Life is full of peaks and valleys. Unexpected trouble is always potentially right around the corner. Unfortunately, when we find ourselves in a valley, our prayer life also tends to suffer. Many times, the pain is connected with a sense of loss. Situations like a broken relationship, death of a loved one, unemployment, displacement following a natural disaster, financial crisis, difficult medical condition, or even missed opportunities can plunge us into an abyss of uncertainty and fear. What’s worse, these difficulties can have a domino effect where one problem leads to another and another. For example, unemployment can strain finances which then impacts relationships. In a parallel manner, the spiritual implications have a cumulative effect as well. For example, a spirit of lack can bring its buddies restlessness, jealousy, shame, and unforgiveness along for the ride. Before you know it, you may find yourself completely overwhelmed.
During a crisis, we go into survival mode. We (consciously or subconsciously) try to conserve our energy. We limit our interactions and conversations, not wanting to exert any extra energy while attempting to find relief from the painful situation. It is especially in these difficult moments that we need to pray, but are the least likely to do so.
Prayer is as natural as breathing. It is a conscious connection – an ongoing conversation with our Heavenly Father that has no barriers or restrictions. As long as you can think, you can pray. If you remain in constant conversation, asking God for wisdom, protection, provision, peace, etc., then praying through a extremely painful circumstance becomes second nature.
The enemy wants to distract you and disrupt your spiritual disciplines, especially prayer. When elements of loss, death, destruction, or chaos are around you, presenting your petition to God is a powerful way to regain focus. Humbling ourselves before God gets His attention. The greater the pain, the greater the need for God’s touch. Prayer is a confession, admission, and petition. It is confessing that God is greater than the pain. It is admitting a need for God’s direction and intervention. It is trusting God and asking for His best resolution – not the solution that you believe is best, but the one that He knows is best because He knows the future and you don’t.
The next time life throws you a curveball, be defiant and rebellious – pray! Pray through your fears, tears, worry, hurt, disappointment, rejection, guilt, shame, loss, misery, hopelessness, and grief. Take comfort in knowing that Jesus has already experienced every form of pain imaginable yet has overcome the world. Although you may feel weak when you begin praying in the midst of your pain, the moment you take your concerns to God – the benefits begin, starting with a wondrous sense of peace. Peace brings along its buddies joy, strength, hope, and faith. As the gospel song famously states “just a little talk with Jesus makes it right”.