Are you a weary traveler journeying with confusion and held ransom by discouragement? Let this 3-word prayer restore a reality grounded in truth. ~ If the enemy can’t convince you to withdraw, he works to curtail your passion to withstand. ~ But discouragement … at its very core … deception.

3 faith-filled words for the discouraged heart

I open my messages and there’s another request. One more weary traveler journeying with confusion and held ransom by discouragement. I drop my head and my face wrinkles as the burn works its way up to my eyes.

Each time I hear of these stories, my own struggle against this beast awakens.

I don’t know how to pray anymore, Lord. For them. For me.
How do we battle this invisible monster that hisses and whispers from the shadows?
Most of us aren’t even sure where it’s coming from. It doesn’t make sense.

Why does fear continue to collide with our faith? Why does it feel like our feet are covered in clay and what you’ve called us to accomplish is fit for an army, not a single warrior?

I struggle for the words. The list is long of those who have reached out to me for prayer to overcome and keep moving forward. To be encouraged. Some I don’t even know, as they have found me through my blog.

I can’t sit still on this newest request and I rise from my chair to pace as I petition, clutching my coffee cup as it collects my tears.
I look out across the field that is my front yard, as if I expect an answer to rise above the trees or come racing up the long gravel drive.

At that moment, truth that has been brewing begins to swell from the depths of my own weary soul.

It percolates its way up to my heart and together they turn the key in my mind, unlocking an Old Testament story I’ve been pondering for a while.

The Spirit whispers, “Pray this.” So I do. A three-word prayer forms on my lips:

Open their eyes.

Open my eyes.

Are you a weary traveler journeying with confusion and held ransom by discouragement? Let this 3-word prayer restore a reality grounded in truth. ~ If the enemy can’t convince you to withdraw, he works to curtail your passion to withstand. ~ But discouragement … at its very core … deception.

Seeing the Unseen

Open his eyes. These are the words of Elisha the prophet found in 2 Kings 6.

Elisha supplied the king of Israel inside intel on his enemy, the king of Syria. As you might expect, this marked Elisha as “most wanted” by the Syrian king.
One night Syrian forces, horses, and chariots surrounded the city where Elisha and his servant were stationed.
When the servant rose early the next morning, he could see the enemy in full force encircled around the city.

Distraught, he asked Elisha what they should do. Scripture records Elisha’s response:

“ ‘Do not fear, for those who are with us are more than those who are with them.’
Then Elisha prayed and said,
‘O LORD, I pray, open his eyes that he may see.’
And the LORD opened the servant’s eyes and he saw;
and behold, the mountain was full of horses and chariots of fire all around Elisha.”

(2 Kings 6:16-17)

Enlightened, the servant observed the unseen world of God’s heavenly armies, waiting to do battle with the enemy.

The Syrians had stationed horses and chariots around the city, but the Lord had FILLED the mountains behind them with horses and chariots of FIRE.

Did you notice that Elisha didn’t ask God to rescue them?
He asked for his servant to understand the reality of the deliverance already in process.
The young man could only see the enemy’s activity in front of him. And although the enemy was real, that was only a partial reality.

A half-truth is a whole lie

I’ve learned first-hand that discouragement is a well-crafted tool of the enemy. His factories producing this fiery dart are always working overtime, racking up a host of OSHA violations I’m sure. If he can’t convince you to withdraw, he’ll work to curtail your passion to withstand.

Sometimes the dart lands and causes you to question your calling.
Other times you may feel devoured or simply overwhelmed.
Doubts rise, feelings of failure set in, and you wonder if you were just fooling yourself thinking you could make a difference.

And if discouragement moves in, it will not hesitate to invite its stronger cousins despair and depression to join the party. You may find yourself having fallen, unable to get up.

But discouragement — at its very core — is deception.
Who needs brand new lies when there is so much current reality to distort?
It operates on half-truth. Smoke and mirrors. Dirty glass.

It projects an outlook that you’re outnumbered and proclaims your efforts as stalled while others’ strides seem effortless. It rushes in when the winds rage and the breakers swell and you take your eyes off the Savior to stare at the storm.

It’s a half-truth because there’s a real war, hurricanes of life are common, and your knowledge and abilities are finite.

The answer is not to pretend the battle isn’t raging, ignore the storm, or assume you should be able to “just handle it.”
That would also be a deception.

Elisha’s servant didn’t need his battle minimized;
he needed his God maximized.
He needed his eyes opened and his heart strengthened
with confidence in the Lord of Hosts.
The same is true for you. And for me.

Are you discouraged? Read more about how Elisha prayed for his servant, who needed his eyes opened and his heart strengthened with confidence in the Lord of Hosts. Overwhelmed warriors don't need their battle minimized; they need their God maximized. The same is true for you.

The Calling is big, but the CALLER is BIGGER

And so, in a quest for the FULL truth, I have two things to say to you, dear reader … and to you, discouraged heart of my own:

1) The Calling is Big
This is hard.
If you are taking a stand or attempting to advance anything for the kingdom of God, you will meet resistance.
Count on it.

Whether it’s in your parenting, your marriage, your witness as an employee or employer, your friendships, or anything else that might give you a micro-platform to speak truth … well, it will come under attack.
And furthermore.
Your own flesh wages war against your spirit and the enemy will always side with your flesh, inflaming faulty thinking, wrong passions, and skewed motives.

If it feels like you are always in a battle, it’s because you are.
If it feels like you are imperfect, it’s because you are.
If it feels like the assignment is more than you can handle, it’s because it is. You weren’t made to do this alone.

Your heart is deceitful.
It will beat with thoughts of how this is too big and you are too small — useless even.
Your heart must be discipled.
Every day it needs a fresh supply of truth coursing through your veins.
Life-sustaining. Soul-refreshing. Mind-renewing. Eye-opening TRUTH.

And here’s a dose for today …

2) The Caller is Bigger
The one who called you is great. In fact, He is GREATER.
And notice. He DID call.
You have been enlisted and your stance beside your fellow warriors matters.
It matters for the kingdom.

You have been given an assignment.
Carry out your orders, but leave the responsibility for the results to the commander.
Because you are in HIS army, you come under HIS protection.

And dear believer, you are equipped.
His Spirit lives within you. His wisdom is enough and He gives it generously.
He is the supplier of your weapons and the keeper of your peace.
He takes responsibility for you and yours.
His hope holds the power to break your fog and clean the looking glass of your heart.
And in His everlasting arms you are held.
You are not alone.

Discouragement doesn’t get the final word.
Despair cannot hold you for ransom. ¹
Defeat is not an option.

And so.
I pray.
For you and For me.

Oh, Lord of Hosts ~

Open our eyes to the reality of your power.

Focus our minds on your wisdom and understanding.
Show us how to give more of ourselves
over to your Spirit to take hold and transplant hope.

Where there is despair, wash it with your glory.
Where we see our failed efforts, replace them with reminders that you never fail.

When we feel like we can’t go on,
shelter us under your wing and refuel us to walk in faith.
And when we think we are defeated,
turn our thoughts to the cross where you defeated sin and death.

Open our eyes to look beyond the enemy
and see the mountains FULL of your FORCES on FIRE.


“I do not cease to give thanks for you, remembering you in my prayers,
that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory,
may give you the Spirit of wisdom and of revelation in the knowledge of him,
having the eyes of your hearts enlightened,

that you may know what is the hope to which he has called you,
what are the riches of his glorious inheritance in the saints,
and what is the immeasurable greatness of his power toward us who believe,

according to the working of his great might
that he worked in Christ when he raised him from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly places,
far above all rule and authority and power and dominion,
and above every name that is named, not only in this age but also in the one to come.”

(Ephesians 1:16-21)

“I lift up my eyes to the hills.
From where does my help come?
My help comes from the LORD,
who made heaven and earth.

He will not let your foot be moved;
he who keeps you will not slumber.
Behold, he who keeps Israel
will neither slumber nor sleep.

The LORD is your keeper;
the LORD is your shade on your right hand.
The sun shall not strike you by day,
nor the moon by night.

The LORD will keep you from all evil;
he will keep your life.
The LORD will keep
your going out and your coming in
from this time forth and forevermore.”
(Psalm 121)

P.S. Are you my email friend?

If you’re reading this, it’s quite possible you need encouragement. I have something that might help: my Scripture mini-guide, 6 Cries of the Heart. It comes with a link to a companion set of praise song playlists. It’s free for my email friends.

Encouraging You as You Inspire others,

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¹ Inspiration for this phrase comes from this praise song that is on a perpetual loop on my own Spotify playlist: “Shoulders” by King & Country

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Christi3 faith-filled words for the discouraged heart

Comments 29

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  1. rjbritton

    Lord, open our eyes to see the caller is greater. Love your encouragement and the scripture verses you have included. Wow, they make us realize what we’re missing when we’re looking at our discouragement instead of his encouragement.

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  2. Anita Ojeda

    Thank you for the encouragement! If could only see what God sees, our perspective would radically change–but the realm of faith lies in opening our eyes to the bigness of God and letting him worry about the details.

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  3. Michele Morin

    Beautiful and scriptural! I pray when I open the Word of God: “Open my eyes that I may behold wondrous things out of your Law.” I know they are there! I just need help some days to see them!
    Blessings, Christi!

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      You know as well as I do that you just gave me the ultimate compliment. Thank you for saying, “Me too.” on this one. And for your sweet encouragement. I am so loving getting to know more of you through your words.

  4. Being Woven

    You are my neighbor at Jennifer’s and I am so grateful! Your words are beautiful and filled with God’s Truth. Discouragement grabs me and holds on, but encouragement seems to hug me before it sets me free!
    Caring through Christ, ~ linda

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  5. Mom

    Just now reading this on the way home and am simply amazed at your word smithing. Can’t Twitter yet but it will be hard to choose when I do. About to get a hug from your sweetie! Love you.

  6. Ruthie Gray

    I do love the story of Elisha and those mountains full of fire! It is so very interesting that he never even questioned that God wasn’t there.
    I ran across this verse today in Isaiah that kept coming to mind as I read your powerful words. “Clearly, you are a God who works behind the scenes, God of Israel, Savior God.” Isaiah 445:15 MSG.
    I don’t know what you’re fighting, Tex, but rest assured, you have been in my prayers and on my heart every day (and not just Monday;).
    Whatever it is, know that you are being used in a mighty way, and I for one am so very blessed by them again today.
    Oh, and that opener there about the feet of clay and the coffee and the answers racing up the gravel drive? I saw it.
    You, my friend, are the real deal. God’s going to bless your ministry.
    Man, I wish we could hook up and have a coffee date!!!
    Bless you, my child. Even if you didn’t quote any Seuss this time. ;)

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  7. Anita

    Yes—- Hope, power, inheritance—only in HIM, and to celebrate His glory! Well said, sweet friend. Very timely in my life right now, & I pray that your heart has experienced healing and joy as you put this into written form.
    Keep listening to His Spirit as He impresses you to put His Word into our everyday lives!!

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  8. loisflowers

    Yes! Amen! My help doesn’t come from all the things littering the hills; it comes from the Lord, the Maker of the hills. Keep writing from the battleground, Christi. You are a blessing! :-)

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  9. helloredds

    Another incredibly insightful and encouraging post, Christi!

    Sounds like you have been lifting others up all week long!

    I pray that you will be refreshed, encouraged, and renewed just as you are giving out those gifts to others.

    You are a blessing~

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You have something worth saying!