The Ultimate Guide to Prayer During Hard Times

Inside: Prayer during difficult times can sometimes seem impossible. But really it’s the key to victory. Prayer defeats the enemy. Here are 7 keys to becoming a prayer warrior.

Sometimes I struggle with prayer during difficult times. I mean I know that I need to pray. I know that prayer changes things. But sometimes I just don’t know where to start.  When the hard times come I don’t always have time to create a prayer strategy.

Over the years I have learned a few things about prayer during difficult times: how to create a prayer strategy,  overcoming obstacles to prayer and spiritual growth and more.  I share all these things right here on the blog. You will find a little of my personal testimony mixed in with practical tips, encouragement and the occasional kick in the butt (all with love of course).

Prayer during difficult times can sometimes seem impossible. But really it's the key to victory. Prayer defeats the enemy. Let's do this!

The Ultimate Guide to Prayer During Hard Times

When the hard times come, it’s critical that we know how to fight the enemy.  The Bible is clear that all Christians have an enemy in the devil. He walks around looking for someone to devour and destroy. He is on a kill mission. And you, my friend, have a target on your back.

I know that can be daunting to wrap our minds around. especially when our world is crumbling around us. But fear not, we are not without hope and a way out. Prayer during hard times is the way that we defeat that enemy.

I was saved before I could ride my bike without training wheels. I loved God and I knew that He loved me and that carried me through my younger years. But when the devil came knocking on my door I needed more. And honestly, I was lost and confused …. easy prey.

It was during the hardest season of my life that I finally learned how to fight back against the schemes of the enemy.  Once I learned this one thing I found more peace in my chaos and I also stopped running myself into the ground trying to fix things that were beyond my abilities.

I had to embrace my inner prayer warrior if I was going to win this battle. And that is exactly what you need to do as well.

7 Keys to Becoming a Prayer Warrior

Spiritual warfare is real. When you are praying during hard times you are engaging in war against the enemy of your soul.  It’s not something that is talked about a lot in churches these days and I have to wonder if that is why so many of God’s children have no idea how to fight back.

Paul gives us the battle plan to becoming a prayer warrior and defeating the devil in spiritual warfare: putting on the armor of God. (Ephesians 6:10-19)

Key #1: Understanding the Enemy

In war, much time is spent gathering intel on the enemy.  It benefits you to understand who/what you are up against. How do they think? Where do they like to hang out? How do they like to attack?

We need to understand these things about the devil as well. He definitely has a specific plan for each of us and he knows us well. If you are going to have victory in prayer you need to return the favor. We have to see with our spiritual eyes if we are going to recognize the enemy and his attacks. This requires discernment from Heaven.

One of the easiest ways to get to know someone is to learn their name. In scripture, names do more than just identify a person. Names speak to their nature and character.  Let’s look at a few verses that speak to Satan’s character:

  • Satan is The Accuser who walks the earth looking to see what kind of trouble he can cause (Job 1:6)
  • Satan loves to point out your mistakes and sins to destroy your confidence and burden you with guilt and shame (Revelation 12:10)
  • Satan is the Father of Lies – deception is his game. He wants us in the dark about who God is and who we are in Christ (John 8:44)

Those are just a few to get you started. Knowing Satan’s character helps us to spot his attacks and know how to pray against his schemes.

Read more: 3 Ways Satan Wants to Destroy you During a Crisis

Key #2: Standing in God’s Truth

It’s tempting to be frightened by the devil’s schemes and plans. It doesn’t have to be.  Nothing he throws at you stands a chance against the truth of the Gospel.

Everything that we need to fight the devil through prayer during hard times can be found in the truth of God’s word.  The Bible tells us that when we believe in Jesus Christ that truth is what sets us free.

When the Father of Lies begins to tell you that you are too messed up for God to care or come to your rescue, the truth says that there is nothing that could separate you from the love of God (Romans 8:38).

The truth can also protect us. When we know the truth found in God’s word we won’t be easily fooled by the enemy when he tries to deceive us. We can use scripture to help us pray against these attacks before they come.

Looking for some help praying scripture?

Key #3: Walking in Righteousness

When we believe the truth of the Gospel God adopts us into His family. We are no longer slaves to sin. We are new creatures in Christ.  We live our lives the way that the Bible instructs.

Walking in righteousness is simply living out scriptures commands in everyday life. Does this mean that we do this perfectly every day? Nope.

It’s a process. Scripture calls this sanctification. It’s how we become more like Jesus.

Scripture is clear about the blessings that come from walking in obedience to the Lord. When we misstep we step out from the protection of God and we become easy targets for the enemy.

What does this have to do with prayer during hard times?

Satan is an accuser, remember? That means that he is just waiting for you to make a mistake so he can throw it in your face over and over again.  Because when you are focused on that stuff you often either forget to pray or stop praying completely.

God is perfect, but He doesn’t expect you to be. When you misstep take that as an opportunity to seek God more in prayer. Don’t let the enemy have victory over you in this area.

A few more encouraging words: 

Key #4: Having the Peace of God

The number one thing that we long for during hard times is peace. Just a moment where everything is right in our world and we don’t have to worry about anything.  That rarely happens.

There is a slight misunderstanding when it comes to peace during life’s storms. We tend to think that when we pray for peace God will step in and make all the bad stuff go away so we can have peace.

He can, but he doesn’t.

In the story of Peter walking on the water, how does God save him from drowning? Does He tell the storm to stop so that Peter is no longer afraid? Does He part the sea so that Peter can stand on dry land?

No. God does not make all the scary things go away for Peter. He simply reaches down and pulls Him out. He allows Peter to feel His presence.

In those hard moments when we cry out for peace, God offers us the same thing. He comes to our side and He sits there in the pain, the chaos, and the hard stuff with us.

When it comes to prayer for peace during the hard times don’t look for all the bad stuff to go away. Instead, offer prayers of thanks to God for all that He has done and then trust that He will work the rest out in His perfect timing.

Some other encouraging posts to help you hold onto peace:

Key #5: Standing Firm in Faith

God often uses hard times to grow our faith.  I bet if you are like me, you spend a lot of time talking to God when you need Him to come to your rescue.   When things are going great we don’t always have that same urgency when it comes to praying and spending time with God.

No worries, He knows how to get our attention!

Please don’t take that mean that God is out there creating chaos in your life. He doesn’t work like that. But He will use something awful to draw you closer to Him. That’s just one way that He brings good out of bad stuff.

Paul says that our faith is like a shield. We can hold it up to stop the attacks of the enemy. This battle usually takes place in our mind: doubt, fear, and unbelief.

Our trials go on longer than we thought they would and we begin to wonder if God is actually going to do what He said He would. When you have thoughts like this focus your prayers on reminding yourself of all the reasons that you have to trust God’s promises.

Need more help standing strong in faith?

Key #6: The Assurance of Salvation

Salvation is a beautiful gift from God. Sometimes we think that all it does is keep us from spending an eternity in hell. My sisters, it’s so much more than that.

Salvation is about restoring you to what you were created to be. A daughter of the King of Kings.  It’s how God is able to make all the bad things work for our good and His glory.

If you are going to embrace the call of a prayer warrior then you must protect your identity in Christ.  Prayer during hard times needs to focus on all the things that are yours in Christ. Here are a few to get you started:

  • You are completely forgiven (Colossians 1:14)
  • You are born of God and the evil one cannot touch you (1 John 5:18)
  • You are not bound by fear because you have the spirit of power, love and a sound mind (1 Timothy 1:7)
  • You have power over the enemy and nothing shall hurt you (Luke 10:19)

Read this next: Why Your Identity in Christ Matters During Hard Times

Key #7: The Power of Scripture and Prayer

This last one is really part of all the other keys. But I wanted to make sure that you didn’t miss this one because it’s important.

A true prayer warrior spends time in God’s word and in prayer.  We cannot find victory in prayer during hard times if we don’t pray. And we won’t be effective in our prayers if we don’t spend time in the Word of God.