Carrie was frustrated. Anger played at the edge of her heart. Why didn’t God answer her? Why didn’t he rescue her in her situation as she begged him to?
She began to pray less. One day she realized she had stopped praying except for her habitual prayer before meals. She realized she had quit expecting anything from God. >Her trust in his goodness had melted away in the heat of her struggle and God’s silence.
Countless Christians have experienced their prayers erode to a trickle of empty words of habit or panic button prayers. Some lose faith when life’s hard circumstances make no sense and God fails to intervene as they think he should. Others simply get too busy to bother. Many experience feeling let down and disappointed by the church or other Christians, and paint God with the same brush.
It’s easy to begin depending on our own best thinking when we lose heart in expecting God to answer our prayers. Trusting God, when our path in life grows muddy, is not an easy task. The mud of weariness, busyness, and hurt can cause us to trip and even fall. We wonder how we will ever get up again. Faith can feel like a thread that threatens to break.
Trusting God with our lives, even when it makes no sense, is to choose to grab hold of the pearl of wisdom. As Christians we know the vital connection prayer is to our God, yet we can let it slip away from fingers muddy from falling. We must be deliberate in choosing to cling to it. There is great wisdom and reward in depending on our God even in the silence.
Maintaining that vital connection to God in prayer is a choice. Step by step, through the fog on our pathway, we can choose to trust that God has our best interest at heart and lean on his strength to get us through our day, or we choose to shrug him off with little expectation and lean wearily on our own understanding.
When we live our lives with prayer on the fringe we are really telling God that we don’t trust him. Often with our lips we declare trust, but with our lives we show that we really don’t believe he will see us through.
We need to ask ourselves the hard questions…
Do we really trust God to have our best interests at heart?
Do we really believe he will strengthen us today to walk where we need to walk… even in the dark and the silence?
Choose to increase trust in God and to bring prayer into focus from the fringe of your life. These steps will help you firmly grasp that treasured pearl… and discover the wisdom of depending on God. Choose to TRUST.
T - Thanks
Thank God for the things he has done in the past. Go back as far as you need to. Begin to chart his track record in your life. Ask him to remind you of times past when he was there for you. Then find something in your life today to be grateful for. Living thankfully is God’s will for your life. “Give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus” (1 Thessalonians 5:18).
R - Repent
Say you are sorry to God for intentionally allowing things in your heart and your life that you know would disappoint him. Having a rebellious heart toward God’s ways in one area of your life can cause your prayers to hit the ceiling in other areas. Take an inward look and ask for God’s help in changing attitudes, thoughts, motives, and actions that need a correction “If I had cherished sin in my heart, the Lord would not have listened: but God has surely listened and heard my voice in prayer” (Psalm 66:18-19). Return wholeheartedly to him.
U - Unify
Unify broken relationships. Whether you have offended someone or have been offended, God leaves the ball in your park to seek restoration. If restoration isn’t possible, give God the broken pieces and ask him to root resentment out of your heart. Bringing peace to fractured relationships brings blessing. “Blessed are the peacemakers for they shall be called the children of God” (Matthew 5:9).
S - Share
Share the journey. When times are tough and trust wears thin, find a friend to pray with you and for you. Tell someone your struggle and ask her to walk with you awhile on the road of life. Getting help in our weakness leads to healing and to power in praying. “Confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective” (James 5:16).
T - Take time
Take time to spend with God. If your heart is dry set aside some time to listen to praise music and use the words of the songs as prayers from your heart. Till up the ground that has become hard from the worries of life. Learn to spend time in the presence of the Lord and find refreshing beyond what you can imagine. “He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will rest in the shadow of the Almighty. I will say of the Lord, “He is my refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust”” (Psalm 91:1-2).