We have all had them. Those times when there is so much trouble all around that you think,
“Nothing else, Lord, please.”
When it rains it pours. This week I was asked to pray for some pretty heavy things. Friends and family in crisis: a child with a mysterious physical ailment, a family member using drugs, a loved one incarcerated, children not walking with the Lord and making unhealthy life choices
These things can get us down, make us feel overwhelmed, discouraged.
In my devotion today I was reading Mark 3 and three phrases caught my attention:
“…they were silent”,
“He was grieved at their hardness of heart”, and
I pondered, am I ever silent? Do I lift my requests to the Lord, asking for His power and might? Not always. Is my heart hard? Do I think nothing will ever change, do I refuse to pray because of this? Sometimes. Do I come forward? Do I bring my requests before the God of Heaven and Earth who has proved Himself over and over and over again to be faithful and true? If I don’t, why not?
I get discouraged. I don’t know about you, but I often take on the weight of the things I am asked to pray for. This is not what God has intended. In Psalm 55 He says to cast your cares on Him, all who are weary are encouraged to come to Him in Matthew 11, and in Jeremiah 33 to call to Him and He will answer. I need to practice these commands and allow Him to shoulder the burdens.
The other thing I do when others ask me to pray is to think,
“All I can do is pray.”
Hmm, all I can do is pray? Is there something better I could be doing? All I can do is pray? All I can do is ask the most mighty, omniscient, powerful Being in this entire universe for help? I am chuckling right now because sometimes I really do think I could do something to fix whatever is wrong, then God could focus on other things. Now that it is down in print, it looks pretty silly. Prayer is the BEST thing I can do for someone!
Prayer is a powerful thing, because God is powerful. He wants us to come to Him. He wants us to lay our requests at His feet. He wants us to live free from anxiety and worry. In Him are the answers.
Ladysmith Black Mombazo sings, “We Nhliziyo Yami”
Oh, my heart be wise when your enemies surround you,
keep praying, ask the Lord for help, for He is powerful.
That is your weapon, do not lose.
Pray without ceasing for the Lord is powerful.
Father, my prayer from 1Thessalonians 5 is that I will always rejoice, always pray, and in all circumstances give thanks, because I know that this is your will for me in Christ Jesus as I am …just living the thing.