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3 Ways to Press Through Unanswered Prayer

December 2, 2014

A year and a half ago, I opened an anonymous letter that made my heart sink. It was from another mom who wanted to make sure I had a list of all the ways one of my daughters was falling short. There in black and white she listed my daughter’s mistakes, shortcomings and frailties.

And then just to make sure I took her nameless letter seriously, she informed me she’d be sending a copy to my pastor.

My initial reaction was figure out who sent this so I could call her. Talk this through face-to-face. Assure her my husband and I were not only aware of some struggles my daughter was having but also working diligently to help her course-correct.

But as I reread the letter, I discerned it wasn’t sent from a place of love for my family or a heart that wanted to help.

From the language she used and the fact that there wasn’t a way to contact her, it was obvious she didn’t send it because she wanted the best for my daughter.

I sat on the edge of my bed and cried.

It’s so hard to have someone attack you in an area that’s already rubbed raw with hardship. Her letter was like a bullet straight to my heart.

However, it was also a wake-up call to get more intentional in praying for my daughter. I thought about her struggles a lot. I talked about her struggles. I worried about her struggles.

But thinking about, talking about and worrying about something is not the same as praying about it.

I determined to turn this letter that felt like a bullet into a blessing by using it as a catalyst to ramp up my prayer life.

Through my tears I cried out to the Lord, “I will not sacrifice Your grace for my child on the altar of people’s opinions. Of course I want my daughter to walk the straight and narrow path of great choices. But I trust You Lord to write her testimony. My main goal for her is not behavior modification but total heart transformation. I want her to want You, Lord, and Your best for her life. Give me the courage to not just pray about my daughter, but to pray her all the way through this.”

Praying her through the ups and downs wasn’t easy. There were days I wondered if God was even hearing my prayers.

It’s tough to pray someone all the way through a messy, hard, complicated situation and not see answers. Maybe you’ve been there. Maybe you are there now.

Can I speak hope into your heart with 3 ways to press through unanswered prayers?

1. Know with confidence God hears your prayers.

1 John 5:14 reminds us, “This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us” (NIV).

2. Trust that prayer makes a difference, even when you don’t see the difference.

It may take a while for you to see God answer your prayers. But don’t miss an “in the meantime answer” you can receive right away. Philippians 4: 6-7 reminds us of the immediate answer to every prayer: “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.” (NIV)

Did you catch it? It’s the peace of God that will guard your heart and mind in the process while you’re waiting for God to reveal His answer to your request. When you pray, you can trust you are doing your part and God will certainly do His part.

3. Tell fear it has no place in this conversation.

These prayers are your gateway to feel an assurance you don’t see yet. But fear will beg you to focus on the problem more than God’s promises. Isaiah 41:10 says, “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” (NIV).

A lot has happened since I got that hard letter that prompted more frequent prayers for my daughter … that bullet that turned into a blessing. I recently visited her at college and could hardly believe my eyes.

She’s a completely different girl.

At one point during our time together, I asked her, “What finally made following Jesus wholeheartedly click for you?” She said, “Mom, I’ve made friends who love Jesus. I saw a joy in them that I wanted. So, I started doing what they do even when I didn’t want to. At first I thought getting up to do devotions was unrealistic, prayer meetings were boring, and listening to praise music, excessive. But as I kept doing these things, the Lord started changing my thought patterns. And when I started thinking about life from the standpoint of truth, I had so much more joy.”

She then paused and said words I’ve longed to hear and prayed to hear for so long, “Mom, I’ve just completely fallen in love with Jesus.”

I can hardly type those words without crying.

I pray this infuses your heart with hope to keep praying. I pray you believe God can take the things others intended to harm you or the ones you love, and use them for good to accomplish His purposes as Genesis 50:20 reminds us.

I need a visual reminder of these truths. And I’m wondering if you do too. This Christmas season, Proverbs 31 Ministries has partnered with Fashion and Compassion to create beautiful jewelry using repurposed bullets from the civil war in Ethiopia.

The collection is assembled by vulnerable and rescued women in Mexico and Charlotte, NC. Attached to your jewelry is the name of the artisan who made it, so you can pray for her.

Our hope is that when we wear one of the From Bullets to Blessings pieces, you and I can be reminded to pray with deep assurance that God hears us and will bring good from this in His time.

Click here to purchase the jewelry for yourself or for a friend who may be going through a difficult time this Christmas.

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56 Comments
  1. Alyssa J

    Lysa, I cannot tell you how hard your blog hit me today. I am sitting at work with tears streaming down my face. My beautiful 16 year old daughter has just endured a very hurtful time in her life and although I’ve prayed over the situation over and over again, I still am having difficulty wondering why another human being (a coach) would treat young girls the way she chose to treat their entire school team. THANK YOU for this post today – you have certainly helped my heavy heart!

    Reply
  2. Lisa

    Dear Lysa
    I’m so happy to read about your daughter! I loved this share today, it totally resonated with me. I really loved what you wrote about fear begging me to focus on problem rather than God’s promises. I’ve been so focused on “the problems”… Fibromyalgia, chronic pain, husband has a serious illness and I’m his caretaker. We are barely getting by, he hasn’t been able to work due to illness, and I’m so worried about all of it.
    Time to focus on His promises! Your necklace is lovely! Maybe someday I will be able to purchase one. I love the work that you do.

    Reply
    • Nico Smith

      I♥ just how God has answered my incredible prayers lately! My husband and I are now living somewhere where we’re happiest. God has most definitely answered our prayers a great deal in the last few months. “A year and a half ago, I opened an anonymous letter that made my heart sink. It was from another mom who wanted to make sure I had a list of all the ways one of my daughters was falling short. There in black and white she listed my daughter’s mistakes, shortcomings and frailties.

      And then just to make sure I took her nameless letter seriously, she informed me she’d be sending a copy to my pastor.

      My initial reaction was figure out who sent this so I could call her. Talk this through face-to-face. Assure her my husband and I were not only aware of some struggles my daughter was having but also working diligently to help her course-correct.

      But as I reread the letter, I discerned it wasn’t sent from a place of love for my family or a heart that wanted to help.

      From the language she used and the fact that there wasn’t a way to contact her, it was obvious she didn’t send it because she wanted the best for my daughter.

      I sat on the edge of my bed and cried.

      It’s so hard to have someone attack you in an area that’s already rubbed raw with hardship. Her letter was like a bullet straight to my heart.

      However, it was also a wake-up call to get more intentional in praying for my daughter. I thought about her struggles a lot. I talked about her struggles. I worried about her struggles.

      But thinking about, talking about and worrying about something is not the same as praying about it.

      I determined to turn this letter that felt like a bullet into a blessing by using it as a catalyst to ramp up my prayer life.

      Through my tears I cried out to the Lord, “I will not sacrifice Your grace for my child on the altar of people’s opinions. Of course I want my daughter to walk the straight and narrow path of great choices. But I trust You Lord to write her testimony. My main goal for her is not behavior modification but total heart transformation. I want her to want You, Lord, and Your best for her life. Give me the courage to not just pray about my daughter, but to pray her all the way through this.”

      Praying her through the ups and downs wasn’t easy. There were days I wondered if God was even hearing my prayers.

      It’s tough to pray someone all the way through a messy, hard, complicated situation and not see answers. Maybe you’ve been there. Maybe you are there now.

      Can I speak hope into your heart with 3 ways to press through unanswered prayers?

      1. Know with confidence God hears your prayers.

      1 John 5:14 reminds us, “This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us” (NIV).

      2. Trust that prayer makes a difference, even when you don’t see the difference.

      It may take a while for you to see God answer your prayers. But don’t miss an “in the meantime answer” you can receive right away. Philippians 4: 6-7 reminds us of the immediate answer to every prayer: “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.” (NIV)

      Did you catch it? It’s the peace of God that will guard your heart and mind in the process while you’re waiting for God to reveal His answer to your request. When you pray, you can trust you are doing your part and God will certainly do His part.

      3. Tell fear it has no place in this conversation.

      These prayers are your gateway to feel an assurance you don’t see yet. But fear will beg you to focus on the problem more than God’s promises. Isaiah 41:10 says, “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” (NIV).

      A lot has happened since I got that hard letter that prompted more frequent prayers for my daughter … that bullet that turned into a blessing. I recently visited her at college and could hardly believe my eyes.

      She’s a completely different girl.

      At one point during our time together, I asked her, “What finally made following Jesus wholeheartedly click for you?” She said, “Mom, I’ve made friends who love Jesus. I saw a joy in them that I wanted. So, I started doing what they do even when I didn’t want to. At first I thought getting up to do devotions was unrealistic, prayer meetings were boring, and listening to praise music, excessive. But as I kept doing these things, the Lord started changing my thought patterns. And when I started thinking about life from the standpoint of truth, I had so much more joy.”

      She then paused and said words I’ve longed to hear and prayed to hear for so long, “Mom, I’ve just completely fallen in love with Jesus.”

      I can hardly type those words without crying.

      I pray this infuses your heart with hope to keep praying. I pray you believe God can take the things others intended to harm you or the ones you love, and use them for good to accomplish His purposes as Genesis 50:20 reminds us.

      I need a visual reminder of these truths. And I’m wondering if you do too. This Christmas season, Proverbs 31 Ministries has partnered with Fashion and Compassion to create beautiful jewelry using repurposed bullets from the civil war in Ethiopia.
      The collection is assembled by vulnerable and rescued women in Mexico and Charlotte, NC. Attached to your jewelry is the name of the artisan who made it, so you can pray for her.”~Lysa TerKeurst
      Wow! What a wonderful thing to always remember! God loves me so unconditionally. God’s love surrounds us in all circumstances, whether big or small. God wants us to pray to Him no matter what our needs may happen to be.
      “Lord, I want to find You. I want to see You in my circumstances. I want to hear You in my thoughts. I want to know You with all my heart.”~Renee Swope
      Wow! What a very powerful prayer! Nothing could be any better than having God surround us in our greatest time of need. No matter what we may be going through, God can help us overcome us from challenges.“You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all of your heart.”~Jeremiah 29:13 Wow! What a powerful thing to remember at all times! When we seek God with everything we’ve got, we’re most definitely going to be blessed more than we could ever imagine possible.

      Reply
  3. susan

    I’m there now with my sister. She’s 66, saved, but several years ago took a big step away from God. She has many emotional and spiritual issues and I’ve prayed and prayed and prayed that God will change her heart and heal it so she has a desire once again for a relationship with Him. I know He wants that too so I keep praying, but it is SO hard when you don’t see progress. Thanks for the words of encouragement – I pray my sister will somehow regain that desire for God to be first in her life.

    Reply
  4. Jenni DeWitt

    I just set down your Best Yes book, forcing myself to get back to work when your post popped up in my e-mail. As usual, it was very timely in relating to my life. Just this morning I was speaking to God about my oldest son. He’s just a little guy – wonderfully creative and inherently spacey – so much like me. And so I was asking God, “How can I possibly teach him responsibility without squashing his creativity.” But here you lay it out for us in a beautiful reminder: Prayer. Ongoing, persistent, lifelong prayer for my little man and trust that God will take care of the rest.

    Reply
  5. Marilyn Ingram

    Love this Lysa! Thank you for sharing this. RTR! Marilyn

    Reply
  6. Kim

    Thank you for the post. I needed the reminder for myself. Thank you for your ministry.

    Reply
  7. Jackie

    Lysa,
    Thank you so much for sharing this. I couldn’t agree more! My daughter is 16 and she has had struggle after struggle and battle after battle since she was 12. Recently I was truly at my wits end, I was ready to throw in the towel when…. I suddenly saw a glimpse of me from the outside and realized that all I did was talk about my daughter, complain about our struggles and cry to so many in our church. Our church family is amazing and I don’t know where I would be today if it weren’t for their love and support. I didn’t like that view of me at all. I mean we are supposed to be a beacon of light but I wasn’t anything more and a storm cloud. Recently God revealed to me that we have physically done everything we could possible do for our daughter. It was as if God said “I’ve got this”. He waited until I was ready to hear Him; until I had nothing more to give or do; nothing more that I thought I could control. When He showed me that my purpose for my daughter was to pray and pray with out ceasing for her. So that is what I have done, I begin with a Spiritual Warfare prayer binding Satan’s powers over her and allowing Jesus’s power to overcome them all. We are just in the beginning steps of this but I have seen a change in my daughter. It may be baby steps but they welcomed none the less. I feel like my beacon may be growing into a flame again. Thank you again for the confirmation; we serve an amazing God, He never fails to amaze me each and every day! Many blessings to you and your family.

    Reply
  8. danise

    I am so sorry that someone sent you such an unloving letter during a time when your heart was doing everything it could to believe… unfortunately, I think we have all been there. But, its in those times we cling to our faith even stronger than we did before, just like you did. Thank you for sharing these encouraging steps for those times when we are waiting on the Lord. My heart jumped for joy for you and your precious daughter when I read those words every mommy of adult children longs to hear… “I’ve fallen in love with Jesus” There is no greater peace and joy than to know that our children have the hope of Jesus! Beautiful story and helpful post.

    Reply
  9. Eris

    Oh my thanks for posting this. I needed to hear this. Please pray for me as I’m undergoing a category five divorce hurricane.

    Reply
  10. Deb

    I have read many a good post on your Proverbs 31 site – but this one I was compelled to comment on. Although I haven’t received a “bullet letter” I am a mamma who has and is praying for her daughter! I have seen some answers over the past 3 years of unceasing prayer, but I haven’t had the experience YET of… She then paused and said words I’ve longed to hear and prayed to hear for so long, “Mom, I’ve just completely fallen in love with Jesus.” When I read those words that you shared I fought back tears. But, even though is caused an emotional response, it also spurs me on to continue what I started every day 3 years ago – to pray scripture for and on behalf of my daughter. Two things that you said really struck me – I need to trust You Lord to write her testimony and that I need to continue to Praying her through the ups and downs. I may not, in my life time, see my prayers fully answered and I have to continue coming to terms with that. What I do know for sure is that God hears me and cares; that He will flood me with His peace; and that my obedience to Him is what matters most. Thanks for being transparent and for sharing.

    Reply
  11. Beth

    Just wanted to say THANK YOU for this article…powerful and much needed…blessings to Lysa

    Reply
  12. Trudy Lively

    I’m not a biological mother, but I have helped with many children and still try to help nieces and nephews. This post was the most amazing thing for me. It helped me understand something I’ve been going through for some time now. Thank you for your work and obedience to the will of God. Blessings to you!

    Reply
  13. Linda

    This hit me where I am today, only praying for our son instead. He is an addict and we have prayed for him for years. He succeeds awhile, then the charms of the drugs (tools of the devil) lure him back and he loses everything in the blink of an eye that he has worked so hard for because he sells or pawns it to get money for drugs. When sober he is intelligent, hard working, soft spoken, kind and artistic. After a severe relapse he finally had a job he liked with decent salary, got his car back and within a couple of weeks disappeared again. We don’t know what has happened to him (and try not to imagine the worst) and are worried sick. This was the perfect reminder that only God can give us peace and courage to face our fears and put our trust in Him as we await the answer to our prayers. God’s timing is always perfect it’s just hard to remember that.

    Reply
  14. Lynda Rawleigh

    Once again your post was just what I needed to see. I have been praying for my oldest daughter & for my husband daily for quite some time. There are times when I wonder if God is hearing my prayers. I forget that His time & my time are not the same. Thank you for sharing you story!!

    Reply
  15. Sandy

    Thank you Lysa,

    The Lord knew exactly what I needed to hear. Thank you so much for being transparent so that his light could shine through you. I really needed this today.

    Reply
  16. Kim

    Thank you so much Lysa for sharing your story and your heart. I have been blessed by your ministry in so many ways over the last couple years. My heart was stirred and somewhat anxious for my son when I saw you in person last year at Women of Faith. You made a comment about defining ourselves as moms when our children make bad choices. The message I received that weekend was the Lord saying “Trust Me”. I feel like God was preparing me for what was about to take place. Seven months ago my 16 year old son was fighting for his life in PICU after making an incredibly bad choice. His heart stopped on the way to the hospital and when he woke up 3 days later he could not feed himself, dress himself or brush his own teeth. In those moments I cried out to my God, said yes Father I will trust you with my son. I felt a peace that truly surpassed understanding. We have come so far, it has been an incredible journey. He has recovered and encountered things he is not quite ready to share but that will forever change lives, I know that I know. I still pray everyday and look forward to those words “Mom, I’ve completely fallen in love with Jesus”. I am learning to trust and be patient, to be sure of what I cannot yet see. At Women of Faith this year I was honored to meet you and thank you for being brave and obedient, for sharing your heart. I will continue to pray him through this, and trust God to write his story.

    Reply
  17. Susan

    It is difficult to keep on going sometimes when you’ve given 110% and your headstrong child keeps marching the opposite direction. Thank your for your reminder… your words of encouragement and words of hope.

    Reply
  18. Jewell

    Lysa, as I sit here this morning doing my devotions and reading your precious words, it is almost like God spoke and said to me, heed every word she wrote. Have been praying so long for my 21 yr. old granddaughter, who is so out into the world. Everyday the Lord says, “give her to me” and everyday I do, but Satan so tries to attack me in every area concerning her. Lysa, thank you so much for sharing with us your walk with your daughter. I definitely have hope and your have shown us what God can do if we just continue bringing them to him.

    Reply
  19. Adoption Mama

    I, too, am crying. Crying tears of joy for you and praying hard…again….for my sons. Thank you so much for loving us by sharing your journey. You have increased my faith today and I want to be more intentional in my prayers. I weary at times to keep knocking…but I know I must persevere.

    Reply
  20. Sandy Ralya

    I, too, can bear witness that these 3 ways to press through work! God gives peace to fearful moms who can then intercede for precious daughters. I remember the day I cried out to the Lord, “You’ll have to make a way where there seems to be no way!” Praise God, there has been a HUGE turning in my daughter this year. I’m grateful for His peace because the journey has been long.

    Reply
  21. Anabella

    I pray for him, every day, since 3 years. Five months ago, he travelled to United States to study for one year for his LL.M. degree. I gave him a Bible as a leaving gift, with all of our Jesus Christ word’s and promises highlight.

    Since we know each other I tried to take every opportunity to share with him about God, and He has been nudging me to wait patiently and with confidence in Him and to pray for him and his family.

    Although waiting is very hard, God is teaching me about purpose in waiting. And He gave me specific proof of His good plans and I can’t wait to see what He has in store for us.

    I’m trusting the One who planted this desire in my heart and holding fast to the hope that His timing is perfect, even when it’s not mine and even though I may not understand. And His ways are always the best, no matter what.

    I do believe God knows the plans He has for us…“plans for good and not for disaster, to give [us] a future and a hope…

    I believe this journey has a purpose, His purpose…orchestrated as only He could dream up. Although the distance is hard, I do believe that this season is necessary for both, because He is preparing us for what is coming..

    I’m praying since long ago that he come to know Jesus Christ personally and have a relationship with Him… that he may come to know the deep love of God, while there at Columbia… that the seed He planted in him through me here, will grow and bring fruit for His glory at New York… that God water it and make it come alive, according to His will.

    ….In those days when you pray, I will listen. If you look for me wholeheartedly, you will find me”. (Jeremiah 29:11-13).

    Would you join me in prayer for him?…That at God’s best and perfect timing and ways – far beyond anything we could ask or imagine – and above for what it is the desire of my heart, HIS will be done in his life as well as in mine during this special time?

    With love in Jesus from Argentina,

    Anabella

    Reply
  22. Jena

    Thank you for your encouraging words. Please keep my family in your prayers. I have been out of work since February for the most part. I haven’t tried to get a job as much as I should, partly because my mom has had serious health issues and largely due to depression and low self esteem. We are now facing foreclosure and my husband’s depression is through the roof. I’ve started a business with my dad that is very slow on getting going. Please pray for financial and emotional peace and provision. Also, that I will be able to clearly seek God’s will and follow His path for my life. Please keep my mom in your prayers also, and my siblings as we continue to help her. Thank you.

    Lord, I thank You for Your faithfulness and ask that You reach deep into the hearts of each person who posts here and answer their prayers according to Your will. Please cover each of us with Your peace that passes all undersranding. Amen.

    Reply
  23. Jessica

    Dear Lysa,
    I opened my email and read this and immediately knew God was answering my prayer for my son. He has been estranged from us for sometime now and this time of year is going to be very difficult. He has a 7 month old baby and we now are missing out on all of the firsts for him as well. What you shared today will change my prayers for them! With a trusting and full heart I will believe He that is greater than the pain I’m having is doing a great work in all involved.

    Reply
  24. Terry Lee Schneider

    Lysa l like this post l have no children but it covers some other areas of my life.

    Reply
  25. A'ishah Mitchell

    Thank you for your post. I’m having a hard time with my oldest daughter who is 12. But I know that this is not the end…. God will heal her hurt and place her on the right path. And while doing that bring us both closer to Him 🙂

    Reply
  26. alli

    thank you

    Reply
  27. Nnenna

    thank you Lysa; I feel like I can hug you right now. Have a 3 year old who is speech delayed and has some other behavioral issues and I’ve been praying. We drop him off at nursery and sometimes hear some unkind remarks that have pierced through like bullets but today more than ever before in determined to use those bullets for our advantage and to pray like never before. Thank you for allowing yourself to be used of God to touch us in areas where we are sore the most. Thank you so much. I value your ministry

    Reply
    • Adriana

      Dear sister,
      ONLY GOD can predict our future (Isaiah), and HE fights for our children… I stand with you believing GOD has and will perform any miracle needed for our children, and with their lives they will GLORIFY GOD.
      Much love and blessings

      Reply
  28. Rebekah

    Lysa, thank you so much for this today. My 15 year old daughter has run away again, and currently also has a warrant out for her arrest. I feel like I’m bashing my head against a wall with her, but this gave me hope! I will trust Him to write her testimony. Thanks so much.

    Reply
  29. miss b

    I almost deleted this email because I remembered reading it before. ..God knows what you need when you need it. I was just getting on my son about his behavior and asking God to strengthen me in the fight for him. I will ramp up the prayers for my son

    Reply
  30. Crystal

    Wow-God’s timing is always PERFECT! This is right where I am with my 25 year old son! Not sure what is going on with him! Have struggled to not step in and tell him what to do! I have been working on “Being still…” Thank you for these words. They gave me hope and a new direction to go in this season!

    Reply
  31. Linda Francese

    Thank you Lisa for encouraging me today to continue fighting the fight of spiritual warfare for my 28 yr old son. He recently told us he does not believe Jesus is God. I have been angry with God because we have done everything possible to teach our children Gods truth and this was like a knife to my heart. But God keeps telling me to trust Him. Thank you!!

    Reply
  32. Cynthia ruiz

    There are no consequences . I know God meant for me to read this my son is homeless and a drug addict. He.has struggled for any years with anger and hate in his heart. I know God hears me and that he has a purpose for my son’s life and that he will.walk in victory. Some day I have felt so discouraged. Lately but reading ur post has given me.a.shot.of.hey wake up.!!! God is in control thank u God bless. Ur ministry

    Reply
  33. Kafi Woody

    This is an excellent devotion and a great reminder. Top keep our children lift up in prayer constantly and to Know that Gods Grace is truly sufficient. Praising God for the victories you are now seeing with your daughter and may they continue for her! We as parents can all understand how frightening it can be as our children get older and start to test the waters of life, forge their own road, discover their own identity, and make their own choices (good and bad). But inspite of how scary it may feel, our trust and confidence is in the Lord. To keep them, guard and and guide them, even in their dark moments. It’s amazing but those dark moments are often the moments that they/ we develope our own personal relationship with Christ.

    Reply
  34. Shelli

    Thank you for your willingness & openness to share with us & give us hope & encouragement that the God who parted the Red Sea is the same God who is working in the lives of our children. I love stories of children totally surrendering to Jesus! I’m praying, keeping the faith, & believing God’s promises today.

    Reply
  35. Renee

    Wow- I’m there with my son right now and I’m not sure how to get through to him. I needed this today, reassurance that God does hear me.

    Reply
  36. Margie G Hoffman johnson

    I received an email from an ex- employee who believed God was telling her all the ways I had failed as a mother and that she needed to share that with me. It came at a horrible time when my youngest away at college had turned her back on her family and faith and run to the pig pen. I had been striving in prayer constantly and that email was a terrible reinforcement of all my fears and doubts. It took a while for God to settle my heart and see this as an attack from Satan. The email was so piously malicious that it just floored me and knocked the wind right out of me. I love the thought of using her email as a catalyst to pray harder. Thank you for your post.

    Reply
  37. Patty

    This is life for me today.My husband and I are going to start marriage counseling AND financial counseling AND my 17 year old has drifted from the Lord and has been in a ungodly relationship for almost 2 years and soon we have to tell her its not right anymore and its our fault we let it happen which seems so very unfair to her not to mention she is already struggling with depression.Satin is trying to use fear to keep me doing the next right thing.We all so need prayer to get through this.Your posts always hit home for me.Thank you for being here for us all and PLEASE pray for the 3 of us.My daughters name is Kerry.

    Reply
  38. Mema

    I’m just grateful for you Lysa. You are wonderful and I really look up to you. Thank you for sharing. I’m also really grateful for everyone who commented on this post and shared their stories of hurt and hope. God bless you all. I’m just so grateful. 🙂

    Reply
  39. susan

    I needed this! Our oldest son,has walked away from his Christian roots, continues to involve himself in antics that land him on the wrong side of the law. He doesn’t believe in God or Jesus-now says he never did. Our youngest, a daughter, has just announced that she is gay-we just need to accept this. Oh, and she is no longer sure about God! Our middle child, is doing well by the worlds standards, but church and God only work when he can fit it in. We must pray without ceasing for our marriages, ourselves and our children. I am a “just have to do something” kind of gal. I DO have to do something-fall on my knees before the throne of God and pray-even when He doesn’t appear to hear or answer. Thank you for this timely reminder!

    Reply
  40. Jennifer Dougan

    Lysa,

    I am so sorry for that hurtful letter you got, but so thrilled with you that your daughter is in a happier place! It encourages me too in the places where I pray heartfelt prayers for loved ones and friends.

    The repurposed bullet is a great idea! I showed it to my husband for my Christmas present idea already. I lived in war-torn Liberia for a while and cried with them from a nearby country when we had to evacuate. What a neat way to re-purpose that heart ache into a thing of beauty. I don’t remember Ethiopia going through a similar political period, wow. Hmm.

    Merry Christmas,
    Jennifer Dougan
    http://www.jenniferdougan.com

    Reply
  41. Nina Donham

    Lysa,
    Thank you for being a vessel! God has used your words to help me fight my fear and give me peace. My husband is having some back problems and I have been terrified and often wondered why God hasn’t healed him. But this just reminded me that I need to have peace and patience because Gods timing is perfect. Not mine. Thank you so much for sharing this. It was such a blessing.

    Reply
  42. mona meenan

    I have heard it said that hurting people hurt others. Lysa, you are a “helping” person and your book Made to Crave for Young Women will prayerfully do just last in little ole Malvern High School starting In January. I purchased this book by accident (God – you got me!) thinking I was purchasing the adult book. I have 3 daughters so I read it and it has been helping me and now I hope to encourage others to crave God first. We held a purity retreat at out church & gave your book away as a gift. Our school is allowing us to start a voluntary bible study & your book will be out guide. Thank you for all of the encouragement you offer others and I pray that something good will come from the letter you received even though it was handled in a hurtful way. We all make mistakes & everyday is a second chance (millionth chance :)). Thanks & Merry Christmas!

    Reply
  43. Virginia Wickersheim

    Dear Lisa, I am so glad for answered prayer for you and your daughter. It is interesting though that not all answered prayer turns out in what I would call what I would have hoped would have happened in my life. God had a different plan than I. I recently lost my son who was 44. He has had off and on years of drug abuse. I so believed that God would restore him…I thought God had abandoned me when I found him dead. I had believed for years many scriptures regarding him and especially Jeremiah 31: 15….I always reread ” for your work will be rewarded, They will return from the land o the enemy. So there is hope for your future”. When he died, I reread this over and then I came to verse 16 again and God pointed out o me that I didn’t finish reading it. because after it says, there is hope for there future, it then says….Your children will return to their own land….you see Lisa…. 4 days before my son died, he asked me to pray with him, I say to him ” I can’t pray with you, what good would it do, you need to ask the Lord in your life and ask for forgiveness and he responded with what do I need to say….I was able to lead him in the sinners prayer and then we prayed…he even felt better….not knowing I would find him dead 4 days latter….My soul rejoices in knowing that God allowed that to happen before he left this earth. Yes it’s hard and I miss my son and I weep, but I rejoice in knowing where he is at. I know this story is not what allot of people would want to read but it’s real and life doesn’t always happen they way we think, but God is faithful even when it’s rough… and yes my child has been returned to their own land.

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  44. Morgan Evans

    I really needed this. I’ve been struggling a great deal with doubts, questions, and fears over the past few months. I’ve thought about them, talked about them, and worried about them to the point of becoming completely overwhelmed by an ocean of things I didn’t understand. While reading this it hit me that I should exercise the faith I want to strengthen so dearly by starting to pray about my doubts. If you happen to read this post, please pray that my faith would be strengthened through this time. Thank you:)

    Reply
  45. Mindy

    I find your postings so encouraging. My husband, a good man, has fallen in the bondage of past hurts, negative thinking and resentment. His coping mechanisms have become unhealthy and alcohol has become a release. Sobriety has led to relapse time and time again. I remain broken and saddened by our pain and suffering and the way circumstances have reached the emotions of our children. I believe that Marriage is not a contract but a convenant and God is bigger than our biggest perceived struggles. I am living day to day on Gods promises and seeking obedience and blessing in suffering but would be dishonest if not to admit my pain, suffering, despair and sadness. I take great comfort in knowing that a Christian community will be sharing these things in prayer. Thank you.

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  46. L.N.

    Lysa. I came here in hopes of prayer! I’m at a terrible place in my life! I’m a stay at home mom to five children and one on the way! Our oldest is graduating this year, my husband and I have been together over 20 years we never see eye to eye anymore at all! I’m pretty sure we never did. We met when I was only 14 and our life has been a turbulent ride. There’s so many things he’s done and I don’t forgive him. I’ve become a bitter miserable person and I’m scared! I feel the unloving feeling rolling off of me onto my baby’s. I’m so tired of being a mommy, I’ve been doing this since I was 16yrs old and I use to love it but we’ve created monsters! Our oldest kid is so lazy and filthy he makes me so angry all I do is fuss at him and we have no relationship anymore! I just have so many devils in me right now and I have no will power left to fight. I’m very sick with this pregnancy. If I died right now I’d be in hell! Because God is love and there is no love in me. I really use to have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ and it’s gone! I find myself blaming my husband for everything. Hes never drank. Did drugs or been physically abusive. But he’s mentally abusive. Hes always yelling and cussing. Hes never ever happy ever! He had sex with other girls when we were young and dating, although this has been over 16 years ago I can’t forgive him because I obviously have some kind of sexual problem because I just feel like he’s never loved me or he wouldn’t have done this! I’ve also always believed he’s in love with my sister! I’ve had horrible vivid dreams about this and they’ve tortured me for years. I’m reading what I’ve just wrote in disbelief! Because my family is one of those we look so perfect you would never guess all this nasty gross stuff is going on! What am I going to do? I have a hopeless marriage! I’ve never had a job so I can’t take care of my baby’s by myself! What if the dreams about my husband and sister are true? I am so selfish and weak! Because I truly just want to die. Better yet is if I’d never been born. Please I beg for prayers!

    Reply
    • Lydia Mclaughlin

      This is truly a cry for help. I will be praying for you. I was in an extremely hopeless situation and God has pulled me out of the muck and mire….he will do the same for you- do not say you want to die, instead tell God you want to live the life that He has planned out for you…..Holy Spirit, I pray that you be released to this dear precious child of yours and let her know that you are there with her, to help her. You are the comforter, you are peace…God only you can do this, so I will bring her to your throne room and ask you Father to speak to her heart and say “I’m here…I’ve never left you….”
      I will be praying for you my dear! But please, please, please I beg you to forgive….do not let the enemy have legal right to your life. Trust me, I know what I am talking about…you must forgive!
      I say this with much love….I am a mom too- I know its hard, and you seem to be dealing with so much, but God KNOWS everything, He knows what is happening, He does care, fear is from the enemy- you must go back to Jesus because He can- He will help you, just give Him a chance….only He can fix this, I will be praying for you!

      Reply
  47. Jan

    PERFECT timing! God bless you!!

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  48. Renee

    Thanks so much for sharing this really spoke to my heart today! I needed this reminder!

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  49. Rahab

    Wow!!! Thank you Lisa!!! At some point my son was living a life of doing drugs and I prayed for a short time and gave up in embarrassment, frustration and anger towards myself , God and my son. I remember at some point I even prayed for him to die because I predicted a life of pain and suffering for him. I don’t know what happened or when but I suddenly started to pray again for him and one day I recieved a call from him when he was deep in the pit asking for help. He came back ” to himself” and is now soon graduating from Grambling State University. I sometimes worry that he will relapse but it just dawned on me after reading all these messages that we should never stop praying for our children EVER!! I pray for the mother who lost a 44 yr old son, for L.N who is in a very bad place mentally that God will meet them at their very point of need! L.N May God heal your mind and deliver you from the wiles of the devil who is poisoning your mind.
    I need prayers for my son mentioned above- that he will know Jesus personally, that he will get a good job , I pray that God will bless him with a good Christian and godly wife and that he will be a responsible husband, father, uncle, friend etc. in a few days he is going to MN to visit his brothers and honestly I’m fearful that he is going to hang out with the wrong crowds but I will entrust him to God who has sustained him this far. Thank you all for your prayers.

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  50. Muñeca

    God healed my mother completely and made her a different person for the glory of God. 8 years later my brother is still struggling with drugs. Please believe with me that one day soon he will also be that completely different person and my family will be restored. He’s like a father to me. I miss him.

    Reply
  51. Sonja LeVan

    I have been praying 10 months for my son who has been in Management, He has an Electrical Engineer Degree and worked his way up and is 45yrs of age…The Co he was working for 10 months ago downsized and he was let go…He was asked by an old boss to work getting a new co. off the ground, he has done that, but they have paid him nothing and keep saying they will be able to next month…it has been 4 months since he started that and now he is having to use his 40-1K to pay his bills….I am so worried he will lose his home and every thing he has worked for since College…He is a good man and does a lot for his church…I have prayed so hard and Know God answers prayer, but it is hard to believe when every thing looks so bad….Please pray.

    Reply
    • Mery

      I am praying that God would open the way and guide your son in everyway he should walk, that everyone would see, that God is our provider, no matter our circumtances.

      Reply
  52. Gina

    I have Been praying for many, many years for my marriage and my husband, for him to come back to Jesus and be able to have a God center marriage, but he’s spiritual blind, looking in to false prophets and idols, making our relationship very difficult, I want the lord to change his mindset and his heart, He did it once, He can do it again.
    Please pray for a miracle in my marriage and my husbands life.

    Thank you.

    Reply
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