Last updated on November 26th, 2014 at 09:54 am
We all run unto problems and challenges in this life. Whether they are big or small, they can play mind games with us. They can have us believing that we are less than who we are, chip away at our faith, and persuade us to give up.
Some of us have had to face the challenge of loss, whether it is the death of a pet, a divorce, a job termination, or the death of love ones. We know how hard the grieving and mourning process is. Others have had close friends or loved ones, people they thought they could count on, kick them to the curb. All of us know how it feels to be let down and betrayed.
It does not feel good. There is good news for getting through these situations and challenges—all we have to do is to pray about it. Jesus did. When we find Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane, we witness him praying as he experienced the agony of his pending betrayal by his disciples and his ultimate crucifixion (Matthew 26:36-46. We need to be like Jesus, and pray about it. Because we are human, our natural impulses do not provide us with the instinct to pray. Our instincts tell us to worry, to become angry, to get even, to sink into depression, to give up, and then we find ourselves moving into directions that make our situations and pain worse than it was. We have all heard and know that prayer changes things.
What does prayer change? Prayer can remove the problem. Sometimes God responds to our prayers by simply removing the problem. Most of us want God to answer our prayers in this manner. We want him just to eliminate the problem. However, that is not always the way God chooses to work out our situations—and it does not mean that God is not answering prayer. The other way God responds to prayer is to ease the burden of the situation. This is why we call God a burden bearer and heavy load sharer. Prayer makes it easier to get through the pain, the hardship or the conflict. Prayer gives us strength that we thought we never had.
This is why the songwriter wrote: “Lord, don’t move the mountain, but just give me the strength to climb the mountain.”
When we pray, God provides us with another perspective of the problem. Before we prayed, the problem looked and affected in a certain way—we thought about, we worried about it, we feared it, and we felt like we could not overcome it. After we prayed, we refused to allow the pain. We refused to let it effect the way we feel about our environment or ourselves.
We have all seen the Febreze commercials in which someone has either had a party or left some smelly laundry items around the house. The test subjects are blindfolded and asked to give assessments of how things smell. Of course, everything smells great because someone has sprayed the room with Febreze. Then they are asked to remove the blindfold, and the place is covered with smelly items. Prayer is like Febreze. Although things are smelly and rough, prayer takes the stink out of the situation and changes everything about it. The dirty dishes, smelly laundry, and trash are still present, but prayer can take away the effects this stuff has on us.
The next time we experience crisis, challenges, hurt, or a crossroad in our lives, let us not forget to pray about it. Jesus did.