I found myself there three years ago as I began my journey of healing from childhood sexual abuse. I started going to counseling and it was before and after those sessions that I would have a “tear fest” praise and prayer session in my car on the 25 minute drive.
GOD HELP ME.
I AM NOT GOING TO MAKE IT. GOD WHY???
THIS IS SOOOOO HARD!!
I CAN’T DO THIS!!!
As I continued to cry out to Him specifically about my struggles, it became abundantly clear that prayer was changing ME. It didn’t change God, or reverse my circumstances, but it did align my thoughts more with His. I started to believe the keyword ALL in Romans 8:28 – all things for good! Not some, but all!
In the beginning I would pray… “God I am angry. And this is so hard. How can I forgive? So much is messed up!”
Then, it shifted just a bit and with an eternal perspective I started adding…
“God, I know you are with me, and you will help me to forgive. God, I trust you and I know you make all things work together for my good. How can this be for my good? How can any good come from this? God, don’t let this suffering be in vain. Help me to use this experience to help others, even if only one. A friend said she is more aware of the need to protect her kids because of my story. God, thank you for protecting her children. Lord, please show me who and how much and when to share because I want to be a bold witness for you and for what you are doing in my life. It is the scariest thing ever to me but I know as long as you are with me I am safe! You go before and behind me. God, give me opportunities and give me courage! Make me brave.”
The prayer went from all about me to more about making an impact in the kingdom. This slight shift put the focus on helping others in my most tragic life circumstances…. only God can do that! He changed my “woe is me” attitude to “empower me Lord”!!
Maybe for you it’s about a job that you hate, a child suffering, a difficult person, a broken friendship, or a marriage that is failing. Maybe it is about betrayal or a physical loss such as a house fire.
What prison and hardships are you facing? What if we faced them like Paul and said: The suffering WILL come – and my focus WILL be on the race! How can I use this suffering for testifying to the GOOD NEWS of GOD’S Grace??
We never suffer alone. Others around us are suffering and they are watching us. We may never know on this side of eternity what impact we have had on others simply by how we respond to adversity or hard times! How are you responding to hardship? Ask God to help you!
Prepare your heart for prayer:
Fast and Pray: Ezra 8:23 So we fasted and petitioned our God about this, and he answered our prayer.
Praise Him and Pray: Worship music can help set the tone and your posture for prayer. Have a GO TO song for the hard times. “Take Me To The King” by Tamela Mann and “Break Every Chain” by Tasha Cobbs are my go to songs! “The Anthem” by Jesus Culture always pumps me up!
BE STILL and Pray: Go for a walk, lie down in the quiet, and just listen. Say over and over: “Speak Lord, your servant is listening” (1 Samuel 3:10). Then in the quiet – hear Him speak. For me, this is discipline because I like noise and I like loud. Sometimes, a walk in nature is very soothing and allows me to quiet myself and hear from Him.
God is good – all the time. Even when bad things happen – there is a purpose and it is all for HIS GLORY. One of my favorite verses is:
That verse is a perfect example of what can happen when with pray with an eternal focus.
What about you?
What prayers can you pray about your hardship? Cry out! How can you pray about it from an eternal perspective? What would you say? What helps you to prepare your heart for prayer? Pray with me:
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