Finally coming up for air from summer’s activities, families are settling into the rhythms of the approaching season. With children back at school, routines are reinstated as the excitement of new backpacks, friends and school activities becomes palpable.
Soon, temperatures will drop, along with nature’s watercolor foliage. Wafting in cooling breezes, leaves will paint the hillsides and neighborhoods with the brilliant colors of fall.
Yet, swirling all around us is political unrest, war, earthquake devastation, surging COVID cases, and hurricanes on a trajectory for repeat assault and battery. How do we stay steady with chaos and unrest at every turn and click?
Fear clamping tightly around my soul, anxiety hijacked rational thought this week. The truth I cling to felt out of reach, as long as I listened to the lies.
And I wonder, is anyone else struggling—feeling alone in anxiety, chronic stress or overwhelm?
Understanding the mysteries of suffering in a broken world is beyond me, but one thing I know—God hears and delights in our prayers.
When I asked, Jesus pulled me out of the pit and onto firm ground once more.
O LORD… you restored me to life from among those who go down to the pit. Psalms 30:3
So today, allow me the privilege of lifting you to the Good Shepherd who soothes, heals, comforts, provides and guides.
Four things let us ever keep in mind: God hears prayer, God heeds prayer, God answers prayer, and God delivers by prayer. E.M. Bounds
Father, I come with a heart full of gratitude because you love my friend immeasurably. Some part of their soul is weary. Heartache swells, unrest persists or anxiety threatens.
Show them the integrity of your Word and your trustworthiness in all you do. Strengthen their hope in your steadfast love. (Psa.33:4)
If they’re suffering—
Save them from all trouble, encamping your angels around them. Hear their cries for help and deliver them. Bind their broken heart and save their crushed spirit. (Psa.34:2,17)
You say we will have troubles, but you promise to deliver my friend out of them all. (Psa. 34:19) So because of your boundless mercy, may your steadfast love and faithfulness preserve them always. (Psa.40:11)
If they’re confused—
Provide clarity, instructing and teaching in the way they should go; counsel them with your eye upon them. (Psa.32:8) Grant wisdom for the decisions they face.
Reveal the right path and confirm they’re on it. May they hear your voice from behind saying, “This is the way, walk in it.” (Isa.30:21)
Call to me and I will answer you and tell you great, unsearchable things you do not know. Jeremiah 33:3
Fill their heart with wisdom, and may knowledge bring joy as understanding keeps them safe from evil people. (Prov.2:10-12)
If they’re struggling with doubt—
May they trust you with all their heart, not depending on their emotions or understanding to lead them, but seeking your will as you direct their paths. (Prov.3:4-6)
Strengthen their faith and help their unbelief. (Mark 9:24)
If they’re weary—
Make them lie down in green pastures and lead them beside still waters, restoring their soul. Psl.23:2-3
Help them relinquish the desire for control—taking your yoke instead—which is light and easy, learning from you the unforced rhythms of grace, because you are gentle and lowly in heart. (Matt.11:28-30)
If they’re lonely—
Bring faithful friendship—like iron sharpening iron—so they help one another walk in integrity, humility and love. (Prov.27:17)
Lead them to a community that encourages love and goodness, preventing potential hard-heartedness from the deceitfulness of unseen sin. (Heb.13:3)
If they need provision—
Generously provide all they need, so they always have everything they need and plenty left over to share with others; increase their resources and produce a harvest of generosity in them. (2 Cor. 9:8-10)
If they desire growth—
Teach them to cherish loyalty and kindness, so they find favor with you and others, earning a good reputation. (Prov.3:4)
Perfect everything concerning them, continuing the good work you began in them until the day they see you face to face! (Phil.1:6)
If they’re struggling with sin—
Grant courage and strength to confess to you and a trusted friend who will lovingly help but not enable, so they may find healing and wholeness. (James 5:16)
Create in them a clean heart and renew a steadfast spirit. May your Holy Spirit guide and direct, returning the joy of their salvation and a willingness of spirit towards you. (Psl.51:10-12)
Loving Father, show them the abundant goodness you have stored up for them as they take refuge in you. (Psa.31:19) Draw my friend close, and reveal your glory!
God does nothing except in response to believing prayer. John Wesley
This quote changed how I pray—and fuels me. The world is overwhelming; where else can we turn for strength, hope, encouragement, comfort, healing and guidance?
Friend, take everything to Jesus, no matter how minuscule or devastating, and be changed by who you encounter—His unfailing mercy and love never ceases towards you!
Let us be overwhelmed by His presence, not our problems. In prayer we will find His peace—He promises.