I have been a prayer counselor for close to three years and I have seen different people come to me with different prayer needs. However I have noticed that most prayers are done during the extremes of life, we give thanks when things are going on well and we run to the Lord when things take a downturn. In this blog I will talk about how to pray during one of the extremes, when things seem not to be working out.
We often have this misconception of how to pray when in trouble, that unless done loudly and with a lot of emotions it will not yield the desired results. The problem is that we can easily take this too far to the point it appears as if we are trying to make God do something for us yet we need only ask. Surrendered prayers however are very simple and precise as they offer no solutions to the problem, rather they invite God into the situation; it comes from a place of saying ‘I do not know how to do this but I can trust you Lord.’ One of my best prayers in the bible was said by King Hezekiah.
King Hezekiah had been faced with imminent destruction in the hands of the Assyrian king, Sennacherib. The Assyrian king had fought against all the fortified cities of Judah and taken them and was now threatening to take over Jerusalem. This king even blasphemed against God comparing Him to the other gods of the land that he had conquered. In fact, he was so confident that he sent Hezekiah a letter outlining all his victories and undermining God’s authority and power over the circumstance. The reality was that Sennacherib had destroyed many cities but King Hezekiah held to a truth beyond the facts; the battle belonged to the Lord. In light of this, he said a short prayer that simply ushered God into the situation, outlining the key elements of such a prayer.
Isaiah 37:15-20 Then Hezekiah prayed to the Lord saying: “O Lord of hosts, God of Israel, the One who dwells between the cherubim, You are God, You alone, of all the kingdoms of the earth. You have made heaven and earth. Incline Your ear, O Lord, and hear; open Your eyes, O Lord, and see; and hear all the words of Sennacherib, which he has sent to reproach the living God. Truly, Lord, the kings of Assyria have laid waste all the nations and their lands, and have cast their gods into the fire; for they were not gods, but the work of men’s hands- wood and stone therefore they destroyed them. Now therefore, O Lord our God save us from his hand, that all the kingdoms of the earth may know that You are the Lord, You alone.
God inhabits the praise of His people and declaring His might and power is the best way to do this. Worship is not really meant to affirm God of His power because He knows He is powerful rather it is for our own affirmation. It strengthens our belief that God is above our circumstances and reminds us of His power. Magnifying God in our situations is a way of making the problems smaller in light of Him; worship is actually meant to help us in that, we stop telling God how big the problems are and begin telling these problems how big God is.
This is where Hezekiah started his prayer, from a point of declaring God’s power over all things.
I have personally found out that the more I talk of God’s power, the lesser I think of my problems; worship always lightens the burden. Please do not belittle this as being overly spiritually minded and not facing realities, but the fact remains the more we look to Him, the more settled we become. We cannot effectively pray if we are too worried to listen to God answer us; worship brings that so much-needed peace and calm.
There are realities that we are going through and so even in our prayers we need to mention them and bring them before the Lord. It does not mean we lack faith that He can do it but it is an act of release where we cast all our cares upon the Lord. Supplication is us telling God that this is what we are going through and we surrender it all to you. It is admitting that our solutions will not bear much fruit and so we let God come through for us. The act of giving it to God in surrender brings the peace that we need as God fights on our behalf; it is an exchange of our drama for peace.
Hezekiah did not ignore the fact that the cities of Judah had been destroyed; he offered Jerusalem’s deliverance in surrender to God.
Phil 4:6-7 Be anxious about nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication and thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.
I have come to understand that nothing is too small for my God, the reason why many people do not pray is because they assume that God is too busy bringing world peace that a new dress is irrelevant! Here is my problem with this misconception God promises to give us the desires of our heart, Jesus came that we might have life and have it in abundance-in my books looking good is part of the good life, do not be shy ask for that new dress and watch your heavenly Father show you His love. He wants to bless you, give Him the chance to do so!
Just like King Hezekiah praise God in light of the circumstances while believing in His deliverance. There are other ways to shift your focus during such troubling times which I have expounded on here. Have a blessed week.
- Take It To The Lord In Prayer, Evans Olang (magnifyhisword.wordpress.com)
- Important Lessons about Facing the Enemy Fearlessly (jesuscarriesme.com)