Burnout can show up in many ways. The Bible doesn’t diminish this form of pain and suffering. Instead, it recognizes the complexity of it and how it comes upon us. Scripture tells us, “We are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not driven to despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed” (2 Corinthians 4:8-9). In these verses, Paul is referring to multiple types of suffering – mental, physical, emotional and spiritual. What makes this experience complex is the fact that when burnout shows up, several of these types of suffering are often involved which can take a major toll on our spirit. It’s important that we recognize that burnout is a battleground. Yet, we can fight back with the help of God. Here are six powerful prayers for burnout.
A Prayer to Overcome Burnout
Sometimes the emotional or physical pain of burnout is prolonged. It can continue for weeks, months, even years. This pain can be intense. We may hurt so badly that even those who try to bring comfort feel the pain. If you’re going through a tough time, take heart. The Lord is sovereign and He controls all adversity in our lives. That’s why it’s imperative that when we are going through a time of trial that we remember how much God loves us. If He allows us to go through the pain of burnout, then He has something good He wants us to accomplish: Heavenly Father, I’m completely drained and I don’t know if I can continue on this way. Help me to overcome the burnout I’m experience. There is no obstacle I can’t overcome with You. Amen.
A Prayer to Understand the Complexity of My Pain
When you’re experiencing burnout, it’s easy to become extremely frustrated with God. During these periods, the Enemy uses a variety of circumstances turn you away from God and towards your frustration. A person who is going through burnout may find themselves on edge and anxious. Getting through your pain begins with you understanding the complexity of it. Having faith in Jesus is not insurance against hardships, but it is a way to endure: Heavenly Father, Help me to understand that the suffering I’m experiencing right now is complex and there is no obstacle I can’t overcome with You. Amen.
A Prayer to See the Positive
Each of us knows firsthand what it means to experience burnout as a result of our relationship with others. We have all been the victims of the evil choices of others. Evil words and actions have left great marks on our hearts, minds and bodies. Because of this, some people will get angry with God, believing He did nothing to stop the sin that unfolded. Yet, none of us is innocent. We too have played the role of sinner, harming others with the choices we make. Sin lurks at each of our doors. We, like Cain must battle our fear, insecurity, shame, resentment and anger. Failing to recognize or master these things often has serious ramifications: Heavenly Father, help me to see the positive forces in my life, along with the negative. I pray that evil will no longer dwell in my heart and that my body will restored in a way that is pleasing to You. Amen.
A Prayer to Allow God to Support You Through Your Pain
Burnout happens to those we care about the most and we have a responsibility to be of support and aid to those who are hurting around us. Paul alludes this in Galatians 6:2, when he writes, “Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ.” The church is not meant to be an association of loosely bound individuals but a community of individuals bound together. The church is also meant to be a refuge for those who are suffering. When someone in our church is hurting, the church tends to that member’s wounds. When a member is down and discouraged, the church is called to lift that person up. When someone in the church is in need, we are to come alongside them to help them through their pain: Heavenly Father, help me to support those who are experiencing burnout today. Help those who are weak be strong. May they find strength and renewal through You. Amen.
A Prayer to Minister to Those Who Are Suffering
The burnout that someone may be experiencing is an opportunity to minister. The comfort of God that we can extend to others isn’t limited to the church and is not limited to shared experience. Paul writes, “We know that all things work together for good for those who love God, who are called according to His purpose,” (Romans 8:28). Paul’s idea is not that we must suffer the same thing as another person in order to minister the hope and comfort of God. What is needed is an experience of deliverance from affliction, comfort in grief and restoration in brokenness. These experiences remind us of who God is and what He can do. They are a silent testimony of healing and wholeness that enable one to invite God to be present in the pain of another: Heavenly Father, help me to bring a person that I know who is suffering out of their pit. May I be a vessel to help them restore their relationship with You. Amen.
A Prayer to Trust God
This may seem counter-intuitive, but the truth about pain, including burnout is that it prepares Christians for more glory. Paul writes, “This light of momentary affliction is preparing us for an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, as we look to the things that are not seen but the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal” (2 Corinthians 4:17-18). One of the first things we think of when it comes to any type of pain is that we must avoid it at all costs, but God brings pain in our lives for the sake of our eternal joy and glory, even if we can’t understand why at this time. Suffering prepares us in a way that a life without suffering never could: Heavenly Father, the pain I’m experiencing isn’t easy. The burnout I’m experiencing is draining. Help me to see that You can use my pain for good and that I can come out of my current state a transformed person as long as I trust in You. Amen.
It is likely that you will experience burnout in a way that cannot be adequately understood through a single approach. When the complexity of suffering rears us its head, we will find ourselves ill-equipped to deal with the ramifications. However, when we engage with Scripture and understand what the Bible has to tell us about what we’re going through, it can broaden our perspective and enable us to make sense of our circumstances in a new way.