3 Tips for Praying in Difficult Times
At this point in your life, you know that no one is exempt from experiencing difficult times; after all, Jesus encountered them as well, so how could you expect anything different (Matthew 10:23-25, NKJV)? However, unlike those under the old covenant, born-again Christians are given access to a comforter, the Holy Spirit. We can call on God and engage in prayer for troubled times. In a previous conversation with Pastor Carol Jones, we discussed how to activate this blessing; here are three tips for praying in difficult times:
- Remove Distractions
“Idle hands are the devil’s playthings,” warns an old proverb, but you can also offer your hands to the devil if you are too busy. In difficult times, even ministers can succumb to the false comfort of allowing the situation to steal our attention from God. When this happens, it can be easier to believe that God cannot handle it rather than to have faith. During our conversation, Pastor Carol recalled a prayer she submitted to God: “Father, if YOU don’t help me, I don’t have any help. You already knew what was coming at me before it came at me. I’m giving You permission to get involved, to remove burdens and destroy yokes.”
Worry is a distraction. The stress within a difficult situation can be elevated solely because we won’t stop thinking about it. Don’t become overwhelmed by tomorrow. Don’t be afraid of the dark, don’t be afraid of your bills, don’t be afraid of sickness. If you’re busy entertaining your miserable thoughts, you’re not praying for other people; you’re not looking for comfort in God. Identify what is preoccupying your time and your thoughts, and if it’s not pleasing to God, remove it.
- Meditate on the Word
It is written in Isaiah 65:24 that “[I]t shall come to pass, that before they call, I will answer; and while they are yet speaking, I will hear.” Another verse tells us that God hears us when we pray in accordance with His will (1 John 5:14). But how will you know what His will is for you if you don’t read the Word? If you don’t spend time with Him and meditate on the Scriptures for yourself, you won’t know. Pastor Carol advises, “Read your Bible, meditate in it, and become what you meditate.” God responds to the fragrance of love, submission, and prayer! When you understand through His Word that nothing is impossible for Him, you can face uncharted waters and become a water-walker. You’ve got to act like who you are, but you can’t do that until you have a clear understanding of who you are! Meditate day and night on His word.
- Pray in the Holy Spirit
In the past, even the greatest minds didn’t know what stars were because they did not yet have the tools to comprehend the sky; in the same manner, you might imagine you have a full understanding of something, but your knowledge is incomplete. As a result, Pastor Carol emphasized how vital it is to get baptized in the Holy Spirit and embrace the holy language of speaking in tongues. Praying in difficult times, when you don’t know what to pray or how to pray, you should pray in tongues. There is power in praying in the holy spirit. God will give you answers. He leads and guides us, but you’ve got to submit to Him in prayer so that He can work on your behalf. God is concerned about everything that concerns you, and He’s made every tool available for you to be victorious.
Don’t allow these difficult times to rob you of your fellowship with the only One who can help you through the difficult times. God loves us, and He wants to communicate with us. “God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. Therefore will not we fear, though the earth be removed, and though the mountains be carried into the midst of the sea; Though the waters thereof roar and be troubled, though the mountains shake with the swelling thereof. Selah” (Psalm 46:1-3). Let us not be confident in ourselves, but in Him!