Pressing On When You Feel Like Giving Up

Sharon JaynesPrayer, Praying for Your Child, Trusting God 59 Comments

I had been praying for a family member for over four decades, yet I’d seen little or no progress. I’m wondering if you have anyone in your life like that. 

Part of me wanted to give up. Another part of me knew to press on.

If you’ve been praying about something for years and have not seen any hint of an answer, I want to give you a holy hug right now — dear sister, I’ve been there. But what I want to tell you is that God is always working behind the scenes in ways we may never know on this side of heaven.

It’s natural to feel discouraged and disheartened when someone we love is facing a challenge and we feel helpless to do anything about it; however, that challenge could be the very detour God uses to draw our loved ones into a deeper relationship with Him. Praying for someone doesn’t mean that person will never struggle. It means we are calling on God to work miraculously even in the struggle.

There may be days, months, even years, when you feel discouraged because of the lack of fruit you see from your prayers. Your prayer might be, God, just give me one glimpse of hope! Show me something to let me know my prayers are really making a difference!

If so, friend, let God’s Word remind you of what Jesus says: “My Father has been working until now [He has never ceased working], and I too am working” (John 5:17, AMP).

Our limited vision doesn’t always allow us to see how God is working in our lives, but we must have faith that He is. In fact, it may be in the moments when we sense Him or understand Him the least that He is working the most.

In the Bible there’s a story about faith that starts with a distraught father whose son was possessed by a demon. The boy suffered greatly, throwing himself in fire and then in water, rolling on the ground, foaming at the mouth, and losing his ability to talk. His father even took the boy to Jesus’ disciples for healing, but nothing seemed to work (Mark 9:17-22).

Then one day, the father boldly brought the boy to Jesus and, with desperation surely in his voice, cried, “If you can do anything, take pity on us and help us” (Mark 9:22b, NIV).

And Jesus answered, “Everything is possible for the one who believes” (Mark 9:23b, NIV).

Immediately the father cried out, “I do believe; help me overcome my unbelief!” (Mark 9:24).

Upon that profession, Jesus healed the man’s son (Mark 9:25-29).

Oh, how this story stirs my heart. Can’t you feel the father’s pain? How desperate he must have felt every time his child, under the influence of the impure spirit, threw himself into water or fire. Why? he must have asked. I don’t understand …

Imagine the humiliating stares and the whispers this man and his son may have heard as they walked down the streets. Don’t you know there were probably many days when this dad wanted to give up? Instead, his faith offers us a beautiful picture of the ultimate act of surrender in parenting: handing our children over to God.

Parenting, and life in general, comes with exhilarating highs and excruciating lows. At times we find ourselves at the end of our mental and emotional resources. Sometimes we feel we’ve done everything humanly possible and don’t know the best action to take.

That’s exactly where God wants us to be — in a position where we depend not on our own limited strength and ability but on His limitless power and divine sovereignty.

Prayer is an extraordinary, powerful force. So let’s not give up! Keep praying. God is always working. I believe some of our most magnificent moments with God will happen when, in His perfect timing, we get to see the connection between our prayers and His answers.

Lord, we believe in You — please help us to overcome our unbelief and to be faithful in lifting up prayers to You. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

How does the story of the father and his son in Mark 9:25-29 give you hope today?
Leave a comment and let’s share.

Going Deeper

Never has there been a more important time in history to pray for our children! If you’re a Mom, Grandma, Aunt, or anyone who has a child near and dear to her heart, then this book is for you. Praying for Your Child from Head to Toe: A 30-Day Guide to Powerful and Effective Scripture-Based Prayer, covers 16 areas of a child’s life. From the mind and the thoughts they think, the back and their spiritual and physical protection, all the way down to their feet and the path they take.





© 2023 by Sharon Jaynes. All rights reserved.

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Comments 59

  1. Perfect timing! God is doing a work. Thank you this message was a comfirmation. Thank God for using you in a mighty way. Glory to God!

  2. I’m a great grand mom and I do pray for them all. My heart hurts when I see my young adults struggle, but hope brings me back to believe. This is a timely devotion. Thank you.

  3. I have been praying for my children (spouses) to come back to Jesus and the church. I have to remind myself “Don’t give up Hope”. They are Jesus’ children. He loves them. I will keep praying.

  4. There are many reasons to pray for our children today. temptations that were never a part of our generation now exist today. Please Lord help our parents to understand the healing of children can only be accomplished through prayer and sometimes fasting.

  5. This is exactly what I needed. I now see God has placed me to guide my adult daughter through financial crisis, by not just giving her money, but by helping her learn to manage her funds. It’s taking much more mental, emotional energy than I thought, but I can’t give up, for her to have a peaceful, stable life for her and her children.
    God I ask that you give me the wisdom and strength to be with her, and give her the continued desire to want a better future and patience with me. In Jesus name I pray, Amen.

    1. Pray to the Holy Spirit for discernment, to give you the right words to say at the right time. My daughter is very strong-willed shall we say and I have been praying for her to return to the faith for a long time. I am seeing baby steps but I have had to pray to the Holy Spirit for discernment as sometimes, if I say the wrong thing, at the wrong time, she closes the door for a few days, or even a week or more. I will pray for you and your daughter.

      1. Sharon, thank you for this devotion. Exactly what I needed today. My adult son has made some poor decisions in his life. Finally seemed to be getting on his feet with a great job and things turn bad with his wife. Leaves that job to care for his wife and work through that and he’s never been able to really get back on his feet again. Mind you that was almost 10 years ago. My son completely believes in God and that God will lift him up and back on his feet, but it has been years and he just can’t seem to catch a break. His trust is in God, but he’s not so good at the patience part. He jumps at every door without waiting on God to lead. I have prayed ( and helped financially as much as I possibly can) and I begin to loose hope that God was listening or caring. There were a couple of your devotions that encouraged me never to lose hope or give up.
        Thank you for that encouragement and reminder that God is always there and always working. Still praying for my son and his family to find a good job and get on their feet and be able to take care of themselves. My heart still gets weary and sad but I come back to these couple of devotions and it lifts my spirits to keep praying and bringing my son and his family before my loving, almighty Heavenly Father.
        Thank you Sharon for the encouragement.

  6. THIS message has really hit home with me. I had the worst 3 years of my life when my daughter was going thru a very dark time and almost died. I prayed and prayed and prayed even begged God to help her get thru it….and he did after 3 rehabs …she has been clean for 4 1/2 years …met the love of her life….in very active in her sons life and her step-daughter to be. She is engaged to be married and is very active in N.A. …is sponsoring a couple girls and speaks at events! God is so good!

    1. Hi Anna
      I know exactly what you have gone through. I have a 34 year old son that has moved back home 2 years ago. He has been using meth for 8 years plus. Got into some trouble was put on probation and wouldn’t try to get clean so now house arrest. We have never experienced anything that has affected the entire family until this. I know that my son is struggling but chose house arrest instead of rehab. I just pray that he can do this if not he will go to prison. I heard all sorts of stories about people and the children with drug issues but never thought it was anything like this. I know God hears our cries🙌. All we can do is pray. I will be praying for your daughter and all others have or had dark times like these.

      1. Sheila I am right there with you. Our son is 52 years old and just moved back home a year ago. He has used meth since he was 14. He has been in and out of jail and even spend 3 years in prison. He had no where to go my husband didn’t really want him to stay here but as a mother I let him in and it wasn’t a good decision. He was working but not now. I pray every waking moment for him I raised him in church but now he says there is no God and I’m being lied too. I have put him in Gods hands it’s very hard addiction is from the devil.

  7. I have been praying for my daughter to be able to conceive and the biological clock is ticking louder and louder, she is 38. Also my nephew with a gambling addiction who desperately needs Jesus. I refuse to give up. My God help me overcome my unbelief!

  8. Good morning,

    This came just in time, I was in prayer this morning concerning my adult children, particularly my only daughter; (I have 3 sons and 1 daughter). She shared with me some ways I’ve done things that hurt her and I went in prayer concerning this. I’ve been believing God to help us build a healthy God centered relationship as mother and daughter but somewhere along the way I missed something or did not do something correct. Nevertheless, as I pray for God to heal us both and get the Glory out of this situation, I will not stop praying. This was an encouragement and a confirmation that I am on the right track, prayer cannot fail we must remain patient and focused. There are going to be times when it appears as if God did not hear or has decided not to respond to the prayer we submit, but I’ve learned that in the waiting period, he’s not only working on the one we are believing Abba Father for He’s also doing something amazing in us while we wait. You know a lot of times we ask God for things on behalf of other people but and if we are not careful the very people we pray for, when the Lord finally answer the prayer(s) we are sometimes not in a place to respond correctly and we can cause them to loose the step and pace they have and are trying to achieve in Christ. So let wait with expectation and joy because we are assured one thing, God will come through.

    1. I also have 2 sons and a daughter, all grown. But it’s my youngest son that has turned his back on me and the other two.
      Saying a while back he doesn’t need us, that we weren’t there for him growing up so he doesn’t need us now.
      He was always close to me, until a few years ago and started distances himself from us. Our hearts are broken but I will never give up or stop praying for him to return and find Jesus.
      Victory will be God’s, Satan can’t have my children, grandchildren or Great grandchildren.
      I will continue to pray for God’s will for them all.

    2. I can relate to your situation with your daughter. If only our daughters understood how difficult it is being the mom & yes, we sure do make mistakes, but we did our best at that time. I’ll pray for your situation to improve. I also pray in expectation of seeing God’s hand in a situation with my adult daughter. We’re believing He CAN change it & we’re trusting He WILL. I’ve learned so much along this journey – for the first time, I’ve learned to really trust God with all my situations, all my fears & worries. It’s been a great journey of spiritual growth & I fully believe He never stops working & that He hears our requests.

  9. I need prayers for my daughter McKena. I have prayed since she was little to wait and pray for the husband that the Lord has made for her.
    She broke up with her boyfriend back in February because ha has narcissist tendencies. He was insecure, jealous, controlling, possessive, selfish, lustful, angry.
    Since then he has pursued her as she has tried to move on with her life. She knew that the Lord told her to end things with him and as a family we were happy that she ended it. But now she is talking to him again, and he is manipulating her into thinking that he has changed. Please pray jesus sets her free from his lies. And opens her eyes to truth. Help her to be strong in the Lord and obey Him. Asking Jesus to heal her brokenness and praying for His will and plans to unfold in her life. That God will protect her from the plan of the enemy.

    1. Praying for your daughter. I can feel this so much, as I am recently separated from my husband of 13 years. He had many narcissistic tendencies, and though I saw red flags when we dated, he manipulated me into working things out each time. I understand the struggle this must be for your daughter and have just prayed for her. We want so much to believe the best in people, especially people we love. So I pray that she will be able to clearly see the truth about him and have the courage to move on.

  10. Our son is 18 years old. He’s suffered through disruptive behavioral problems since 5. Even people in the church have spoken badly about him and us. No home training is what they would say. Or he must be doing what he sees at home. I’ve prayed and prayed for my son. I quit my job as a Social Worker to home school him. He was diagnosed with Autism, Oppositional Defiant Disorder, Disruptive Mood Disorder, ADHD. Medication doesn’t help. He’s become more aggressive because he is 6’5” and 328 pounds. He’s decided he’s not finishing school and I can’t do anything about it.
    But prayer has been the only thing that has kept me sane. Jesus has been my best friend through it all. I may never learn why I’ve had to endure so much pain, shame, and embarrassment. But I do know that HE has kept me strong through it all. If nothing else, I’ve learned to lean and depend solely upon HIM.

    1. Good morning Lunita,
      Your post is part of my story. I have a 18 year old son and it’s a constant, daily struggle with him. Sometimes I feel, what have I done wrong so this topic touched my heart. Like you, prayer has been my constant and has kept me sane. I have to remind myself not to look how the situation is, how it feel, or how it seem but remember the promises God has made to me concerning my children. I will keep your son in prayer and we shall continue to lean and depend on God because He is the man with the master plan. Your post encouraged me.

    2. Lunita,

      Hey Lunita! I just read your response above and wanted to let you know that I’m praying for you and your son. I’m so sorry for what you’ve been going through. I also wish you had a church family that would support you during this trial in your life. I may would find another church that would have a group of believers who would love you and your son and support you. That’s what we as Christians are called to do. Bear each other’s burdens. Don’t lose hope. There is peace in Jesus Christ. He will never leave you even in your darkest times. My heart aches for you. May you find the answers your’re searching for to help your son and I pray God will heal him. Take care and know that you are being lifted up in prayer!

  11. Thank you for this this morning. I have been there but God is faithful and I have seen Him working through my prayers. Most especially when I have reached the end of my rope it seems. Mine is not with a child but a spouse and He is working things out for my good!

  12. WOW! God is certainly speaking to me through this post today. Mark 9:24 was my exact prayer this morning. Thanks be to God for the timing and your servanthood. May God pour out an abundance of blessings on you and your ministry!

  13. I have a family member who has ruined his life with self centeredness, drugs and alcohol. I pray daily he will seek professional help to become the father, son, husband he wás created for.

  14. My adult daughter has struggled with alcohol addiction since her teen years, she is 35. I still pray big, that God will take the craving completely away, But I know he has a plan in this, I am hoping to be around to see the results!
    This devotional/scripture gives me such great hope and encouragement!

  15. Thankyou so much for this devotion today. Yes, I’ve been praying for my relationship with my biological father to be restored. Also, for my husband to forgive him. There’s been alot of hurt done by my father emotionally, but I have forgiven him. We are talking now after 6 years, but my husband has yet to forgive him . I pray in time, that God can move mountains so that we can become a family if it’s in his will.

  16. God is an on time God. My adult son is going thru a heartbreak right now and he’s hurting, I’m hurting. Just this morning, not even an hour before I read this, I told a friend I feel like my most desperate prayers never leave the ground. And then I opened this email and to my surprise the Lord had left me a message to remind me He sees me and He sees my son and He’s working all things out.

    1. Yes I know how you feel. My oldest son is going through a break up also. 9yrs with someone and a new home, but he wants to get married and live in God’s will, she doesn’t so he said he couldn’t live in sin anymore, so she left. He’s having a very bad time dealing with it.. He’s 51 and starting over is hard.
      I’m believing God has a wonderful plan for his life, it’s getting him over this hump in his life..
      Praise Jesus

  17. Oh Sharon!! How this struck me today!! I’ve been really struggling with my adult daughter’s decisions and lifestyle. When you said …surrendering our children to God… well, tears are just flowing. Please keep us in your prayers.

  18. Thank you for this devotional. I’ve been discouraged praying for years for my brother who is so hateful towards me. I know he’s really rejecting Christ in me.
    Never give up… ❤️

  19. Thank you Sharon for this timely message! I have 3 grown children, who I took to church since they were babies until reaching adulthood and striking out in their own. Only one of my son’s is married and attending church with his family. I’m still praying everyday for the other two. As you said in your message, I keep pressing on, and I won’t give up. I can see God working in their lives and pray that their lives and hearts will be attuned to God, in everything that they do!
    God Bless you all sister’s in Christ!

    Debbie L

  20. Oh my! This hit home today! I have been praying for a dear child of mine for years that struggles with alcohol and depression. I just recently had an enlightening moment to not necessarily pray for my wish of recovery for this person, but rather to pray for God’s will to be done. I know God’s will is for good as this baby was given to God in dedication. I have definitely learned to believe and trust that God will heal. Yet, encouraging words like yours are sweet to my heart. Thank you!

  21. Hi Sharon. This one spoke to me. We have a special needs bipolar so. Who is 42. We can handle the special needs. The bipolar part has brought us to our knees so many times. Each time he is manic we have seen healing on the other side. Truly is a lesson in faith that we keep walking as parents. When he is well he is a sweet and loving young man. His name is Josh. Please pray for him and us!

  22. Absolute perfect timing for me to receive this email. Hod is so good. It is a great scripture Mark 9:24. Because I was just praying and I didn’t think about praying for me to overcome my unbelief. This helps me. God bless you Sharon Jaynes for God using your words along with His to help me in such a time of need.

  23. Hi Sharon, thank you for your encouraging words. There are two I have been praying for for years. If I read the story and mark nine, I realized Jesus said somethings are only fixable thru prayer and fasting. I personally have not tried that, and I wondered what your thoughts may be. Thank you for your faithfulness.

  24. Thank you so much for this devotional today. Where as my prayer is not about my children this this is exactly what I needed to read to be encouraged to keep praying for deliverance. I have been praying and believing God for a miracle concerning someone
    close to my heart and seeing this scripture which is one I love has given me the inspiration to continue to seek God for a breakthrough…Thank you and I pray for God’s peace to surround you as You continue pour out what He pours into You. In Jesus name…Amen 🙏🏽

  25. Thank you Sharon for being you. This came at a perfect time, praying for a struggling 50 year old daughter and granddaughter. The world has changed so much and had influence on the younger generation. I keep praying that God Will change their hearts. He is faithful and I trust Him with my life, He has given me a wonderful life and more than I deserve. I just want the same for my girl. I’ll keep praying and never give up hope. Thank you Sharon, I can’t tell you how many times I’ve read Praying for your husband from head to toe, and recommended it to everyone. Going to get your new one for children. ❤️

  26. Thank you for reminder that although we can not see results, God is working. So many times I have seen his work come to fruition and I have know it was God’s work!
    Thank you again!

  27. I also have 2 sons and a daughter, all grown. But it’s my youngest son that has turned his back on me and the other two.
    Saying a while back he doesn’t need us, that we weren’t there for him growing up so he doesn’t need us now.
    He was always close to me, until a few years ago and started distances himself from us. Our hearts are broken but I will never give up or stop praying for him to return and find Jesus.
    Victory will be God’s, Satan can’t have my children, grandchildren or Great grandchildren.
    I will continue to pray for God’s will for them all.

  28. Thank you.
    I needed this today. My son Andy once again became overwhelmed with alcohol and had to be hospitalized last night for suicidal thoughts and detox after doing so well in his recovery.
    I’ve been praying for him and his sobriety for 10 years.

  29. Thank you so much for this encouragement. My 3 sons…ages 44, 43 and 34…have not accepted Christ and this mom prays for them every day. I believe God will answer my prayers, because He always hears a mother’s cry and I know that He answers in His own time. I had a wonderful friend who was one of the most faith filled women I have ever know. She passed away at the age of 95 and shared her faith with everyone she met. She prayed without ceasing for everyone she knew…even for those she may not have met, like my sons. She had a son that had turned his back on the Lord, also, when he was in his late teens and she prayed every day for him. As he put it, when he was in his 40’s “Jesus grabbed a hold of him and wouldn’t let go!” and he is now one of the most faithful men I’ve ever met. She encouraged me to never give up on them!!

  30. This is so encouraging. This is the story of mu family. Still trusting God against all odds for a change. It looks like forever but still hopeful. Thanks for sharing

  31. I know that the Lord has given us free will and we must choose Him. At one time my kids did choose Him but they have since turned their back on Him. This story does give me hope because I also know that He would rather have them in heaven than hell so He will answer my prayers for them. Thank you Sharon for all you do and all of your writings.

  32. Thank you for reminding me not to give up on praying for my adult sons (age 36 and 40) I am trusting in God’s limitless power and divine sovereignty.

  33. I have watched my Son tear his life up with addictions. He is grown i am so worn out and on my wits end asking God and have ask God for years to intervene. I am single lost my marriage of 21 years broken from that. I know God is a redeemer and pray he will forgive me for getting in his way and lead me to his will. It has been 37 years with 5 grandchildren 4 not having a relationship with them or knowing how. Lord thank you you know it all you love is unconditional. Thank you for this messesge. God Bless.🙏🏼

  34. Sharon, I have been encouraged & moved by your devotionals for years but this one in particular has me on tears. I have watched my beautiful, God loving daughter suffer debilitating constant pain for the past 12 years due to a botched neck surgery & spinal cord trauma. She is 27 years old. I have prayed fervently for relief and/healing to no avail that we can see. This devotional was exactly what I needed to hear. Thank you and may God richly bless you and your ministry. Love in Christ.

  35. I’ve been praying for my prodigal daughter for years to return to her first love. Now she has children who are 3 and 1. I pray over them to know the Lord too. I share when I am with them, but they live several states away. I ask God to bless the time I have with them, and He has! This devotion has encouraged me greatly to not give up in hope and belief that He will do a mighty work in my daughter’s life to bring her out of this lifestyle. He is able! Lord help me not give up praying! Lord help my unbelief!

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  36. Praying for a brother who has wanted to be married since he was young man (he is now 69)
    When he was growing up our father filled his head against women; saying they’re all treacherous.

    Being a sensitive person — he’s an accomplished artist — he believed that women could not be trusted..

    I am praying for him . I know God has a wife for him, Even at this age.

    Thank you!

    Without realizing it, he tended to ruin his own chancres.

  37. I do also love that story because it made me see my humaness and limitations and to honestly tell Jesus what’s going on in my heart and soul. God sees that and wants us to acknowledge that He is the powerful one and the one in control. He knows what we are going through and wants us to address it so that He can heal or help us. In our desperate needs we just call onto the Lord even though there are hurdles in our faith or beliefs. All we need to do is to address it to Him.

  38. I’ve been following your blog, Sharon, for sometime now and I usually go through the responses, I’ve been hesitant to respond like others. However, I believe the Lord urged me to respond now, to let all the hurting sisters here know that I’ve lifted you up in prayers. Indeed, God is very loving and faithful. He has shown me that my problems and concerns, are nothing compared to what others are going through. I really don’t know how some of you cope with the daily challenges you face! All I could do was to stop reading and pray for some of you. I’ve just returned to West Africa from the United Kingdom where I took my eldest grandson, who is 13, to see whether I could get specialist help for him in his learning and speech difficulties. None of what I hoped would happen, happened! But the Lord made other things that I had not planned, happen. He just showed me that He is in charge of the situation. He knows why and He has all the solutions and answers. I give Him praise! In His own time He will come through for me, my family and for all of you hurting sisters out there. He is blessing us even now! Glory!

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  39. Juselda Brown
    September 15, 2023 AT 7:10 Pm

    I have been paying for healing for many years and sometimes I feel discouraged like God is not hearing
    I don’t know when and I don’t know how but I believe He will heal me

  40. I had read this devotion from Sharon on 9/12, but did not know of these comments-today Saturday I had time! I have 3 beautiful children, but my youngest is 24. He has had some mental health issues since he was a child; but he never told me (he was bullied some as well). I know that my Father , God, hears my prayers for Andrew, my son who has been quite”lost” in life for > 3 years! Please pray for him to ask God for His help as Andrew has not worked for > 3 years, and he does smoke pot daily! He drinks sometimes too! If you met Andrew he is sweet soul, and he has a big heart, his smile lights up a room! But he rarely smiles these days! Some days he sleeps for 48 hours! This has worsened since he originally moved back home almost 3 years ago. I’m glad he is here where he is safe, but he too has someone in his life that is not good for him! I pray Andrew will become a believer as he told me that he does not believe in God. I’m still praying for Andrew to ask God for help, as we cannot be our best until we give everything to God, and I know He has the plan, and I am so thankful for Sharon’s Bible studies and prayers! Note I got down on my knees in 2014 and prayed for my own home situation with my spouse and my God answered my prayers! I’m so blessed and I want that for my children, all 3 of them !

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