What to Do When I Pray But Still Feel Down

“And David was greatly distressed, for the people spoke of stoning him, because all the people were bitter in soul, each for his sons and daughters. But David strengthened himself in the Lord his God.” 1 Samuel 30:6b ESV

I’d been praying about my situation for weeks. Friends were praying for me. Our pastors were praying too. But this particular Sunday when I walked into church, the pastor must’ve sensed my discouragement or seen it in the look on my face.

During the worship service, he walked up to me and said, “God’s got this. You know that, right?”

I nodded in agreement. I knew God had it all under control, but the pastor’s question kept coming back to me again and again. Did I really trust God with my situation? And if so, why was I still feeling down?

When we offer our most desperate prayer to God, we trust Him to work on our behalf with His love, mercy, and peace. We know we can rely on Him in our daily decisions and toughest challenges.

But honestly, when I’m facing those challenges it’s hard to stay positive, even when I’ve given it to God in prayer.

David knew this. In the verse above, David felt alone because of his circumstances. He had no one to turn to for prayer support. In fact, all his men were so distressed, they talked about taking it out on David.

When he had nowhere else to turn, he knew where to find encouragement.

“Then David said to Abiathar the priest, the son of Ahimelek, ‘Bring me the ephod.’” (1 Sam. 30:7 NIV)

Through the ephod, David was able to seek the Lord and His will in their situation. Even though surrounded by men weeping in despair, David turned to God and discovered His promise for certain victory over the enemy.

Sometimes in life we will be surrounded by the faithful prayers of family and friends. Our hearts will be uplifted as we know others are standing with us and holding us up in our trial.

Then there will be other times when we feel alone and unsure where to turn. We’ve prayed, but we still feel discouraged. In those moments, we cannot give in to despair. Instead, we must encourage ourselves through what we know to be true.

“And this same God who takes care of me will supply all your needs from His glorious riches, which have been given to us in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:19

I will encourage myself today in what I know to be True. God’s got this. #Truth (Tweet this.)

So let’s take our example from David today. We will have moments when we feel down, but that doesn’t have to stop us from making the choice to seek the One who never fails us. God promises to provide for our needs, and we can trust Him.

God’s got this.



4 Promises for When We Face Rejection

“Number 17, number 9, number 4,” the master called out, as we stood there in our best black leotards and pink tights. Hearing my number would mean just one thing. I would be a snowflake in the Nutcracker ballet! I held my breath and listened.

My number wasn’t called.

The new snowflakes skipped out of the room where proud mommas waited. I lined up in the corner with the remaining ballerinas. The next numbers called would join the cast of party clowns. Not as glamorous as a snowflake, but still included. One by one we cartwheeled across the floor. The girls with the best cartwheels heard their numbers.

My cartwheel didn’t show much promise.

Last chance… The final few returned to the corner, again. Our audition was about to end, but the director still needed to cast the mice. Not as fun as a party clown, but at least I would get to participate, right? He sang the directions in cadence. “Run out into the center and act like a mouse.”

How does a mouse act, anyway?

Without a clue what to do, I followed the other mice wannabes. I scurried, scratched my nose, and wiggled my tail with as much mice-like conviction as I could muster. It just wasn’t enough. With the final numbers still lingering in the air, my Nutcracker dreams died.

“It is the Lord who goes before you. He will be with you; he will not leave you or forsake you. Do not fear or be dismayed.” Deuteronomy 31:8 ESV

Rejection doesn’t end when we grow up. Those feelings can follow us into adulthood. Even when I have a handle on my identity and feel like I’ve moved beyond the need for acceptance, one simple event can bring me back to that memory, when my number wasn’t called.

An email stating my writing isn’t what they’re looking for.

A call saying they’ve given the job to another applicant.

Hearing, “We appreciate your offer to help, but you’re just not the right fit.”

That thought wondering why I wasn’t invited to lunch with the others.

Any of these scenes can send me back to that moment on the dance floor, searching for a place to hide. Holding my breath once again, feeling that heavy heart drop when I’m not included.

But when feelings of rejection surface, we have four strong promises from the verse above to hold onto.

  1. God goes before me.

  2. God will be with me.

  3. God will never leave me.

  4. God will not forsake me.

The truth is, we never have to feel abandoned when we have God. Rejection is a lie created to make us think we are less than who God says we are. Deuteronomy 31:8 speaks straight to that lie and offers neverending hope from the threat of rejection.

Let’s recite these aloud today.

God goes before me. He will be with me. He will never leave me. He will not forsake me. (Tweet this.)

Proclaiming these promises restores our identity as daughters of the King. So even if we aren’t destined to be a snowflake, a party clown, or a mouse, God’s plan is more fabulous than we can imagine.

And His love for us will overpower rejection every single time.



Want to read more from God’s Word about overcoming rejection? You’ll love this 3-day devotional from my friend Kristi at kristiwoods.net. Click here to sign up.