Saturday, 28 March 2015
Praying through Challenges
Sometimes challenges can jump us when we least expect it, leaving us spinning and shaky. This has been a difficult winter for so many people who've encountered scary times in their lives - health challenges, relationship break-ups, financial difficulties, loss of employment, a gamut of miserable things to overcome.
You may be in one of those winter times too - where it never seems to get better. You may know someone who is experiencing uncomfortable conditions. You may feel quite helpless to know how best to help or move through the situation.
At times like this it is easy to shake a fist at the heavens and say "why me?!" It can certainly feel unfair and undeserved. We can be angry. We can experience so many negative thoughts that we are like a magnet to more bad news. And, as people look on, offering what support they can, it can just make you feel more angry and resentful. It is also easy to feel alone and shut out in many ways.
Think of a closed hand. If someone offered you something, could you receive it? Short of jamming it under your clenched fingers, no. When we are angry, we are like a closed hand. When we are afraid we are shielding ourselves from hurt. When we are worried, our minds often focus on that worry and concern, and answers can pass by unnoticed. It is time to open up. It is time to recall that we are spiritual beings as well as physical bodies. Answers will come if we allow ourselves to connect to that Source, that Force, that Creative Stream which we call God.
If you are struggling with things and can't seem to get on solid ground, it is important that you stop. Take a deep breath. If you keep struggling, you are going to go deeper into the pit. It is important to step back and look at the big picture. It may not be pretty, but sometimes we need a time out and a fresh perspective.
For us as Christians, we have the power of heaven at hand. We tend to forget whose children we are. We think that God has bigger issues to deal with or we just want to take care of things ourselves. But, if we are people of faith, we have to know that God is waiting for us to turn on the light bulb over our head. We have been given free will and God is certainly sending angels to assist, but until we remember that we can ask and receive, then we are really choosing to stew in our own juices. We make things a lot harder than they need to be.
The power of prayer is a force unlike anything else. The intentions we send out into the ethers, our words, our pleas, our hopes, our expressions of thanksgiving and praise, our expression of fear and worry -- all are sent forth with the power of our emotion and they do not return to us empty.
We are not alone. We are not without resources. Remember that you are a child of the Most High God and with God all things are possible. God has your back. The outcome may be a little different than your prayer but with faith and trust we understand that it is always better.
Start with a little prayer today. Ask for what you need. Give thanks for what you have. See what comes your way.
Prayer for Help in Challenging Times:
God of the Universe, you are the very force of Life, the source of Love. You call the rise the sun to rise and the moon to set. You call the flowers to grow and the birds to make their nests. You call me too, and in you I find Home.
I ask your help as I cope with the ups and downs in my life. I offer these concerns that weigh heavily upon my heart: ............................
I give them over to you knowing that you are working for good in my life and that resolution and answers will come. I trust in your Divine Intervention and the power of your grace.
I give thanks that you have heard my prayers and are sending angels to assist in this situation.
Thank you, God. May I be guided by your Holy Spirit and know that I am yours in Christ forever. Amen.