This Hard Times in Life Prayer for Hope will help you pray during your dark times when life is tough and you feel hopeless and alone.  Your hard times in life might be because of the death of a loved one, serious illness, a loved one in trouble or a life crisis.

Our Hard Times in Life Prayer is a guided prayer designed to enable you to have an interactive conversation with God about the hard times of life you may be experiencing.

Hard Times in Life Prayer for Hope

Dear Jesus,

I come to you today because I need my hope renewed because I am going through hard times in life that are very painful and difficult.

I journey in prayer with you in Mark 1 when you went in the darkness before it was morning to go to a lonely place to pray.

I, too, are walking through the darkness.  I silently lift to you the specific dark times I am struggling with today ________________________________

The Bible says you were in a desolate and lonely place.

I now silently lift to you my feelings of being desolate and alone _____________________________________

The Bible tells us that the evening before, people who were sick or mentally disturbed crowded around you for healing.  You healed all of them, but it must have been exhausting taking on so much disease  and dysfunction in one night.

Here are the things and people that are draining my energy in my hard times __________________________

But Jesus you chose to go into the dark, lonely place to pray.  Show me how to pray in the darkness like you did.

Here is something that I have been praying about my dark times__________________________

Here is something I would like you to do for me in my hard times in life ______________________________

Here is something I want to ask you about my dark times _______________________________

Jesus, when you prayed in the darkness, what sense did you have that the darkness was finally ending? Did you see a glimmer of light?  Did you hear a bird chirp?  Did you feel the warmth of a sun ray on your face?

I need a sense that my hard times will come to an end.  I need a glimmer of hope.  Please send something for me to cling to about the presence of your light in my dark times ________________________________

When morning finally came, the disciples came looking for you.  But You didn’t go looking for them.  Please teach me to spend extra time in your presence in prayer as you lingered with God in the dawn of a new day.

The Bible doesn’t tell us what you prayed, but it does tell us the result of the prayers.  You had a new sense of direction and you knew that it was time to travel on to preach the good news in other places.

Please make clear to me what my overall mission is for this hard time in my life ________________________

Please guide me to one specific thing you want me to do this week_________________

When Matthew tells this story from the life of Jesus, he says that when you drove out evil spirits with a word and healed the sick, you were fulfilling the prophecy where Isaiah said, “He took up our infirmities and carried our diseases.”  Here is something I want you to take up and carry for me today _______________

It also said that you drove out bad things with a word.  I am listening now for a word from you that will help drive out any negative thoughts and untruths I am experiencing__________________

I end this prayer by following the disciples who followed you.  Although it wasn’t their plans to go to other towns, they went because they wanted to go where ever you were going.  They wanted you to be part of their lives now and forever.

Here is my prayer to walk with you today and always ____________________________________

Jesus, I thank you that you are the Light of the World and the light in my hard times and my dark times.


The Scripture Passage Used in this Hard Times in Life Prayer for Hope

Mark 1:32-39

That evening after sunset the people brought to Jesus all the sick and demon-possessed.  The whole town gathered at the door, and Jesus healed many who had various diseases.  He also drove out many demons, but he would not let the demons speak because they knew who he was.

Very early in the morning, while it was still dark, Jesus got up, left the house and went off to a solitary place, where he prayed.  Simon and his companions went to look for hi, and whey the found him, the exclaimed: “Everyone is looking for you!”

Jesus replied, “Let us go somewhere else – to the nearby villages – so I can preach there also.  That is why I have come.  So he traveled throughout Galilee preaching in their synagogues and driving out demons. (NIV version)

Matthew 8:16,17

When evening came, many who were demon possessed were brought to him, and he drove out the spirits with a word and healed all the sick.  This was to fulfill what was spoken through the prophet Isaiah: “He took up our infirmities and carried our diseases.”  (NIV version)

The Story Behind this Hard Times in Life Prayer for Hope  

I wrote this prayer after being asked to lead a guided prayer at a Hope Transcends service at our church for those going through hard times.

Here’s the invitation the church sent out:

“Hope Transcends is a worship service for those who are experiencing great difficulties in their lives. If you are troubled, feeling lost or without hope, you are invited. Start the New Year afresh by intimately drawing closer to the love and hope that are found in Christ alone.”

Soon after I had been asked to write the Hope Transcends guided prayer, I was out in the cold, predawn hours of a January day on my morning prayer walk.  As I walked in the dark the phrase from Scripture came to me, “Early in the morning, while it was still dark, Jesus went to a lonely place where he prayed.”

I immediately connected with the feelings of inner darkness during hard times when I was in terrible crisis periods and it was a very dark time.  Yes, I had been in very lonely, desolate places.

I turned it over in my mind that Jesus had chosen this dark and lonely place as the best place to pray.  As I walked, I began to explore how prayer could bring Jesus into all of our dark times and lonely places.

I recalled that on dark winter prayer walk mornings I often didn’t realize that it was getting light until half way through my walk when I noticed that the whole word had slowly turned a soft gray.  The next thing I knew, I began to distinguish different colors in the landscape around me as the sun rose.

I realized how fitting it was that the verse that was the theme for the Hope Transcends service was from Lamentations: “Yet this I call to mind therefore I have hope: The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases; his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.”
(Lamentations 3:21-23)

The people in Lamentations were going through very hard times.  Their whole nation had been destroyed and those still alive had been captured and sent into exile.  They needed something to give them enough hope to keep on living.

How often had seen this picture of hope unfold on those dark winter mornings on my prayer walk.  How often I had been lifted by the sun rising and a new day dawning.  Jesus knew this about the dawn.  He knew it would come, and He knew that God’s love and mercies are new every morning.

Other helpful Articles on Hard Times in Life 

Losing Hope Prayer: Restoring Lost Hope through Personal Prayer

Rock Bottom Prayer Second Chance Prayer

Finding Hope After Tragedy

Trusting God Prayer When You’re Asking God Why He Let Things Happen

Painful Loss Prayer

Copyright Karen Barber 2023.  All rights reserved.