And he told them a parable to the effect that they ought always to pray and not lose heart. (Luke 18:1 ESV)
Day 7: Troubles
Right now, as the year is just beginning, we all have challenges that are in the middle of running their course. No matter how clean the slate of a new year feels, January 1st occurs smack dab in the middle of life. Illnesses don’t magically stop, finances don’t instantly increase, relationships don’t spontaneously heal.
All of these kinds of issues need continuing prayer. Not being a fan of conflict, I often ignore problems or bottle negative emotions. But honest evaluation has a way of shining light on challenges so I can deal with them. So today, lets take stock of our current reality and write our problems down. We can keep this list in our Bible and keep praying for these items all year.
- The troubles of my heart are enlarged; bring me out of my distresses. Consider my affliction and my trouble, and forgive all my sins. (Psalm 25:17-18 ESV)
Prayer deals with my problems with a spiritual power and insight I can never find on my own.
- The LORD is good, a stronghold in the day of trouble; he knows those who take refuge in him. (Nahum 1:7 ESV)
God doesn’t always take His people out of trouble. In fact, He allows problems in our lives. But He always keeps His people, regardless of circumstances. As Betsy ten Boom said in a Nazi concentration camp, a place she was sent for serving God, “No pit is so deep, that God is not deeper still.”
- The LORD is a stronghold for the oppressed, a stronghold in times of trouble. And those who know your name put their trust in you, for you, O LORD, have not forsaken those who seek you. (Psalm 9:9-10 ESV)
No matter how deep, dank, dangerous, or dark is the pit where we find ourselves this year, the Lord is present right there, and ready for us to run to Him for refuge.
- Be strong and courageous. Do not fear or be in dread of them, for it is the LORD your God who goes with you. He will not leave you or forsake you." (Deuteronomy 31:6 ESV)
There are some items on my prayer list of issues this year that hold a sense of fear for me. But my God calls me to NOT fear and to NOT be in dread. He goes before me and comes after me. He knows the beginning for the end.
Because I believe the Lord will act on my behalf and help me through problems, I pray. Praying through every trouble displays trust in Him. It also takes the burden of the solution off my own, insufficient shoulders, and relies totally on Him.
Day 7 Prayer
- I cry aloud to God, aloud to God, and he will hear me. In the day of my trouble I seek the Lord; (Psalm 77:1-2a, ESV)
Right now, there are troubles that press in around me. Thank you for being a Savior that knows each detail of my life. Thank you for being a refuge for me to run to in the midst of difficulties. Thank you for being, "a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief; ...Surely he has borne our griefs and carried our sorrows" (Isaiah 53:3b-4a, ESV) I can freely come to You, for You understand my pain.
Father, first I ask for resolution and healing. I know that You are a God who heals our diseases and defeats our enemies. So I ask You to step in and fix this mess and correct these problems.
But I also know that You don't always fix things- not because You can't, but because You have other plans. So if my problems and troubles are a way for me to know You better, or a path for the Lost to find You, or a platform to proclaim Your truth, then I submit myself to Your will.
You know my heart Lord. You see my spirit. I am tired. I hurt. I doubt my ability to faithfully navigate these difficult paths. Please give me the strength to continue. Help me to remain steadfast, regardless of how life appears. Focus my heart on You and Your eternity where every tear will be wiped away and every hurt will be healed.
Shut the mouths of my enemies so that Your truth is what is seen and heard by those who know me. May Your name be made great, BECAUSE of what I am going through. May what is meant for evil, be meant by You for good.
I submit 2017 to You dear Jesus. To Your glory and for Your name.
Oh dear one, today I am praying for you as well as myself. May the God of all comfort surround you with His loving presence today. May you find rest in His arms and healing in His touch.
Tomorrow we will pray that the Lord would help us with temptations in 2017.
- Blessed be the Lord, who daily bears our burden, The God who is our salvation. Selah. (Psalm 68:19 NASB)
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