We say prayer should be a first response not a last result. Prayer is really both. The challenge of hard times comes when all we can do is wait.
The Bible gives us many patterns for prayer. Paul particularly records prayer thoughts for our benefit. The Bible says that if we ask according to the will of God we know we have that what we ask. Praying through Scriptures is helpful in this regard.
When going through a challenging time the best word of advice I received was to find a Psalm, grab hold of it, and pray through it regularly. So, step one- search the Psalms and find one that speaks to your situation.
Biblical meditation is filling our mind with Scripture. It’s an act of focus on God’s Word. This is different from Eastern meditation that focuses on emptying one’s mind. Choosing a Psalm helps in filling our minds with Scripture. So, step two- read and focus on this Psalm regularly.
This can take on many forms, but one thing you want to do is to record God’s faithfulness. By choosing a Psalm it can guide you about what to write. Step three- write what Gods is doing.
The bottom line:
Prayer is key to navigating hard times. Often we don’t know what to pray as we wait for God to show up. Pick a Psalm and grab hold of it. It will guide and sustain you through challenging times.