Proclaim. Mobilize. Equip.
Call 866-865-6253

When Prayer Becomes a Crushing Burden

February 10, 2020

For the eyes of the Lord are on the righteous and his ears are attentive to their prayer. 1 Peter 3:12 (NIV)

What does it mean to pray with faith? Some Christians are confused and perplexed about what the Bible promises about prayer. Here is a common situation. Perhaps you’ve experienced it yourself.

A loved one becomes ill, and the illness is serious, so family and friends begin to pray, but then over time the situation becomes worse. Then someone says, “If we only had more faith, God would answer our prayers.” But, as people continue to pray, there is an increasing sense that life and death lies in the hands of those who pray. At this point, faith is no longer about trusting God. It is about convincing ourselves that what we are praying for is going to happen.

But if what we are praying for does not happen, we will face two problems: One is that we may come to blame ourselves, and that’s a crushing burden. The other is that we begin to resent God. This too is a crushing burden. Either way, we have put ourselves in the place of God, and we take on a burden that only God can bear.

So what does it mean to pray with faith? There are two kinds of prayer for two different situations. First, faith prays with assurance when God has made the outcome known. And second, faith prays with submission when God has kept the outcome hidden.

It is important to know how to use them, and to learn how to distinguish them.

Have you ever felt the crushing burden of prayers that were not answered the way you’d hoped? What happened?


The Author
Colin Smith

Colin Smith is the senior pastor of The Orchard Evangelical Free Church in the northwest suburbs of Chicago. He has authored a number of books, including Heaven, How I Got Here and Heaven, So Near - So Far. Colin is the president and teacher for Unlocking the Bible. Follow him on Twitter.



Explore this topic further

What Is Holding You Back?

Through him and for his name’s sake, we received grace and apostleship to call people from among all the Gentiles to the obedience that comes from faith. Romans 1:5 (NIV) God calls you to “the obedience of faith.” He calls you to find in Christ what you do not have,...

Read Post

Where Obedience Comes From

Through him and for his name’s sake, we received grace and apostleship to call people from among all the Gentiles to the obedience that comes from faith. Romans 1:5 (NIV) Faith is the bond of a living union with Jesus Christ, and so the obedience of faith arises out of...

Read Post

What Jesus Says about Obedience

“A man…had two sons. He went to the first and said, ‘Son, go and work today in the vineyard.’ ‘I will not,’ he answered, but later changed his mind and went. Then, the father went to the other son and said the same thing. He answered, ‘I will, sir,’ but he...

Read Post
For your gift of any amount

For All Who Grieve

A new book from Pastor Colin Smith

Get Unlocking the Bible's Weekly Email

"This Week at Unlocking the Bible" features new articles, radio programs, devotionals, and ministry updates

We will never sell or misuse your information.