Day 2 of 5 • This day’s reading
When hard pressed, I cried to the LORD; he brought me into a spacious place.
Prayer in times of anxiety can seem impossible. When we do muster the words, it can feel as if we are speaking to the air. We tell ourselves there is no point in praying – maybe we think our prayers aren’t good enough or God not interested enough to get a response. And so, often, we plod through our anxious thoughts imagining we need to carry the burdens alone.
“Alone is not how human beings are designed to be. We are relational creatures. Made to be known and loved … The Bible has good news ... We are never alone” (p46-47 of Hope in An Anxious World).
The presence of a good God makes a difference, not least to the way we pray. Knowing that God is with us and deeply caring of us, means that we can be confident that God delights to hear from us. We can follow the Psalmist’s lead and cry out to the Lord. And we can do so knowing that he will hear us (because he’s that big) and he will respond to us (because he’s that loving).
If we’re honest, most of us want that “spacious place” the Psalmist mentions to be a place where anxiety is no more. And, sometimes, in his kindness, the Lord does take our fears away. But it’s best to remember that’s not the only way God answers prayers. What he wants most for us is for our faith to grow, for our trust in him to deepen – for us to become more like Christ – and sometimes that happens best when hard things aren’t immediately taken away. He does provide for us in the middle of the hard times, though, he does sustain us and he does enable and equip us to persevere. Those are answers to prayers that we all can know.
So, why not turn to him now? With short prayers or long, pour out your heart to him, knowing that he cares. Tell him what you would like him to do for you. And then look forward to him answering in the ways he knows to be best.
Father God, in the middle of the stress please help me to find the words I need to turn to you. And please help me to trust you today and every day. Amen