High, to God who will fulfill his purpose for me.” Psalm 57:2.
This verse is perfect when it seems when you are walking out of your destiny but are in despair because it seems like nothing is working
“But I will call on God, and the LORD will rescue me.” Psalm 55:16
Remember, cries and asking God are powerful when in a time of desperation.
“I cry out to God; yes, I shout. Oh, that God would listen to me! When I was in deep trouble, I searched for the Lord. All night long I prayed, with hands lifted toward heaven, but my soul was not comforted.” Psalm 77:1-2.
These are just a few of the scriptural prayers to cry out to God when you are in distress.
When you are in a time of despair and pain, remember God knows what is happening. A prayer in desperation to Him will bring comfort, help, strength, or whatever you need. Remember, you are not alone. God has a plan for your life and He will fulfill it!
Example of Prayers In Desperation
Dear Lord, In Jesus’ name I come to you. I have no words to express what is going on in my life right now, but I ask for your help and strength over this situation.
Show me where I need to be or tell me how much longer you are going to let it continue. Take the pain away, give me peace of mind again Lord, because nothing else matters when I suffer without peace.
Allow me to see the next steps clearly, Lord, because I am so lost right now and I need your guidance on this matter. Thank you for hearing my prayer, God. Amen.
Prayer in Desperation To Be A Mother
Dear Father, in Jesus’ name, I long to be a mother. Open up my womb so I can bring life into this world.
Give me the desire of my heart. I am desperate to be a mother. Please Lord, give me children. I vow to raise my children to follow you, Lord, and to give you glory. Amen.
Prayer in Desperation to God for Healing
Dear Lord, I am desperate for you. Come into my heart and heal me of all that ails me. Heal my mind, body & soul so that your light can shine through me today. Amen!
Prayer in Desperation to be Near To His Presence
Father God, I am your child. Come into my heart and be near to me so you can guide me. Be close to me Lord so that I feel your presence today in Jesus name Amen!
Prayer In Desperation for the Lost Souls of this World
Dear Lord, please hear our cry. We pray for those who have not heard the name of Jesus yet. We pray for those who live in darkness without you, Lord. Come into their lives and direct them to your word, Amen!
Prayer In Desperation For Guidance & Direction
Father, I am desperate for you today. Please guide me as I go through my day so that no harm comes upon me. Direct my steps, Lord, so that I never stray from you. Lead me in your path, Amen!
Prayer In Desperation For a Fulfilling Marriage
Dear Father, please come into our relationship and fill us with your Holy Spirit. Help us communicate with one another more effectively & to love each other unconditionally as we should. We pray for a fulfilled marriage and we give you all the glory, in Jesus name Amen!
Prayer In Desperation For Protection & Strength To Face Today’s Challenges
Father God, I am desperate. Please protect me from my enemies. Help me to be strong today as I go through this day. Give me peace, Lord, so that I can make it through this day with a calm spirit. I give you all the glory and praise in Jesus name Amen!
Prayer In Desperation For Strength To Overcome My Sins & Ways of The Flesh
Dear Father, please forgive me for my sins and any wrongs that I have committed against others. Cleanse my soul so that i can be a better person. I am desperate for you to change me Lord so that i will follow in your ways and not my own, Amen!
Prayer In Desperation For Faith To Overcome My Fears & Doubts
Dear Father, please take away all of my fears and doubts today. Give me the faith necessary to get me through this day, so that I can continue to do your will. Help me Lord to stay in faith and believe with all of my heart. Amen!
Prayer In Desperation To Overcome Addiction & Substance Abuse
Dear Lord, please help me overcome addiction and substance abuse. Take away the desire for these things from my life today. I want to be clean Lord, please help me to stay on the right path. Amen!
Prayer in Desperation for Finances
Dear Lord, please provide for me and my family. We desperately need you to help us get out of debt. Please help us find a way to make ends meet and pay off all our debts, in Jesus’ name. Amen!
Prayer in Desperation for a Job
Dear Lord, I am desperate for a job. Please help me find one as soon as possible. Help me look for a good company to work with and provide a stable income. In Jesus’ name Amen!
Prayer in Desperation for Safety & Protection from Harm
Dear God, please keep me safe from harm today and always. Protect my family too, we rely on you to protect us all day long. Amen.