Words for When You Cannot Pray

I’m a morning person. I would probably annoy some of you who are night owls. But I genuinely enjoy the pre-dawn hours. I look forward to meeting with God, and I generally meet the new day with optimism and a good measure of “We can do this, God!”

However, I woke up discouraged the other day. So discouraged, in fact, that it was hard to pray. I knew that in times like that I need God more than ever—but at times like that, it also can be really hard for me to make my way to Him. (Can anyone say, “Spiritual warfare”?)

So I procrastinated. Instead of opening my Bible, I opened my email. Among my emails, providentially, was an email with Bob Hostetler’s Prayer Blog. I don’t always read them, I admit (sorry Bob!) but this time I did. And what I found was simply a link—a link to a song. The song was a prayer, and it was exactly the prayer I needed. Here are the words:

Holy Spirit, living Breath of God,
Breathe new life into my willing soul.
Bring the presence of the risen Lord
To renew my heart and make me whole.
Cause Your Word to come alive in me;
Give me faith for what I cannot see;
Give me passion for Your purity.
Holy Spirit, breathe new life in me.

Holy Spirit, come abide within;
May Your joy be seen in all I do—
Love enough to cover ev’ry sin
In each thought and deed and attitude,
Kindness to the greatest and the least,
Gentleness that sows the path of peace.
Turn my striving into works of grace.
Breath of God, show Christ in all I do.

Holy Spirit, from creation’s birth,
Giving life to all that God has made,
Show Your power once again on earth;
Cause Your church to hunger for Your ways.
Let the fragrance of our prayers arise.
Lead us on the road of sacrifice
That in unity the face of Christ
Will be clear for all the world to see.

—Holy Spirit, Living Breath of God, Words and Music by Keith Getty & Stuart Townend,

© 2006 Thankyou Music

And here is the link, if you want to listen to it: http://bobhostetler.blogspot.com/2013/09/holy-spirit-living-breath-of-god.html?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+BobHostetlersPrayerBlog+%28Bob+Hostetler%27s+Prayer+Blog%29

As the words to the song flowed over me, I prayed them back to God, grateful for His timely and incredibly personal intervention. In His mercy and kindness, He had done for me what Romans 8 promises. He had helped me in my weakness. I didn’t know what to pray, but He interceded for me—through that song, through that timely blog post—according to the will of God (verses 26-27).

Bob’s post inspired me to create my own play list of prayer songs. I’m just getting started. Do you readers out there have any favorite song-prayers to share with me? There may come another morning when I will need them again. Sometimes a song provides what I need to pray when I can’t find words of my own.  


7 thoughts on “Words for When You Cannot Pray

  1. HSBC BANK says:

    Thanks for being honest! I appreciated the uplifting poem. -Bob

  2. Yadira says:

    “Help Me Find It” lyrics

    Share on http://www.amazon.comMP3 Share on emailEmail Share on printPrint


    Help Me Find It Ringtone Send “Help Me Find It” Ringtone to your Cell Help Me Find It Ringtone
    “Help Me Find It”

    I don’t know where to go from here
    It all used to seem so clear
    I’m finding I can’t do this on my own

    I don’t know where to go from here
    As long as I know that You are near
    I’m done fighting
    I’m finally letting go

    I will trust in You
    You’ve never failed before
    I will trust in You

    If there’s a road I should walk
    Help me find it
    If I need to be still
    Give me peace for the moment
    Whatever Your will
    Whatever Your will
    Can you help me find it
    Can you help me find it

    I’m giving You fear and You give faith
    I giving you doubt
    You give me grace
    For every step I’ve never been alone

    Even when it hurts, You’ll have Your way
    Even in the valley I will say
    With every breath
    You’ve never let me go

    I will wait for You
    You’ve never failed before
    I will wait for You


    I lift my empty hands (come fill me up again)
    Have Your way my King (I give my all to You)
    I lift my eyes again (Was blind but now I see)
    ‘Cause You Are all I need
    When I need direction, this is a very comforting song.


  3. Diane Torres says:

    Just Say Jesus

  4. Anything by Getty & Townend is good.

    This one came immediately to mind. I don’t know any of the words except the chorus: “Lord have mercy, Christ have mercy, Lord have mercy on me.”

  5. Alie Benson says:

    I like “Be Thou My Vision” and “Beneath the Cross of Jesus” — they both help me focus on Jesus as the Center.

  6. Cynthia, I really like a new prayer song I came across by someone I had never heard about. The song is “You Speak” by Audrey Assad. Here’s the link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Hvdb4lQZVFw
    I hope it ministers to you as much as it has to me.

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