prayer in time of suffering


When I think I’m going under, part the waters, Lord;
When I feel the waves around me, calm the sea;
When I cry for help, O hear me, Lord
And hold out Your hand
Touch my life, still the raging storm in me.

(-From the song “Part the Waters”)

I was having a late Sunday lunch of longsilog when these lines of a song came to mind. Got me thinking, Is this a selfish prayer? Should God be seen only as a source of relief – as a divine 911 solely for our emergency situations? What if He chooses not to save us from some of our storms but instead opt to accomplish his purposes while we faithfully soak and shiver in the raging wind and rain?

I immediately solicited input from some friends via text. Most of them replied that it’s not a selfish prayer at all, but an honest one, in fact not unlike David’s psalms when he was beset by great troubles. I guess they’re right. Nothing wrong or selfish about pleading to God for deliverance when life’s storms assail us.

However, could it be that a cry for help, although valid in itself, is an incomplete prayer-response to difficulty? My knee-jerk reaction to suffering or difficulty is to want immediate resolution or deliverance, as though problems were life’s anomalies instead of expected occurrences. (Didn’t Jesus say that, “In this world, you will have troubles…”) What would happen if I looked at suffering differently – honestly admitting my weakness to deal with it apart from God’s help and pleading with Him to intervene, while at the same time truly seeking His will (which may or may not mean my idea of deliverance) for this my cup?

For now my humble prayer is, Father, help me to suffer well – for your glory.

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4 thoughts on “prayer in time of suffering

  1. these are good thoughts/insights alex! i’m glad God is leading you to these realizations in your walk with Him πŸ™‚ alam mo sa post mong ito naaalala ko ang persecuted brothers and sisters natin. they teach us more than anything what faith truly is about. i have met only a few, but in every encounter, i always feel so unworthy to be in the same family of believers, kasi next to them i feel so weak and watered down. but i’ve always learned so much from their lifestories, kaya i’m always grateful to God for them πŸ™‚

  2. hey mish – yes, learning from other people’s struggles gives us new eyes with which to view our own. then we come to a worshipful appreciation of the divine shoulders on which rests every burden and care that God’s children bear.

    thanks for dropping by, chinese girl πŸ™‚ glad to know that u have been (somewhat) encouraged by this post. hang in there…

  3. Forgive me for butting in, I came upon your site looking for the words to this song via Google.

    You ask, “Should God be seen only as a source of relief … solely for our emergency situations?” — and if that is the case, then indeed one could speak of selfishness. But the song, the prayer in itself does not imply that the singer sees God only in those terms.

    Neither does praying for God’s deliverance imply an unwillingness to bear the difficulties if God so leads, and in fact, “still the raging storm in me” is a necessary prayer in order to be able to bear the difficulties and suffering.

    So I think the prayer itself is good and right, but since it only covers part of life it depends what else is going on in your relationship with God.

    We need to be careful, when looking at ourselves, but especially when looking at others, to not assume that what we see at first glance is the whole picture.

    God bless,

    Wolf Paul – wnp @ doulos.at

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