When our hands are tied: P.R.A.Y.

Do you ever face life situations where you absolutely can not do O-N-E thing to change your circumstances?  Or, ever done all you can do, and still nothing is resolved?  How about times when your life is directly affected by someone else – maybe even someone you don’t know and certainly can’t influence?

When our circumstances are difficult and our hands feel tied, and when it seems that there is nothing we can do to help ourselves or our situation,  we are not without hope.  There is still one thing we can do.  And it’s no small thing.  It takes guts, restraint, patience and trust. 

What can we do?  We can P.R.A.Y. 

I’ve employed this method for many years, and found it to bring great peace to both my heart and my mind.  If you find yourself in a situation where someone else’s decisions are affecting how you work or how you live (or even more difficult: how your loved ones work or live), P.R.A.Y. and then watch what God will do.  (The Lord gave this to me as I was reading in Psalms.)

Remember: God sees all, knows all, loves all, and works all things out – somehow – for His glory – which is also His best (good) in each life.  God even uses those who aren’t seeking Him to somehow accomplish His work in the lives of those who are.  That’s just how God works.  And I find great comfort in that!

P – Pour out your heart to God.  Tell Him all about it.  Dump the details at His feet.  (Of course, He already knows each detail, but it is for our benefit that He tells us to come to Him and pour out our hearts to Him.)

R – Release “it” to God.  Once it’s dumped at His feet – picture “it” – the situation or the decision makers – at the feet of Jesus, who loves you so.  You can trust God with that situation.  He can do more than you could ever imagine to do in, through, about, and around it.  Take your hands off, and release it into His All-Capable hands.

A – Ask God to bless the person or situation.  This is a biggie.  Especially if you are struggling with bitterness over how something or someone is handled.  Asking God to bless the person or situation requires that our focus switch from “what I think is best” to “what God knows is best”.  It may require going back to the Pouring out and the Releasing stages several times to be able to honestly Ask God to bless the offending person/situation.  But it’s worth it!

Y – Yield to the leading of the Holy Spirit in your own life.  In other words… say Yes to obedience.  Make sure that you are in right relationship with God, confessed up, and ready/willing to say “yes” to whatever it is that God asks you to do.  This may bring on a fresh battle with pride – but with God’s help, Humility (and you) can win!

“Only God can save me, and I calmly wait for him.

God alone is the mighty rock that keeps me safe
and the fortress where I am secure…

Only God gives inward peace, and I depend on him.

God alone is the mighty rock that keeps me safe,
and he is the fortress where I feel secure.

God saves me and honors me.
He is that mighty rock where I find safety.

Trust God, my friends, and always tell him each one of your concerns.
God is our place of safety.

We humans are only a breath; none of us are truly great.
All of us together weigh less than a puff of air.

Don’t trust in violence or depend on dishonesty or rely on great wealth.

I heard God say two things:
“I am powerful,
and I am very kind.”

The Lord rewards each of us according to what we do.”
Psalm 62: 1-2, 5-12 (CEV)

Friends, I’m positive I’m not the first person to come up with an acrostic to the word “pray”, but the Lord unfolded this to me about my own hand-tied circumstances, and I’m praying that it will be a help to some of you, too~

When your hands are tied: P.R.A.Y.  and then watch for what God will do.  He is powerful and He is very kind.

Much love~

About SmellingCoffee

I'm a Jesus-loving, husband-loving, family-loving minister's wife and mom to two college kids, making our home and serving our Lord in the Mississippi Delta. I study, teach, speak, and write for the greatest Boss in the universe. "Faith, Family, Food, Fun, and Living Life brewed in the fragrance of the knowledge of Jesus Christ in every place": That's what you'll find at SmellingCoffee.com


  1. Thank you for posting this. I plan to share this with friends and let them know where I found it! God bless you!


  2. This is so good for me — and for a friend who is facing a serious problem within her church. We need to be reminded He is sovereign! He really doesn't need us to accomplish His will, but what a blessing we receive when we apply to be used as He will!

  3. What a wonderful and powerful post today! We all need to be reminded that we may not have all the answers, but we can go to the One who does. We can be certain that He is in control . . . even when life isn't.

  4. Smelling Coffee says:

    Thank you, Kathy! I'm praying for your friend this very moment. May the Lord give her great heart-peace as she pours out and trusts Him in her circumstances.


  5. Kathy@ Gone North says:

    Thanks for sharing this… a great reminder for me today & I plan to forward it on to someone I talked to last night, who would love to/ needs to use this…
    Thanks for being so faithful with encouraging words…
    Blessings… K.