When I am going through a low point, I may question God in prayer (“Please show me why this is happening…”), but I never curse God (“Why are you letting this happen to me??!!”). See the difference? In first prayer, you are acknowledging the tough time and asking God to reveal to you a purpose or direction. In the second, you are criticizing God and insinuating that He is somehow at fault.
It is so important that we pray in the first fashion during hard times. We may not know at the time why things are happening the way they are, but it will be revealed to us eventually. Maybe not for years, but eventually. You lose your job but end up finding a new one a few months later and meet your future husband there. You are diagnosed with cancer and your child from whom you have been estranged calls you to make amends. Now you are in remission.
Then, there are times when you just can’t take it anymore. And, you offer up a prayer to God just as David did in Psalms 142: 5-6 (NIV):
5 I cry to you, Lord;
I say, “You are my refuge,
my portion in the land of the living.”
6 Listen to my cry,
for I am in desperate need;
rescue me from those who pursue me,
for they are too strong for me.
There have been only a few times in my life that I have had to offer up my Desperation Prayer – and it was answered each time. Almost immediately. He knew from my tone that I wasn’t kidding. I wasn’t putting Him on or asking for petty trifles. I meant business.
One particular time went like this. I had been looking for a new job for awhile, but not too intensely. I had interviewed for a position so many months ago that I assumed someone else had been hired. One night, an incident occurred at work and I realized I should stay late and work on a project that resulted from the incident since I was the only one in the office. Over two hours later (it was evening shift, so now it’s after midnight), I finished the project and sent it to the appropriate (or so I thought) people. The response? “Why didn’t you send this out earlier?” “Why didn’t you send this to so-and-so?” Without getting into detail, it was the straw that broke the camel’s back for me. I prayed “God, you-have-got-to-help-me! I can’t take it any more!”
The next day, the job for which I interviewed months ago called and offered me the position. Praise God! Just as David did in Psalm 142, I cried out to God for refuge and He answered!
This is not a prayer to abuse. It is not to be taken lightly. And, it’s not planned. The couple of times I have prayed my Desperation Prayer, it has been when I truly needed it and felt like I needed God’s intervention in my life. God knows I don’t ask him for much for myself very often. When I do, they are usually prayers for strength or discernment. Most of my prayers are for other people. Turn to God in your time of trouble and you will honor Him (Psalm 50: 15).
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