A prayer for when you feel alone
By Molly Law
“Turn to me and have mercy on me, for I am alone and afflicted.” – Psalm 25:16
Loneliness feels like the worst thing in the world, and it’s something we all, at one point or another, endure. Loneliness can manifest itself in a number of ways. Someone can be surrounded by crowds of people or with their family and friends and still feel lonely. The reasons can be numerous: whether they feel like they don’t belong in that group, or if they’re going through a season of change, they feel like the people around them won’t or can’t understand. Or loneliness is when we are physically alone and there is no one around us. Some people find themselves isolated through no fault of their own.
It feels lonely when one longs to be loved by a romantic partner and that answer to prayer is delayed. It can be amplified when you are surrounded by happy couples, seeing their love, wedding photos, vacations, etc. distributed on social networks. You can feel it when someone is childless, longs to be a parent and sees their friends having healthy, happy babies. There are so many ways and reasons to feel lonely, and in those moments, life seems hopeless, dark, and sometimes not worth living. This is a lie of the enemy.
Loneliness is a complicated emotion. On the one hand, what you feel is totally validated. No one can take away your feelings. On the other hand, loneliness, if allowed to surface, can give rise to false ideas and actions that can be harmful. Loneliness can also cause us to bottle up what we feel. The lie that this feeling tells is that no one knows but we are going through this and that no one will ever understand. But when we have the courage to reach out to others, we will surely discover that we are not alone in our feelings, that someone else feels exactly the same way.
Even if we feel alone and are not ready to share with anyone how we feel, we are still never alone. There is one who promises to be with us always. When Jesus ascended to heaven, leaving his disciples, his friends, he did not leave them alone, he left them with someone who would never leave them, someone who would live inside them forever, the Holy Spirit.
“Therefore do not be afraid, for I am with you; do not be afraid, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand” (Isaiah 41:10). Throughout the Scriptures, God promises us that He is with us: we need not fear or despair.
I feel lonely today, and I don’t know why. I feel desperate, alone and scared. I feel like there is no one to talk to about this. I feel like the only person in the world who feels this way. I don’t know how to feel any other way.
Please stay with me. I know your promise. I know you will never leave me, that you will strengthen me. I pray that you surround me with your peace and your Spirit. I pray for the strength to open up to my loved ones about how I feel. Find a support group with people who are going through the same thing. I ask that you ease this feeling.
I pray for those who do not feel they can open up to those around them, who feel they will not understand them or that they cannot be themselves. I pray for those who feel that something is missing in their lives: that the world will reveal that they are the only ones who are not married, have children, have a dream job, etc.
My Father, thank you for your overwhelming presence in our lives. Thank you for your peace and understanding. Thank you for providing us with your Spirit that will inhabit us until we see you face to face. Thank you for giving us friends and family who love and support us. Thank you for giving us the courage to seek comfort in our loneliness when the enemy tries to deceive us that this is not possible, that all is lost. Thank you for your truth.
We love you and trust you, our King and Shepherd. amen