Praying in Times of Trouble

In our study of temptation for the believer it has become apparent that our major weapon in this battle is prayer. Jesus told us that we should pray as He showed us in what has become known as “The Lord’s Prayer.” It ends with this, “Lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.” This is a cry to God that He not allow us to be drawn into temptation which is not the same thing as being tempted. In any case, God has given us this prayer as part of what we do in seeing as we become holy and separate from the world. God allows us to be stressed so that we will pray.

by Martin Luther

Hezekiah received the letter from the hand of the messengers, and read it; and Hezekiah went up to the house of the LORD, and spread it before the LORD. And Hezekiah prayed to the LORD: “O LORD of hosts, God of Israel, who is enthroned above the cherubim, you are the God, you alone, of all the kingdoms of the earth; you have made heaven and earth. (Isaiah 37:14-16 ESV)

This chapter is Isaiah contains an interesting story about King Hezekiah. The Assyrians were attacking Jerusalem with a large army and beginning to overpower it. The situation looked hopeless. King Sennacherib ridiculed Hezekiah mercilessly. Sennacherib made fun of Hezekiah’s misfortune by writing him a letter filled with insults about God in order to make the devout king lose all hope. Instead of losing hope, Hezekiah went into the temple, spread out the letter in front of God, bowed down with his face touching the ground, and prayed a heartfelt prayer.

Learning to pray with there’s an emergency or when something is frightening us requires a lot discipline. Instead of praying, we tend to torture ourselves with anxiety and worry. All we can think about is trying to get rid of the problem. The devil often tricks us when temptation or suffering first begins, whether we are dealing with spiritual or physical matters. He immediately barges in and makes us so upset about the problem that we become consumed by it. In this way, he tears us away from praying. When we finally begin to pray, we have already tortured ourselves half to death. The devil knows what prayer can accomplish. That’s why he creates so many obstacles and makes it so inconvenient for us that we never get around to prayer.

On the basis of this story in Isaiah, we should get into the habit of falling on our knees and spreading out our needs in front of God the moment we have an emergency or become frightened. Prayer is the very best medicine there is. It always works and never fails–if we would just us it!

9 thoughts on “Praying in Times of Trouble

  1. Amen Mike! We have learned this the hard way and are still trying to get out of the ‘rut’ we get into sometimes when it comes to making our minds think, ‘Pray FIRST, not last’. We are getting better at it. But it takes forever it seems to be in the right frame of thought. Why do we always worry ourselves half to death before we think ‘Hey dummy, pray!!’ The Lord is always there to listen and answer. We know even if it isn’t answered right away that its in His timing not ours and He knows best for us and the whole situation. We can’t say enough how content it makes us to know He is Sovereign!

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  2. Paul,

    Yes, it is not natural for us start with prayer. We react first and think later. At least that is my natural way. I also have a tendency to resent it when things go bad, but God has slowly moved me away from that one. God is Sovereign – Amen and yes it is a huge comfort to me. He is a big God not some focus of a man-made religion.

    In Christ

    Mike Ratliff

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  3. Mike, Thanks, I needed this today. Got some things I have to go through and was tempted today to just get depressed about it all. I remember reading in Psalms where maybe it was David who said “Why are you downcast, oh my soul and why are you disquieted within me?,I will hope in God , I will praise Him, who is the health of my countenance! Praise to God who WILL help my fearful soul!

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  4. Jennifer,

    We have a very big and good God. He has you in His hands and you have nothing to fear from anyone or anything because all that He will allow in your life is for your best.

    In Christ

    Mike Ratliff

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  5. You should have seen me in my basement the other night. A huge storm was coming through and I kept praying “God, I’m scared!” (chicken) 🙂 A tree did snap off and hit my porch roof. Big mess but I lived. 🙂

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  6. Deb, Atleast you have a basement!! We don’t, and we need one! Sometimes Chicken & chicken-little (me and my wife) 🙂 do the same thing….

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  7. Dear Friends,

    I’m an Indian and I came to the US on November 12, to join a permanent job with a US company.

    Now there’ve been negative comments about the way I participate in the company’s meetings. (repeating myself, repeating what others already said, and getting too technical).

    As a result of this, when we start our Christmas holiday, I may be traveling back and arriving home in India, jobless. Or I may continue to live here in the US.

    Meanwhile, I’m scared and worried.

    Best regards,
    PC

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