When You're Tired of Praying About That Difficult Relationship

And he told them ... that they ought always to pray and not lose heart. (Luke 18:1 ESV)

After another maddening conversation, I take a sharp turn into the bathroom. I shut the door and lean on the pedestal sink as I look at myself in the mirror. Weary words swirl like smoke around me: Why must this relationship be so difficult? And really, why do I keep bothering with it anyway?

I close my eyes and open them again, frustration carrying me to the conclusion that things will never change. We’re at a dead-end country lane, and all we can do is back up and travel the same gravel over and over.

It’s too far-gone, too hope-gone.

My attitude resembles that of a man from the household of Jairus as told in the book of Luke. Jairus, a synagogue ruler, pleads with Jesus to come to his house because his only daughter is dying. While Jesus and Jairus are still en route, a man from Jairus’s house meets them and tells Jairus, “Your daughter is dead. ... Don’t bother the teacher anymore” (Luke 8:49).

Jairus’s daughter died.

With circumstances too far-gone, why bother Jesus?

My own disappointment asks the same thing. This relation-ship is too hopeless, too dead. Why bother Jesus with this any-way? So I give up on my prayers, on Him. I’m just tired of hoping, tired of the letdown.

And then I’m smacked upside the head with a startling reality: in cherry-picked difficulties like this relationship, I act like an unbeliever.

I know Christ can do all things. And indeed, He proves it with Jairus’s daughter. “Hearing this, Jesus said to Jairus, ‘Don’t be afraid; just believe, and she will be healed.’ ...He took her by the hand and said, ‘My child, get up!’ Her spirit returned, and at once she stood up” (Luke 8:50, 54–55).

With one touch, Jesus raises the dead. With one sentence, He breathes new life into relationships.

So I don’t give up on prayer, but I give my prayers up to the throne of God. We can’t always talk to people about God, but we can always talk to God about people. Nothing is too far-gone for Jesus to move. We may not see healing at work on this earth, but we trust the Healer at work.

No, my broken relationship doesn’t look different, but my heart does—if only a little. It sees a new picture, one changing from hope-gone to hope-dawn


With one touch, Jesus, You raise the dead. With one sentence, You breathe new life into relationships. You still do miracles today, and You’re still doing miracles in my life. Nothing is too far-gone for You to move; I know You can do all things, as You did with Jairus’s daughter. Bring my heart back to life, Lord. Move me toward You. Amen.

This is an excerpt from Take Heart: 100 Devotions to Seeing God When Life’s Not Okay by (in)courage  - a devotional book now available on DaySpring.com. Learn more about this book, or shop other books & devotionals from DaySpring.