Monday, July 11, 2005

Prayer for the worker in despair

Oh Father, why is it that those who feel Your presence so closely, also feel anguish so deeply at times? I think of Elijah and his depression immediately after so great a victory at Mount Carmel[I], and I think of Jeremiah, who was so devastated that he declared that he would no longer preach, but surrendered and understood that if he did not, the Word would "burn" in his heart "like a fire"[II]. Then there is David, a “man after God’s own heart” and his cries of “How long, oh Lord…”[III] And a host of others in Your Word…

I think of the “saints” - Spurgeon and Luther among the called and realize that they “saw Your face” and yet struggled with the very same “darkness” that many of us deal with at times.

At different times in our lives we cry to hear Your word, to see Your direction, and to feel Your presence. We can’t expect those who have a superficial relationship with You to comprehend the heights of our joys in communion with You - so how can we imagine that they would understand the depth of the agony we sometimes feel when seeking Your face?

But agony we do feel at times, and so today Lord, I pray for those “soldiers of the Cross” who are doing battle with their own questions. I pray, Father, for those who long - no ache, to know and do Your will; those who are miserable and yes, even depressed. I pray that they will hear Your voice and see Your directions; that Your way will be made abundantly clear and Your purpose secure within their hearts.

We know, Father, that You always direct us. We know that Your divine will is perfect. We know from past experience that in time You will direct the footsteps of the one who seeks, that in time, he will be able to look backward and see perfect harmony and how every cog in every wheel fitted so perfectly together.

But in the meantime, Lord, in the meantime, give them peace. Give them the peace that Paul speaks of[IV], which goes beyond any intellectual understanding; that they may say, “Lord, I don’t know or understand what You have planned, but I am calm, I am still, and I know that You are God!”

This I pray for my brothers and sisters in Christ who are struggling or in despair this day, and I pray it in the name of the One who struggled Himself, even Jesus, Amen.

Betty J. Newman ©July 6, 2005

Scripture references:
[I] I Kings 19
[II] Jeremiah 20:9
[III] Psalms 13
[IV] Philippians 4:7


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