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A Prayer for When You’re Downhearted
By: Kristine Brown

“Why, my soul, are you downcast? Why so disturbed within me? Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise him, my Savior and my God.” (Psalm 43:5 NIV)

When I’ve prayed and prayed and haven’t received the answer I hoped for, frustration and doubt threaten to take over. My thoughts become consumed with wondering why. Why hasn’t God answered? Why am I going through this? People around me can see I’m hurting, because the sadness of unanswered prayer is written all over my face.

When things don’t turn out the way we wanted even after we’ve prayed, how do we get past the heartbreak? How do we find hope and keep praising God if the thing we prayed for looks like it will never happen?

A woman named Hannah in the Bible knew the deep sadness of unanswered prayer. She’d been praying for a child for many years. And to make matters worse, her husband’s other wife Peninnah teased her because she couldn’t have children. Hannah carried the same forlorn look on her face that I’ve carried so many times. Her sadness was evident to those around her.

“Her husband Elkanah would say to her, ‘Hannah, why are you weeping? Why don’t you eat? Why are you downhearted? Don’t I mean more to you than ten sons?’” (1 Samuel 1:8 NLT)

The word downhearted can be defined as “discouraged, or in low spirits.” Discouragement happens when we feel like there’s something missing in our lives. Maybe it’s a dream unfulfilled, a longing that won’t go away, or a prayer that wasn’t answered the way we expected. Whatever the cause, we can trade downhearted for hopefulness by turning our focus toward God.

“Why, my soul, are you downcast? Why so disturbed within me? Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise him, my Savior and my God.” (Psalm 43:5 NIV)

Psalm 43:5, inspirational image

Hannah, too, had enough of feeling downhearted. One day she stood up, went into the temple, and poured out her anguish to the Lord. She discovered something she needed all along— to refocus through prayer. Hannah walked out of the temple a different person than she was before. “Then she went her way and ate something, and her face was no longer downcast.” (1 Samuel 1:18b NIV)

Hannah did eventually see her dream for a child fulfilled, and from her example we can learn a valuable truth for those times when we’re downhearted. Truth that will help us trade sorrow for a renewed perspective.

Hannah’s hope wasn’t in the answer to her prayer; her hope was in God alone. Let’s find our own renewed hope from Hannah’s story today and take any anguish we’re carrying to the Lord with this prayer.

Dear Heavenly Father,

Lately, discouragement has come against me like a fierce enemy. I’ve prayed and prayed but haven’t seen my prayer answered. I need you, Lord. Help me turn my discouragement around and find hope once again.

I know you are working on my behalf, even when I don’t see it. You know what’s best for me, and your timing is perfect. Let the words of Psalm 43:5 be my prayer today, “Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise him, my Savior and my God.” I will praise you, Lord! Whatever the outcome, my hope is not in the answer to my prayer. My hope is in you. Thank you for filling the void in my heart. You are a good and faithful Father.

In Jesus’ name I pray, Amen.


For more spiritual growth resources, check out the free Bible study Walking with Hannah: A 4-Day Study for Busy Women by today’s devotion writer, Kristine Brown. You’ll find weekly encouragement to help you “become more than yourself through God’s Word” at her website, kristinebrown.net. Kristine is the author of the book, Cinched: Living with Unwavering Trust in an Unfailing God.

 Editor’s Note: The podcast audio player below is no longer synced up to the written devotional. Enjoy this additional prayer to start or end your day!

Want more Your Daily Prayer? We also have a podcast! This podcast is different than the written devotional you just read, but carries the same commitment to a closer look at Scripture each day. You can find out more by clicking the link below!

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