7 Prayers for When You’re Feeling Discontent
- Jessica Brodie Award-winning Christian Novelist and Journalist
- Updated Feb 09, 2023
Every so often it happens—that familiar pang of envy. Perhaps a coworker is promoted, a neighbor wins the lottery, or a friend posts on social media about her luxurious tropical vacation.
A seed of discontentment begins to sprout, becoming full-on desire for what they have. Why can’t that be my life? Why can’t I get that job, do that fun thing, or have that kind of person beside me?
Turning to the Lord in repentance and prayer is a key way we can uproot that kernel of discontent and envy, and replace it with the perfect peace of Christ.
Here, then, are 7 prayers you can pray when you feel discontent or envy:
1. Open My Eyes
I know the first step in all sin is opening my eyes and recognizing that I am doing wrong. Help this knowledge wash over me. Help me not dismiss or discount my feelings as “normal” but instead feel shame at the way my heart is reacting to this. Help dissolve the barrier between me and You that forms within my heart when envy grows.
I know I am blessed by You and that worldly things are just things. Enable me, O Lord, to appreciate where I am at this exact moment. As her wise uncle Mordecai advised Queen Esther in Your holy word, perhaps I am in this particular place in my life “for such a time as this” (Esther 4:14).
In Your precious name I pray,
2. Soften My Heart
I know envy is a sin. It causes my heart to harden toward others, toward my own existence and current blessings, and ultimately toward You. Please soften my heart. Keep me from turning hard-hearted. Keep me compassionate and loving and true. Even when I feel the pain of envy, help me to remember that I am blessed by You and that You love me in spite of my feelings.
3. Help Me Trust You
Help me not compare myself with other people. I don’t understand their situation, the full context, and why You are granting them this particular blessing in their life right now. I don’t know the purposes You have for this and I don’t know what You’re perhaps trying to show me in my own life. Help me just be grateful that other people are blessed and celebrate with them.
And finally, help me remember the words of the prophet Isaiah, that Your ways are higher than mine, Lord (Isaiah 55:8-9).
4. Learning to Celebrate
I come before You to ask that You give me a spirit of joy and happiness for others. Enable me not to begrudge anybody the good things are happening in their life. Please, enable me to push aside my own arrogance and understand I simply do not know the plan or the full situation. Help me be content with what I have at this moment right now.
Also help me understand that other people may be looking at my life and wishing they had what I have.
I know You see all and know all. Thank You for loving me in this hard moment in my life.
In Your holy name I pray,
5. The Simple Things
Today, please help me to focus on the simple things. It doesn’t matter how difficult my life is right now, whether I am suffering from disability or financial strain, whether I am in the throes of sickness or debilitating grief and sorrow. Maybe I’m experiencing depression and anxiety or other mental illness. Maybe I’m just feeling bad for myself and having a gloomy moment in my life.
Help me, eternal and almighty Lord, to look at the simple things today and take pleasure in them. Help me to experience the sunset and the sunrise, the creatures upon this earth all around me, the wind upon my skin, the shelter You provide, the fact that I have the ability to receive this article itself.
Thank You for the people that You put in my life, even if there are issues and other difficulties with them. Thank You, Lord.
Help a spirit of gratitude and genuine appreciation wash over me today and bring me contentment within.
I love You now and always,
6. You Love Me in Spite of It All
Today I simply state it: I am filled with envy at this moment. I want what I want so badly. You know the desires of my heart, and You know how badly I want it.
I don’t know why I can’t have this right now—or maybe ever. But sometimes, just saying the thing is important enough. Help me acknowledge and experience the cleansing and relief that comes with simply owning what I am feeling right now.
I love you God, and I’m so grateful that I can say what is on my heart and You love me anyway. I can feel these feelings in my soul, and You understand. You offer me salvation in spite of all this, in spite of my shortcomings, in spite of my envy.
7. When I Think I’m Fine
Most days I think I don’t have envy. I think I’ve achieved this place of contentment, this pure peace in You. But then something happens and that little kernel of desire begins to take root and sprout and grow … and soon the weed threatens to overwhelm the beautiful garden that is Your precious love.
Help me have grace with myself when I’m feeling this way. Soften my spirit, and open my eyes and my soul to the blessings that You’ve honored me with. They’re exactly the blessings I need – the blessings You have chosen for me to work Your glory in the world.
I don’t know Your plan, but enable me to trust it. Enable me to be willing to maintain faith in You even when I don’t understand.
And help me experience grace for others who might be envious also.
In Your name I pray, now and forever,
Photo credit: ©GettyImages/digitalskillet3
Jessica Brodie is an award-winning Christian novelist, journalist, editor, blogger, and writing coach and the recipient of the 2018 American Christian Fiction Writers Genesis Award for her novel, The Memory Garden. She is also the editor of the South Carolina United Methodist Advocate, the oldest newspaper in Methodism. Her newest release is an Advent daily devotional for those seeking true closeness with God, which you can find at https://www.jessicabrodie.