How do we pray when our hearts are broken?
One of the most gut wrenching hurts is the hurt of a heart that is broken. Not only is this an emotional burden, but it is also a physical one as well.
There is so much going on in this world! It can be overwhelming trying to navigate how you can make a difference. This can be compounded when you are bombarded with the brokenness of the world and the brokenness that comes from having a broken heart.
The overwhelm that we feel when brokenness is all around us can make finding healing for the broken hearted feel nearly impossible.
I have been there! I will never forget my first heartbreak, not my last. It is a feeling that marks you, but there is joy on the other end. When your heart is torn from the brokenness of a broken heart caused by others, by your own doing, or by the brokenness of the world, the best thing you can do is pray!
There is power in our prayers that causes shifts in the atmosphere and leads us from a place of helplessness to a place of power!
The key to activating the power of prayer is to understand the source of our brokenness and then to pray specific prayers using the power of the word of God to overcome those broken places. Keep reading to the end for powerful examples of prayers for the broken hearted.
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What is brokenness?
Brokenness, the messy place where all of us as Christians find ourselves. The space where our expectations for our salvation don’t quite meet our ability and we fall short.
The broken heart in a tough marriage feeling the sting of rejection.
The mother mourning the decisions of her child.
The woman unsure of her purpose in the face of an unmet dream.
Brokenness is the state of our humanity. It’s what we are in our own strength. It’s where we find ourselves when we focus within. It’s discouragement, bitterness, frustration and anguish
It’s our fate without Jesus.
What does the bible say about being broken?
When studying brokenness in the bible we see that there are three main examples or types of brokenness in the bible.
- The brokenness that is imposed on us by circumstances.
- The brokenness that we impose on ourselves due to sin,
- The brokenness we feel due to empathy
In the first type of brokenness we can look at the story of Hannah in 1 Samuel. Hannah’s story is near to many women who seek family whether that is in the form of a spouse or children. Hannah’s heart is grieved by the second wife of her spouse who torments her because of her barrenness. Hannah cries out to God in her brokenness and promises to give her son back to God if only he will bless her.
The second type of brokenness is the brokenness that is caused by sin that leads us to repentance. This type of brokenness is exhibited by David after he commits adultery with Bathsheba and then gets her husband killed in battle. His lament over his transgression and repentance is seen in Psalms 51.
The last type of brokenness we see in the bible is one of the empathetic heart, and this type is modeled by Jesus over and over again. This sort of brokenness drives us to action, and his broken heart over our sins led him to the cross. He literally allowed his body to be broken for us to be reunited to God.
In all of these examples of being broken, we see a common thread. The brokenness led the character to prayer. It caused them to seek God. For Hannah and David the brokenness led to repentance, or to lay their burdens before the Father. In each of these examples however, the prayers of the broken led to some version of transformation from God.
What does God say about healing for the broken hearted?
Now lets dig more specifically into understanding first what the bible says about heartbreak. These scriptures on brokenness can be healing for the broken hearted. They can also be used as the promises you pray to heal a broken heart.
He heals the broken hearted, and bandages their wounds.Psalm 147:3
This promise encourages those who are broken that healing comes from the Lord. In his mighty hands, your wounds are bandaged. Praying this scripture could look like a prayer of praise in advance for God’s healing hand on your heartbreak.
So then let those who suffer according to the will of God entrust their souls to a faithful Creator as they do good.1 Peter 4:19
Often the sting of heartbreak is quickly followed by a spirit of rejection, bitterness, and revenge. This is not what God calls us to, instead he reminds us that in our brokenness, if we know that we are doing the will of God, we can continue to do God. This is because our trust is in him.
Though we feel heartbreak on Earth, our healing is in the Lord.
And we know that all things work together for good for those who love God, who are called according to his purpose.Romans 8:28
Many times when we are praying for healing for a broken heart, we ask God why! We petition him for answers to questions only he knows. This scripture can encourage us to keep looking towards him and trusting that he knows better than we ever can. It reminds us that even in when our heart is breaking, he makes all things work out for our God.
The Lord is near the broken hearted; He delivers those who are discouraged.Psalm 34:18
This promise will always lead to a shout of hallelujah. When you are praying in the midst of heartbreak, remember this, The LORD is near the broken hearted! This news leads to try healing for a broken heart. When we are weary and discouraged, when our heart is shattered, God delivers us.
My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.Psalm 73:26
Sweet, dear friend. I know that you may be feeling the weight of the world. Whether you heart is broken from a relationship that did not prove longstanding, or your heart breaks when you read about starving children. Your broken heart can find strength in the Lord.
When you pray in your brokenness, God is faithful to sustain you and fill you with his love.
How do we pray for ourselves and others when we are broken
How do we pray when our hearts are broken? When we feel we are at the end of our rope and our ability, the best thing we can do is pray! Praying for our selves and others during times of brokenness when we need god’s help desperately allows us to connect to the source of all power and healing.
The first step in understanding how to pray for ourselves and others during seasons of brokenness is to press into the holy spirit. It is in this place of quite intentional solitude that the Holy Spirit can minister to us and give us a better understanding of the source of our brokenness.
The next step is to find promises and words of God in scripture that speak to our current state of brokenness. We can then use those scriptures to guide our prayers with the truth of his word.
What you will read following this are several prayers for the broken hearted and brokenness, the sad, and the lonely. Each prayer for the broken is filled with the truth of God’s word. I have also added scriptural reference for the prayers. My hope is that these prayers will help give hope to the situations that lead you to frustration, sadness, loneliness, and hurt.
Prayer points for brokenness
When praying for brokenness for yourself or others, you may get stuck with what exactly to pray for. Some of the prayer points to use when preparing to go to your prayer space include:
- Brokenness in relationships
- Spiritual brokenness
- Desperate for God’s help
Having scripture lists and promises specifically related to these topics can help you be more direct in your prayers when you pray for the broken. This also allows you to use the power of the word of God when going before the throne of grace.
Prayer for a broken heart (Imposed brokenness)
This is a prayer for the brokenhearted. It is for those who are lonely, sad, anxious or insecure. When our brokenness is imposed on us based on our circumstances, it can feel particularly bitter. This sort of broken heartedness can cause us to question God and his sovereignty because at times we can feel like he allows it.
This is not true. We live in a broken world, we experience the consequences of the fall in a world full of humans who have free will. God is good all the time. His desire is salvation and reconciliation of us to him.
This doesn’t, however, keep us from experiencing painful sting of heartbreak. When you feel the sting of hurt from those around you or circumstances you find yourself in and you desperately need God’s help, pray this prayer.
God of Heaven, Lord above all, I worship your holy name. You are worthy, and you are good. You do not forsake your children. You are close to the brokenhearted, the despondent and the afraid. You are our comforter, our healer, the mender of things that are broken. I present my heart to you Father, do not stay far from me, for my sadness deepens. I know that you are the God above all. I know that in you all things are possible, I believe that you are doing a new thing in me. I am standing on your word.
I admit that I have put my trust and hope in man. I have sought out worth in the opinion of others, I have longed to be seen and understood by family, and friends, and lovers and bosses. I have given myself completely over to becoming what I thought was acceptable to these to be appreciated and accepted. I so want acceptance father. I have neglected the me that You see in order to pursue earthly bonds. I have denied my spirit, I have denied myself the fullness of your presence. I have been stubborn, and have chosen my own way. Because of this, I feel unworthy, unable to accept true friendships and true love for fear that they may see my unworthiness and reject me too. I feel unworthy and unable to receive your grace for fear of your rejection. Father forgive me for these fears. Forgive me for trying to fill my heart with things of this world. Forgive me for trying to find wholeness in man, for trying to find completion in places which are just a whisper. Turn to me Father and be gracious to me, for I am anxious and my sadness deepens. I know that it is only in you that I can find joy, and I am leaning into you in this moment.
You tell me to not fear, for you are my God. You promise me strength and help. You promise to uphold me with your righteousness. For this I cast all of these insecurities on you father. I know you care for me. I give you my feelings of inadequacy, and unworthiness and I receive comfort from you. For you father did not spare your own Son, for me. You chose me, and you chose me each morning. You delight over me, you paint beautiful canvases in the sky for my pleasure. You love to spend moments, hours, and days with me. You heal my broken heart. You continuously heal my broken heart and you free me from feelings of guilt.
Your plans for me are good, the people that you have purposed to be in my life, are there for a reason. I will not shy away or be timid in speaking your name. I thank you for showing me love through those you have ordained to be in my community. I am not alone, I am not invisible, for you are the God that sees me, you know exactly what I need, and you always provide. I will fix my hope on you and continue in my petitions and prayers both day and night, for you are my God. In Jesus’ name, Amen
Scripture Reference: Jeremiah 29:11, Philippians 4:6-7, Matthew 11:28, 2 Corinthians 4:8-10, Psalm 147:3
Praying for the broken hearted (Empathy Driven Brokenness)
The world that we live in is full of brokenness. It has been since the fall of man in the beginning and our only hope has always been Jesus. As followers of Christ, our hearts often break for different things, whether that be children in poverty, health disparities, racial injustice, or the incarcerated.
The first step we can take to help these disparities is to pray that God would continue to lead us to the populations that he created us to minister to. We can pray for eyes that see and ears that hear the hurts of these souls and then pray for the strength to be his hands and feet. Pray this prayer when you are seeking direction and purpose in your walk with the Lord as you feel that sting of empathy driven brokenness.
Thank you for choosing me! Thank you for seeing in me someone who was worth saving! Thank you for sending Jesus, you son, who knew no wrong to die in my place! Thank you for showing me what true love and sacrifice looks like! You are my example. My portion. My everything!
Lord, I admit that at times my prayers are filled with wants and desires, and while I know that you love to hear what I want, you also created me to be satisfied solely in you, so that I can be your light to others. Forgive me for being selfish, and allowing my pride to make me desire more than what you have already blessed me with over your will.
Father, I pray that you would open my eyes to see what breaks your heart! You called me to this world, to be your witness in all the earth. You called me to this time period, to my neighborhood, and in my city! Show me where my ends of the earth places are. I want to share the comfort that you give to me to those in need. Help me to serve your purpose in my generation. Show me your plans for me. I know you have created me with talents that can be used to glorify you and draw more people to your loving arms. Help me to see your will. Give me strength to follow your leading. Keep me near you so that I may walk this life in the light of your love! In Jesus’ Name, Amen
Prayer of Repentance (Self-inflicted heartbreak/Sin Brokenness)
One of the most common ways we are led to brokenness is our understanding of our sin nature. When we willingly or unknowingly walk into sin and realize how we are grieving our Father in heaven because of that sin, our hearts break. In those moments we should be led towards confession and repentance.
Merciful Father, I praise you for your patience with me. I thank you that you are consistent and kind. I praise you for your grace, mercy and compassion. Lord have mercy on my do not look upon my sins, wash me clean Father. You are Good, you are my father, and you desire for me only the best. You desire to see me walk in the purposes that you have for me, you see me as your beloved child, you look at me and see Jesus.
Lord, I admit that I have sinned. I confess that I have _____________ in your sight. It seems that no matter what I do I keep finding myself in this same space. I know I deserve death. I do not deserve your lovingkindness. And yet Lord, you are patient with me. Lord, I ask for your forgiveness. I know that this action is not pleasing to you. I know that you do not withhold good things instead you have given me boundaries for my own protection. Cleanse me Father with the blood of Jesus. Cover me with your mercy. Show me the way I should go.
Thank you Lord for hearing my prayer and healing me. Create in me a pure heart. Show me your righteousness, cover me Father. Restore me to your joy. Sustain me Lord. I praise you for your faithfulness. Help me to walk in your way. In Jesus’ name I pray, Amen.
Scripture reference: Psalm 51, 2 Chronicles 7:14, Acts 3:19, Proverbs 28:13, 2 Chronicles 30:9, 2 Peter 3:9, Matthew 4:17
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