By Cindi McMenamin, Crosswalk.com
Are you feeling lost, hopeless, without direction? Maybe you just aren’t sure how to talk to God anymore or if He’ll even listen.
Life can be disappointing and feel hopeless at times, especially if you don’t know where to turn for answers, comfort, or a reason to start looking up.
The writers of Scripture felt lost at times too. And when they did, they poured out their hearts to God in prayers that were recorded as a means of teaching us to pray. Within their songs—and in other portions of Scripture instructing believers how to live—we can see principles and promises to guide us when we feel we’ve lost our way.
1 John 5:14-15 tells us: “This is the confidence which we have before Him, that, if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us. And if we know that He hears us in whatever we ask, we know that we have the requests which we have asked from Him” (NASB). That’s a promise that God will not only hear, but heed our requests when we ask in faith and according to His will. One way to know for certain we are praying according to God’s will is to pray Scripture—God’s own words given to instruct us how to pray.
Here are seven prayers, based on the life-giving words of Scripture, for when you feel lost in life:
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1. A Prayer for Direction
If you feel lost in terms of a decision you need to make, or confused about what you should be doing or your overall direction in life, stringing these prayers together from the Psalms will remind you Who is directing your path and help you find clarification.
Lord, thank You that this circumstance I’m in and these decisions before me do not take You by surprise. “Show me your ways, Lord, teach me your paths. Guide me in your truth and teach me, for you are God my Savior, and my hope is in you all day long” (Psalm 25:4-5 NIV). “My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever” (Psalm 73:26). May Your Word be a lamp to my feet and a light to my path (Psalm 119:105), directing me toward Your will and Your ways. I trust You for the next step, and I wait for Your guidance. I pray this in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, who goes before me into all situations. Amen.
2. A Prayer for an Eternal Perspective
We can feel lost at times when all we see around us is the confusion and chaos in this world. But this is a world at enmity with God, and this is not our home. Therefore, you will always feel lost here. Jesus said, “The world would love you as one of its own if you belonged to it, but you are no longer part of the world. I chose you to come out of the world, so it hates you” (John 15:19 NLT). Jesus also told us we would have troubles in this world, but He has overcome the world (John 16:33). Pray this for a godly, eternal mindset that is focused on your eternal home and God’s ways, not the world’s.
Lord, give me an eternal perspective. When I look around at what’s happening in this world, I can often wonder where I fit in. I can begin to think that this life is all there is. But it’s not. Your Word tells me to set my heart on things above, not on things of this earth (Colossians 3:2). Grant me the wisdom to seek first Your kingdom and Your righteousness (Matthew 6:33) and not to strive to make a name for myself in this world that will not last. Help me to store up for myself treasures in heaven, not here on earth where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal (Matthew 6:19-21). Lord, remind me that promotion comes from God alone who lifts up one and puts down another (Psalm 75:6-7). Jesus, help me to hide myself in You (Colossians 3:2-4) and to remember that “I have been crucified with Christ; and it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself up for me” (Galatians 2:20 NASB). Instead of looking for answers, help me to look to You as THE ANSWER to all I need and all I search for. In Jesus’ capable name I pray. Amen.
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3. A Prayer for a Deeper Faith and Trust
You may feel lost because you think you aren’t getting it right spiritually. But faith is something that comes from God, and trust is something that grows in your heart as you practice it. Get to know this faithful, dependable God, and you can’t help but trust Him. Pour out your heart to Him in this prayer that will touch His:
Lord, I feel so lost at times because I can’t seem to keep my eyes focused on You. Life is tough, and it’s tougher when I can’t see You in front of me or hear Your voice audibly. Thank You that I am saved not by my works or service to You, but by my faith, and even that faith comes from You and Your Holy Spirit’s work in my life (Ephesians 2:8-9). Thank You that upon surrendering my life to You, I received all the faith I will ever need. Help me to exercise that faith like a muscle, allowing it to grow in time. In the meantime, take my mustard seed-sized faith and move mountains with it (Matthew 17:20) so I can find my place in You and in what You have designed for me to do. In the sweet name of Jesus, the author and finisher of my faith, amen.
4. A Prayer for God’s Justice, Intercession, and Protection
Sometimes we feel lost when someone directly opposes us, and it seems like God is silent about it. David is the psalmist associated with most of the imprecatory psalms in Scripture—songs or prayers in which he asked God to bring judgment upon his enemies. David knew God was for him, but at times he needed to see a victory or experience some immediate relief. Those are the times he straight-out asked God to deal with those who opposed him and his God. Do you have a boss, an ex-spouse, or someone else who is filled with malice and out to get you? Is someone clearly opposing you because of your faith or your righteous walk? Are you serving God, yet feel harassed on all sides? If your heart is right before God in the matter, you can pray this prayer that David prayed and expect God to come to your aid:
“O Lord, oppose those who oppose me.
Fight those who fight against me.
Put on your armor, and take up your shield.
Prepare for battle, and come to my aid…
Let me hear you say,
“I will give you victory!”
O Lord, you know all about this.
Do not stay silent.
Do not abandon me now, O Lord.
Wake up! Rise to my defense!
Take up my case, my God and my Lord.
Declare me not guilty, O Lord my God, for you give justice.
Don’t let my enemies laugh about me in my troubles.
May those who rejoice at my troubles
be humiliated and disgraced.
May those who triumph over me
be covered with shame and dishonor.
Then I will proclaim your justice,
and I will praise you all day long” (Psalm 35:1-3, 22-24, 26, 28 NLT).
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5. A Prayer for Wisdom and Discernment
Sometimes we feel lost because we lack wisdom or discernment concerning an issue in our lives. This prayer, taken from the Psalms and the New Testament book of James, can help guide you:
Lord God, Your Word says You are a sun and a shield, You give grace and glory, and no good thing will You withhold from those who walk uprightly (Psalm 84:11). Lord, be my sun, shining Your light on my path; and be my shield, protecting me from missteps and opposition along the way. I ask that You withhold nothing good from my life as I seek to walk uprightly. Grant me wisdom, because your Word says if any of us lack wisdom, we should ask it of You, and You will give it generously and without finding fault in us (James 1:5). I need Your wisdom, God, to know which way to turn and how to move forward. Give me clarity by opening a door or closing a door, according to Your absolute best for me. And still my heart to hear Your gentle voice. For Your Word says Your sheep hear Your voice and follow You (John 10:27). Make Your voice very clear to me through Your Word, through the situations in my life, and through godly counsel from those who are clearly living for You. It’s in the all-knowing and ever-faithful name of Jesus that I pray this. Amen.
6. A Prayer for a Grateful Heart
Sometimes we feel lost when our priorities are out of whack. Or we feel forgotten. Yet when we choose to be grateful for all we have and don’t have, our gratitude affects our attitude, and our mental and emotional state immediately improve.
We also feel lost when we believe we have no purpose or we lose sight of it. Being grateful in all things helps us live out our purpose. In 1 Thessalonians 5:18, we are told, “In everything give thanks; for this is the will of God for you in Christ Jesus” (NASB, emphasis added). By continually thanking God for all He is doing through your circumstances (and your feelings of being lost), He will conform you to the image of His precious Son.
Lord, help me to remember that You cause all things, even this situation or season of life, to work for good to those who love You and are called according to Your purpose. And You make it all work for good by making me more like Your Son Jesus through my circumstances (Romans 8:28-29). Help me to have a continual heart of gratitude, thanking You in all things. Remind me that I was made to love You and enjoy You forever, and I can get a glimpse of my purpose and that joy when I praise and glorify You in all I do. Whether I eat or drink or whatever I do, help me to do it all for Your glory (1 Corinthians 10:31). I ask this in the name of Jesus, for whom I am so grateful. Amen.
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7. A Prayer of Ultimate Surrender
Most of the time, you and I feel lost because we are attempting to be the god of our own lives. But we can’t control our circumstances just as we can’t control the wind or the waves. The Only One who ever calmed the wind and the waves can also calm the confusion, complacency, or chaos you are experiencing that makes you feel lost. Pray this heartfelt prayer of surrender and accept by faith that God has you firmly in the palm of His hand:
Lord, forgive me for trying to be the master of my life. This life is not my own, for I have been bought with a price—the precious blood of Your Son (1 Corinthians 6:20). Therefore, help me to depend on You for my sense of self-worth, my satisfaction, my fulfillment, and my joy. I surrender my heart and my will, and my ways to You, Lord Jesus. Be the Savior of my sin, the Lord of my life, and the Captain of my heart. For You, alone, are God and with the power of Your Holy Spirit, I choose from this day forward to live for You (Galatians 2:20). Thank You that in Christ Jesus, and what He did on the cross for me, I am a new creation (2 Corinthians 5:17)—one with hope, purpose, direction, and a beautiful destiny. May my prayer echo Psalm 16:5-6: You, Lord, are “the portion of my inheritance and my cup; You support my lot. The measuring lines have fallen for me in pleasant places; Indeed, my inheritance is beautiful to me.” Don’t ever let me forget to Whom I belong and all that You gave up so that You could call me Your own. In the name of Jesus, in Whom I put my trust, amen.
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