How To Pray When Things Are Tough
Praying is the most critical thing we can do as Christians. It's the intimacy of prayer and the power of prayer which can literally keep your life from sinking into despair.
One of the main reasons that Jesus went to the cross for us was so that we could have an intimate and real relationship with Him NOW. While we are still on earth. No matter who you are, how old you are, what social status you have, how long you've been a christian or what title you have, an intimate prayer life (and by this I mean a two way conversation and encounter) with the Father is available to you through Jesus. So if you feel that you have been neglecting prayer, that's probably just the Holy Spirit nudging you to go and spend time with Him; because the privilege cost a lot.
I am currently learning the art of crafted prayer. What I mean by this is, when I am in prayer and hear from the Holy Spirit on a current circumstance or situation or He responds to Me with what work He wants to do in me, what I will do is find all of the corresponding scriptures that relate to what He has said and write it out into a prayer.
Why do I do this?
I do this because often the stress of the situation or circumstance can cause my mind and emotions to be effected more toward the stress of the circumstance, then the reality of God's word. What the crafted prayer does, when put together for my current season/battle/circumstance, is it helps me to read back to God what He's told me and therefore can line up my mind, my heart, my spirit and my faith with His thoughts and outcome, rather then me focussing on the storm around me. I hope that all makes sense!
I just wanted to share this in the hopes that it may help someone in their current circumstances. Following a prayer like this helps to renew your mind, keep you focused and also persevere for the intended outcome of you being made into the likeness of His son; Jesus. It's not the circumstance that God wants to change so much, but our response to it.
Here is an example of one of my prayers. It's heavily focused around a theme of 'fear of the Lord' because I am currently learning to understand and encounter God's Holiness. This means, my circumstances will match the reality of what He wants to reveal to me.
My question to Him in my circumstance becomes "God, how do you want to reveal yourself to me in this circumstance? Especially your Holiness?" And from that question comes the following prayer and I have been careful to put the focus on Him, on rejoicing and on His promises. There isn't so much emphasis to change the circumstance, but more of a reliance on who He is.
“You worship what you fear”- therefore God, you shall I fear. You discipline those you love, as you are my Father in heaven.
Then Lord I shall;
“Serve the LORD with fear, And rejoice with trembling.” Psalms 2:11 NKJV
“But there is forgiveness with You (God), That You may be feared.”
Psalms 130:4 NKJV
Who is like Him?! Who can compare?! His mercy endures forever!
“He also brought me out into a broad place; He delivered me because He delighted in me.”
Psalms 18:19 NKJV
Holy, Holy, Holy is the Lord God Almighty!
“For by You I can run against a troop, By my God I can leap over a wall.
For who is God, except the LORD? And who is a rock, except our God?”
Psalms 18:29, 31 NKJV
“You have also given me the shield of Your salvation; Your right hand has held me up, Your gentleness has made me great. You enlarged my path under me, So my feet did not slip.”
Psalms 18:35-36 NKJV
“He makes my feet like hinds’ feet [able to stand firmly and tread safely on paths of testing and trouble]; He sets me [securely] upon my high places. He trains my hands for war, So that my arms can bend a bow of bronze. You have also given me the shield of Your salvation, And Your right hand upholds and sustains me; Your gentleness [Your gracious response when I pray] makes me great. You enlarge the path beneath me and make my steps secure, So that my feet will not slip.
Therefore will I give thanks and praise You, O LORD, among the nations, And sing praises to Your name.”
PSALM 18:33-36, 49 AMP