A lot of people are going through difficult times right now. Hard times can really sap your strength, your will to go on, your motivation. It can color every aspect of your life, turning it all to dark, dreary and hopeless.
A solid relationship with Jesus can change all that, though. Sure, you may get discouraged from time to time, but for the most part, the Holy Spirit will comfort you. Only God can get you through the tough times.
Knowing how to pray during these times is vital! This is the template.
We are to praise God in all things. Praise Him in times of plenty and praise Him when we are in the desert places. His faithfulness never waivers, though at times we may feel alone. Understand that sometimes, God allows us to endure hardship because He wants to elevate us or strengthen us or teach us. Instead of asking “Why, God?” we should be asking, “God, what do you want me to learn from this?”
Because of His faithfulness, His grace, His mercy, His instruction, His correction, we must praise Him. I begin my prayers thanking Him for all He has done for me. There is so much He has done, even though I do not deserve them. Remember, our circumstances may not be ideal, not what we want, but God will provide for us. If you are reading this (or hearing it) you have so much to thank God for!
I also praise Him with music. I begin my prayer with a praise song like “I Will Sing” by Mark Condon or “Let it Rain” by Israel Houghton. I say the words, really hear the words and mean every single one.
Ask for Forgiveness
You are a sinner, we all are. If you want your prayers to be heard, you have to ask for forgiveness. You also need to forgive your enemies so that the way is clear for God to forgive you (Mark 11:25). Just pray something simple such as “Lord, please forgive me if I have sinned in my mind or thought, in word or deed. Cleanse me, wash me, make me a new creature in you.”
Pray for your enemies.
This concept seems to escape many. They get caught up in thinking that is of the world and not of God. They want to pray against their enemies, but this is a grave mistake.
The Bible tells us that when we pray against our enemies, we will be judged by the same measure that we judged them.
Christian living, true Christian living, requires a higher mind, a living in the spirit as opposed to living in the world. We can pray against devils all day long, but when it comes to the people who are being manipulated by those devils – those human enemies – we must remain mindful that they are souls.
Ask for a Good Attitude
We all need an attitude adjustment from time to time. Ask God daily to give you a good attitude, to help you maintain the positive attitude that He wants you to have. It is easy to fall in to the trap of anger, bitterness, resentment, unforgiveness, hurt, depression and so many other negative emotions, particularly when difficult times befall us.
But a good attitude will get us through the hard times, even when God seems far away, seems like He isn’t answering our prayers, seems like our prayers are bouncing off the ceiling and getting nowhere. He always hear our prayers, even if we don’t feel it.
A good attitude will help you cope in those times. Praise does wonders to keep the attitude positive.
Ask God, “Change Me”
When I tell people this, they often look at me as if I was crazy. The truth is, though, this is a very important part of dealing with difficult situations.
Situations arise and many times we cannot control them. What we can control, though, is how we allow them to affect us. We can react in a Godly way or in a worldly way.
By asking God, “Change me,” you are opening yourself to His infilling. You are inviting the Holy Spirit in and letting God lead you in your life. You are allowing yourself to be led in a Godly life and there is much peace in that – even in the most tumultuous times.
Ask Him to kill off the parts of you that are not pleasing to Him and to fill them with Him. If you ask this in earnest, He will give it to you.
I often end my prayer in praise as well. Sometimes it is just thanking Him for all He has done in my life. Other times, I sing praise songs (I prefer anointed artists – the Spirit moves so profoundly).
When you pray in this way, your situation may not change, but you will. You will draw closer to God and become more like Him. And there is a great peace in His presence.