Ever feel like your prayers are going into a void? Do you sometimes question whether it’s even worth it to keep praying when your prayers go unanswered? If you’re wondering how to continue praying when it feels like God isn’t listening, this excerpt from A Better Way Bible Plan (with bonus content) is for you.
There’s this meme floating around the internet: “Life is basically saying that things are busy but will slow down soon—until you die.” Can you relate? We jump from one commitment to the next, promising that we’ll slow down soon—but we don’t.
Even our prayers feel rushed, and we sometimes only pause long enough for a “Jesus, fix it!” cry for help. But what if it’s possible to trade our busyness for a pace of peace? What if it’s our hurried hearts that are keeping us from hearing our Father’s voice?
Here’s the thing: True peace is only found in the presence of God.
We can’t just take a break and expect a breakthrough. Instead, we have to seek God, trusting that He alone can give us the rest we need.
Jesus modeled this by withdrawing often to quiet places to pray. And we’re called to do the same thing. John 15 explains:
“I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.” John 15:5 NIV
Apart from Jesus, we can do nothing. That’s why the most important thing we can do is connect with our Creator. In Him, we find all that we need.
So what do you do if you’re trying to connect with the Father, but you feel further from Him than ever? What do you do if you don’t even know how to continue praying?
1. Keep praying.
We know—it’s harder than it sounds. But trust us on this one. In Luke 18:1-8, Jesus told the story of a persistent widow who kept asking a stubborn judge for justice. Can you relate?
Maybe, like the widow, you’ve spent months, or even years, asking God for something that seems to stay the same. Those waiting seasons can feel impossibly long. But in Jesus’ story, the judge eventually caved because of the widow’s consistency.
You may not be getting the answers you want—or feeling like you’re getting any at all—but God hears you, and your patience is worth it. So if you’re wondering how to continue praying, follow the widow’s example. Remember: Prayer may not always change your situation, but it always changes you.
2. Evaluate your request.
Maybe your lack of answer is an indicator that you can adjust what you’re asking for. Perhaps you’re asking God for clarity, but He wants you to grow in your trust. So instead of praying for clarity, you might ask for greater trust in God’s plan.
Of course, you can continue asking God for what you want, but consider what you might need, and try asking for that too.
3. Change it up.
Think about your closest friendships. Over the years, your relationship has probably changed, right? It would be boring if you always kept the same patterns every time you hung out. So if you’re wondering how to continue praying, consider changing up your prayer life!
You could try journaling your prayers, praying a Psalm or the Lord’s Prayer, spending more time listening, walking around while you pray, or praying with other people.
Even David—a man after God’s own heart—wrote some Psalms crying out to God about why He wasn’t answering, so you’re not alone if you feel far from God. But know that He is with You, He is for you, and He will meet you when you don’t give up.
Here’s a prayer for when you don’t know how to continue praying:
God, lately I feel like I’m missing Your presence. I know You’re here, but I can’t seem to connect with You. Show me any areas in my life that might need to shift for me to hear Your voice, and help me experience You in a fresh new way. Give me the courage and the discipline to know how to continue praying when it feels like You aren’t listening, and give me the faith to trust that Your plan is far greater than mine. In Jesus’ name, amen.
What’s one way you could change up your prayer life this week? Think about it, then commit to trying it out for the next few days.