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Praying in Times of Crisis

Praying in Times of Crisis

Hebrews 4:15 says that Jesus can “sympathize with our weaknesses” because He “was in all points tempted as we are, yet without sin.” How did He live in our world, face the same problems and temptations, and not sin? One point of help we can tap into is when Jesus faced His greatest crisis in the garden of Gethsemane before He died on the cross.

‌‌1. Preparation and foresight. “And He took with Him Peter and the two sons of Zebedee, and He began to be sorrowful and deeply distressed” (Mt 26:37). Are we spiritually minded enough to see temptation coming, to know when we might be weak? Do we prepare by surrounding ourselves with spiritually minded people and by making time for prayer?

‌‌2. Face the crisis. “Then He said to them, “My soul is exceeding sorrowful, even to death. Stay here and watch with Me” (Mt 26:38). It is not wrong to admit that temptations are difficult and to ask for help. Why don’t we do this more often? Note also that most crises must be faced, not ignored with the hope they’ll go away by themselves and that our faith will somehow survive by itself.

‌‌3. Consider alternatives. “Oh My Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass from Me” (Mt 26:39). It certainly isn’t wrong to express our desires to God. However, we must make certain that we are not just being self-serving and that we are always open to whatever God desires.

4‌‌. Give God complete control. “…nevertheless, not as I will, but as You will” (Mt 26:42). It is difficult to truly pray this way because implicit in this attitude is that whatever God wants (even if it is a “no” answer to our prayer) is what we really want (even if we don’t understand why God allows or does what He does). This isn’t easy! We are often full of “why” questions for which there often are no answers. But what does this change? We trust God at all times – even in crises.

5‌‌. Power to act. “…He rose up from prayer…” (Lk 22:45). If we fully trust God, we can rise up from prayer knowing that He is in control and we can handle whatever comes our way. This is what helped Jesus get through the crisis of the cross. It can help you get through what is happening today, tomorrow, the next day, and…