When someone in your life is walking through a crisis, it can be difficult to know exactly how to pray for them–especially when the situation they’re going through seems hopeless. That’s exactly how one listener felt when she emailed Wally from The Wally Show:

What should I pray for if there’s no hope left in the situation? My parent’s best friends were trying to have a child for nearly ten years, and when they finally had their son after a difficult pregnancy, they were overjoyed.

But this last June, his parents noticed he was limping and favoring his right arm and leg. He was diagnosed with a rare brain tumor that affects an area of the brain that can’t be operated on. He has some breathing troubles and can’t talk or move.

Knowing that he is terminal, my family and I have kinda stopped praying for a miracle. What should I pray for when there is no hope? What do you pray when the situation will eventually end….but not in the way you want it to?

With help from the listeners of our show, we came up with some ways to pray for the people in our lives who seem to be in “hopeless” situations:

1. Pray for the journey (not just the outcome)

Obviously, all of us want the miracle. We want the diagnosis to be reversed. We want to see the marriage restored. And while we believe God can perform miracles and heal our bodies and hearts, we still need prayer in the process.

Zach from The Wally Show once heard his pastor say, “Don’t pray for the situation to be lowered to your level of faith. Pray for your faith to be raised to the level of the situation.”

Don’t pray for the situation to be lowered to your level of faith. Pray for your faith to be raised to the level of the situation. Click To Tweet

It may never get any easier. The outcome might be bleak. But we can pray for strength, wisdom, and the peace that literally passes all understanding to come when it’s needed most. 

2. Pray for the people their story will impact

For someone going through the darkest days of his or her life, it can be impossible to believe that God will use it for His good. But it’s good to pray that for someone you know who’s going through a hard time.

Our circumstances become a part of our story; pray that God will use that story to help someone in the future who may be going through something similar.

3. Pray for ways to love on them

When someone in our lives receives the worst news possible, we don’t always know what to do. That’s why it’s important to pray that we can be fully aware of their needs.

How can God use us? How can we serve them? Maybe it’s fixing a dish for the family, or taking their dog for a walk, or mowing their overgrown lawn. Maybe it’s as simple as being a listening ear or a shoulder to cry on.

4. Pray for those around them

Pray that the person walking through the tragedy is surrounded by the right people. Grandparents, cousins, friends, and coworkers are charged with being the emotional support of the person in the center of it all–all while dealing with their own levels of grief. Pray for their hearts as they face the circumstances, and pray that in the midst of it, they can be the best support possible.

5. Pray for mercies along the way

Ultimate healing may not come in the way we expect. But that doesn’t mean that there aren’t new mercies every morning, provisions at the exact right time, and small miracles throughout the process. Pray that God will provide those moments and that the family will see the good….even in the midst of the unthinkable bad.

5 ways to pray for someone going through a seemingly hopeless situation Click To Tweet

On our podcast, we discussed some other ways to pray. Tap here to listen!

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The Wally Show

The Wally Show

Wally, Zach, Bekah, and Betty talk about what’s going on in the world and in our lives with sincere honesty. Wally may push a few buttons and tease the girls to no end, but at the end of the day, they’re out to encourage us to love and follow Jesus – even though we’re not perfect.
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