Many of us remember times when we knew we were in trouble and needed help. Scary situations that made us realize we were in over our heads can be etched indelibly in our minds. These experiences can leave us with a scared, panicky feeling. When we feel alone and vulnerable because of what we may be going through, prayer is the lifeline that connects us to God.
Most of us have a tendency to wait to pray until the situation becomes unbearable, or until we’ve exhausted all other options. We may think we can depend on our own cleverness to get ourselves out of whatever jam we’re in, but this is counterproductive. God is aware of what we’re going through, and He very much wants to get involved with our lives and intervene on our behalf. “This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us.And if we know that he hears us—whatever we ask—we know that we have what we asked of him” (1 John 5:14, 15, NIV). It isn’t God’s will that we struggle with problems on our own, and we can be confident that He hears us when we call on Him.
Prayer is the process of bringing our issues to God and relinquishing control of them. Leaving those burdens behind at His feet, and refusing to shoulder them again, frees us from the accompanying stress and anxiety they cause us. Whatever it is we’re trying to handle, God handles it much better than we can. When we have faith in His willingness and ability to do this, we find peace of mind. “Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with 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” (Philippians 4:6, 7, NKJV).
True wisdom is acknowledging that there are some things we’ll never understand with our own limited minds. God knows that, and He wants us to go to Him for the answers that we need but don’t have. “Call to Me, and I will answer you, and show you great and mighty things, which you do not know” (Jeremiah 33:3, NKJV). God’s input gives us a whole new perspective.
Praying in faith makes our prayers effective. When we go to God, fully believing we will receive what we ask for makes it come to pass. It doesn’t matter how big the problem seems to us; faith can turn things around. “For assuredly, I say to you, whoever says to this mountain, ‘Be removed and be cast into the sea,’ and does not doubt in his heart, but believes that those things he says will be done, he will have whatever he says.Therefore I say to you, whatever things you ask when you pray, believe that you receive them, and you will have them” (Mark 11:23, 24, NKJV). God is always bigger than any obstacles we face.
We have no guarantee that life will always be smooth and easy; in fact, trouble can rise up against us when we least expect it. When we stay connected to God through our prayer life, we find a source of strength that’s not ours. Whatever comes our way, we can depend on Him to carry us through when we’re unable to handle it alone, and to deliver us unscathed.