Simply, prayer is seeing the promise despite the problem. Prayer is remaining hopeful, despite the situation, or the odds. Many times, the tide of life overwhelms and it shifts our focus off of hope, potential and solutions and locks our focus onto our current set of circumstances. Whether it is the difficult project at work, sickness, debt, the difficult child; we change our prayers. Our prayers go from hope filled statements of faith to an escape from the current storm or a potentially devastating outcome. In short, we are no longer praying through – we want out.
How do we navigate our prayers back to being hope filled?
- Replenish with God’s word – The Bible is our source of strength. Isaiah 40:29, “He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak.” See also Psalm 46:1 and 118:14.
- Retell the stories of God’s response to your past situations – It is the stories of what God has done in the past that assures of the power in the present and His potency in our future. In 1 Samuel, David tells the story of past victories to King Saul, how he defeated the lion and bear and that the giant Goliath would not be any different. Share the stories with someone else, you can write them down or rehearse them to yourself.
- Repower your thinking of what it will be like when God responds (or how He will see you through) – Begin to think God’s thoughts, in other words, what will it look like when He answers the prayer. What will it be when you can. . . hold the baby, see a family member come to Christ, see a friend healed, make a difference by ministering to others, etc.
- Release your prayers to God – Allowing God to have our problems, our hopes and even our fears. David in Psalm 143:1 states, “Lord, hear my prayer, listen to my cry for mercy; in your faithfulness and righteousness come to my relief.” You giving your problem to God in prayer, is a statement, “Lord, I trust you” in this situation to handle this problem.
- Respond by moving as God directs – Allow God to deal with you in an area or guide your life in a direction and then move that way. Prayer is as much listening as it is speaking. Respond as you hear. “Trust and obey, for there’s no other way to be happy in Jesus, but to trust and obey” (Sammis, 1887).
Here’s to hope filled prayers and future. What are you praying for (feel free to comment)?