How to begin a prayer during difficult times

Fervent prayer 2Praying during difficult times and perplexing situations… Think about it.  How would you begin such a prayer?

Perhaps the prophet Jeremiah gives us some guidance.  This morning during my time of “coffee with the Lord” I read how he began a prayer about a situation like that…

Let me set the stage a bit… Jeremiah had been directed by God to predict that the kingdom of Judah would NOT be rescued from their enemies… that instead, Babylon, under the leadership of Nebuchadnezzar, would destroy the Temple of God and the capital city of Jerusalem, and take the King Zedekiah and the people of Judah into captivity for 70 long years!  After the captivity, God promised to restore His people, the temple, and the city and nation!  As an act of faith, Jeremiah was instructed to purchase a piece of property and put the purchase documents in a safe place awaiting the fulfilment of God’s promise.

Things were bad… they were going to get worse!  But God promised to do what seemed impossible… How do you pray?  How do you even begin a prayer like that?  Listen to Jeremiah’s prayer – He sets a good pattern for us, I believe…

“O Sovereign Lord! You made the heavens and earth by your strong hand and powerful arm. NOTHING IS TOO HARD FOR YOU!  You show unfailing love to thousands, but you also bring the consequences of one generation’s sin upon the next. YOU ARE THE GREAT AND POWERFUL GOD, the Lord of Heaven’s Armies.  You have all wisdom and do great and mighty miracles… You performed miraculous signs and wonders—things still remembered to this day! And you have continued to do great miracles! You have made your name famous to this day… Everything has happened just as you said!  And yet, O Sovereign Lord, you have told me to buy this field—paying good money for it before these witnesses—even though the city will soon be handed over to the Babylonians…” (From Jeremiah 32 16-25 NLT)

So what was Jeremiah’s pattern… How did he start his prayer?  First he addressed God – he acknowledged Who God was, and what He had done… and then he poured out his heart to God with his request.  And that’s what we should do when we pray during difficult and troubling times!  In fact, I have to say, I’d probably make Jeremiah’s words my words (they’re a wonderful way to begin a prayer in difficult, troubling times!).

Oh, and God’s answer… Here it is…

Then this message came to Jeremiah from the Lord:  “I am the Lord, the God of all the peoples of the world.  IS ANYTHING TO HARD FOR ME? Therefore, this is what the Lord says…” (From Jeremiah 32:16-18ff)

Did you notice God’s “subtle reminder” … “IS ANYTHING TO HARD FOR ME?”  The very words that Jeremiah had opened his prayer with are now the ones used by the Lord Himself to remind Jeremiah that God will fulfill His promises and His word!  Things may seem impossible to us – but they’re NOT IMPOSSIBLE to God!

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