No matter the moment, what it looks like, what it feels like, what it brings—this is your moment to pray. When bad news impacts those you love, prayer becomes a vital source of strength. Trials have a way of creating a call to intercede, as we turn to God on behalf of others. Holding onto faith in the midst of the struggles of family and friends, prayer becomes a powerful part of God’s work in their lives. It also opens the door to growing in prayer as the Holy Spirit helps us to pray as the situation needs. Trials teach us to pray from the deep, vulnerable places of our heart as we bring our needs to God. Is this a time you need to pray fiercely?
Praying When Life is Hard
The last five months have been a season of many hard things happening in our world and in my extended family. Many days, my heart is heavy, as I trust Jesus for wisdom to encourage and support those I love.
I’ve been in the secret place with my Father. I can’t help but run to Father in prayer. He draws me deeper into intercession by virtue of the pain of loss and the struggle of uncertain times. With every distressing text or phone call I receive, I call out to Christ. I feel the pain of broken relationships and hurting hearts on one side of the family. At the same time I wrestle fears for my sister facing a devastating diagnosis.
I cannot help but pray throughout the day. Even as I fall asleep I talk with Jesus with prayers that slip down my cheeks onto the pillow. However much and however long it takes I will trust Father and keep praying. This season is a call to intercession. Not because I think it would be nice to learn more about prayer, but because someone must stand in the gap and plead for the intervention of the only One who can restore peace and heal broken lives. The only One who can give strength to face hard days with wisdom, grace, patience, and faith.
Love Calls Us to Intercede in Prayer
In answering the call to intercede, I have entered into a time of instruction, training, and strengthening as Jesus teaches me to stand firm and pray boldly. This is what trusting looks like in my life lately.
As I turn to Christ with my heavy heart, He reminds me that He carries the weight when I remember to trust him with the people I care about. He frequently reminds me of this vital truth because my emotions are vulnerable to fear and worry.
God Meets Us As We Pray for Others
As we pour out out concerns for others, God often meets us in a special way. This kind of prayer strengthens our own hearts as well as becomes a channel of blessing those we pray for.
As I prayed one morning, Holy Spirit slipped a picture of Jesus into my mind. Our Good Shepherd was carrying my sister close to His heart where she could hear his heartbeat. He reminded me she is loved, protected, and safe in His care. The Spirit not only calmed my anxious heart, but He also gave me a vivid image to pray for her as well. Maybe this mental image will comfort you today as you let these verses strengthen your heart.
Hear the sound of my pleadings when I cry to You for help,
When I raise my hands toward Your holy sanctuary. . .
Blessed be the Lord,
Because He has heard the sound of my pleading.
7 The Lord is my strength and my shield;
My heart trusts in Him, and I am helped;
Therefore my heart triumphs,
And with my song I shall thank Him.
8 The Lord is their strength,
And He is a refuge of salvation to His anointed.
9 Save Your people and bless Your inheritance;
Be their shepherd also, and carry them forever. —Psalm 28:2, 6-9 NASB
Problems, Pain, and Prayer
My younger sister has been weakening since February. Muscles withering, she now struggles to stand, move. her legs, and even sit up. She fights to take even a single step. Growing weaker almost by the day, she recently received a medical diagnosis of ALS, also known as Lou Gehrig’s Disease. This image of Christ carrying her splits me wide open. Problems like this cause great pain to our hearts and draw us to our knees in prayer.
This disease is unthinkable, yet it is happening.
My soul recoils as fearful thoughts drive me to my knees like never before. This prayer picture soothes the ache in my heart with the vivid illustration of the compassion of Christ. Our shield of strength, refuge, and salvation, our Good Shepherd carries us. He hears our cries and provides help. I am undone by the tenderness and power of Christ. I sense these words in my spirit:
Pray fiercely but rest in faith.
Believe My word and trust My heart.
And when it all feels too much, remember I will carry you.
Pray Boldly in the Tension Between Need and Faith
There is a tension between desperate need for prayer and the abiding place of resting faith. Need and faith are parallel tracks of prayer leading us to a deeper experience of God’s presence. Click To Tweet This is what mercy and grace look like right in the midst of our trials.
Therefore let’s approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace for help at the time of our need.—Hebrews 4:16
In every problem, every issue, every need, every desperate lament of our hearts and need of our souls, Jesus makes the way for us to come confidently to God.
What an incredible promise of mercy and grace to help in the problems of this day. Not because we prayed the right prayer but because we turn to God rather than counterfeit sources of help . We refuse to let our problems distract us from the care and compassion of Christ. We
We hold fast to our confession that we trust in Jesus, our perfect High Priest. His sacrifice for our sin saves us in the midst of spiraling pathologies and problems of this fallen world.
Experiencing God’s Presence in Our Problems
Let your worries shape your prayers rather than allow your problems pull you away from trusting God.
Let your need draw you closer to God.
And when you can’t seem to get there yourself, trust Him to carry you.
Don’t let heartbreak or fear rob you of the strength found in bringing your needs to God.
Understanding our weakness, Jesus faced and overcame all the temptations we experience. This is why we can pray and receive grace in the very throne room of God.
Yes, pray fiercely. Boldly. Pray confidently with heart and hands open and ready to receive precious grace.
Intercessory Prayer is Work and Worship
Is God drawing you deeper in prayer during these days? Do you sense the call to intercession? Is God calling you to deeper faith as you pray for needs that feel overwhelming? Do you need to trust in Christ like never before?
You are not alone. Your Savior strengthens and carries you. He’s made a way for you to come boldly to God in prayer.
In the conflict and the strife.
Pray with faith.
In the confusion, every decision that seems to have no good answer.
Trust His heart.
In the diagnosis that devastates and threatens to steal a life.
Pray in the Spirit.
In the shadow of the pandemic and the countless losses of many kinds.
Pray with the sword of the Spirit in your hand and your shield of faith raised high.
Do you hear Abba’s call? Can you sense the love of Christ strengthening you?
Pray fiercely and rest in faith.
This is your moment to trust in Jesus.