It’s 4am and I am in my bed wishing I could sleep. With eyes wide open, and my mind in turmoil; the tone an alarm would ring in my ears in an hour already torments me. The sound of each note bearing a feeling of impending doom as I wonder why I wouldn’t just keep sleeping and never wake up.
My heart is heavy, it’s so heavy – the problem is emotional or it’s psychological yet it’s translating into an intense physical pain. I might as well have a stroke. My mind is numb with fear, my dreams are being assassinated by doubt, the only surviving strands of love in my DNA just gave way to the fatal blow of heartbreak. My existence questioned by the unforgiving stare of guilt, as my confidence surrenders to ghosts of mistakes past and my faith… wait… where is my faith?
What will today be like? What does the future hold for me? Does it get better than this sometime later?
How did I get here? When did life deteriorate into such sordid experience? I ponder on these questions and as the Voice in me repeats the word “pray”: with tears streaming down my eyes, I wonder if that’s the only option I have left – pray? Of course I want to pray, I wish I could right now. But what do i say? I don’t even know where to begin.
Does God really understand? If prayer really works, why do I feel so sure that it won’t make a difference now? Why is “have you prayed?” everyone’s response to my problems? Do they not think I have tried that? What does God even have to do with how I feel right now? How does a perfect God relate to such a flawed existence like mine?! How do they open their bibles and see answers while I desperately search for a word, a relevant word of encouragement to no avail? Is this thing a scam? Is God’s voice truly constant or seasonal?… cos in the midst of all this, nothing is exactly what I am hearing from him.
People go through different things every single day and being in Christ really doesn’t exempt us from the issues of life. If this is so, what really becomes of our struggles?
One too many times, I have heard people say that although they know “on paper” that prayer works, praying doesn’t seem to be the necessary course of action to take, but nothing spells defeat more than believing this lie. Maybe this is so because although they have always heard that God cares for them, they haven’t proven this true in their lives to the extent that it is.
I am here to tell you that God is no alien to your struggles, worries or anxiety. I know this because while he was here on earth in the body of man, he indeed experienced temptation and frailty as much as we do.
Hebrews 4:15 says: For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin.
Jesus went through the worst demotion anyone can go through when he was slain as the light of the world and buried in the depths of darkness for three days. He suffered the worst kind of panic attack battling anxiety, his sweat glands rupturing and excreting blood while he prayed with a heavy heart an hour before his arrest. And let’s not count how many times he must have been tempted to prove his identity to people he himself created when treated like a bloody human being, a prophet without honor and scorned by the ones he came to save.
How could you think that God doesn’t care about the affairs of your life?
Hebrews 4:14-16: Seeing then that we have a great high priest, that is passed into the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our profession.For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin.Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.
God knows about your feelings of anxiety and the reason for it but worrying is not what he will have you do. It doesn’t change anything. You must know that in and by yourself, you posses no good response to any difficult situation. For your worries, what does God say?
Matthew 6:27: Which of you by taking thought can add one cubit unto his stature?
1 Peter 5:6-7: Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time:Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you.
Look, no matter how long you toss and turn, run helter skelter desperately seeking a solution for what bothers you, no matter how helpless you seem – your worrying instead of praying speaks volumes. It shows that perhaps you believe that you will do a better job providing a solution than God will and so you seek one out by yourself. Albeit, when the reality of your limitations hit, you lose your peace. Thisnis what causes you to worry. You worry because you don’t trust God. And that says a lot my dear friend.
As the above scripture implies, I can assure you that it takes humbling yourself to see your need for prayer. Only the humble seek God.
You see one of the ways that the devil tries to keep believers revolving around the same problems is by manipulating you into hampering your own victory. He knows he doesn’t to do this by himself so what he does is get you to underestimate the very thing in which the solution to your problem is sealed.
For example, an anxiety for which only the peace of God is the solution, he would tell you that sympathy or a hug from someone will cure; therefore you will rant on social media, watch movies, stress eat or do just about anything else but pray. Because you have believed momentarily the lie that prayer is not what you need.
The statement that prayer alone will not solve everything is true. However, truth does have a context and profitable application is best derived from a place of understanding. While a situation may require certain steps from you, it takes the Holy Ghost to reveal God’s perfect will for you in the day of adversity. So the notion that in a state of depression or Anxiety, prayer is not what you need, is nothing but a lie.
Matthew 26:37-41: And he took with him Peter and the two sons of Zebedee, and began to be sorrowful and very heavy.Then saith he unto them, My soul is exceeding sorrowful, even unto death: tarry ye here, and watch with me. And he went a little further, and fell on his face, and prayed, saying, O my Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me: nevertheless not as I will, but as thou wilt.
Do you see the picture of anxiety and sorrow that Jesus went through in this moment being vividly painted in verses 38 & 39? He was about to face his death! And while he didn’t quite have the strength to pray as fervently as he normally would, Jesus still prayed with all the heart he had left in him. He didn’t say, “what I need right now is a hug”, or “why pray when I will still die?”. He just prayed… however way he could. On to the next verse –
And he cometh unto the disciples, and findeth them asleep, and saith unto Peter, What, could ye not watch with me one hour? Watch and pray, that ye enter not into temptation: the spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.
Points to note:
~Jesus was going through a moment of weakness but while he was probably tempted to feed the weakness in his heart and lacked the strength to pray on his own he took along men of like minds to pray with him.
If you are surrounded by people who can hold you up in prayer, there is no reason you should be walking alone. The devil can more easily pull down an isolated and unaccountable believer.
~ Further down Matthew 36, you will see that although Jesus started his prayer journey in the garden weak willed, at the point of his arrest he was anything but weak. He was strengthened, he was willing, he was compassionate (responding to the entire situation as one who was Spirit filled) and he was ready. If your prayer life is limited to what prayer can do for you, you are still missing the point!
The potency of God’s power is more effectively expressed through what prayer performs IN you.
Jesus didn’t gain anything physical from that experience in the garden of Gethsemane but as we can see in the scripture, the strength he had to die on the cross for the atonement of the world’s sins came through that heartfelt prayer of an anxious Man – still Jesus.
~ The flesh is always at war against the Spirit. If the flesh is weak and the Spirit always willing, you must train yourself to always do the opposite of what your flesh dictates. As the flesh is always weak and the Spirit always willing, so is the flesh always wrong and the Spirit always right. But you will never stop falling into temptation, depression and all sorts of things if you don’t pray.
~ God answers prayers ALWAYS. He never fails! Perhaps you haven’t been seeing this because you have you have not learned to expect answers when you ask. Or you are asking the wrong things. However way, just pray. Many a time, I have been corrected and redirected to the path of God’s will for me while stuttering in prayer and being absolutely clueless about what exactly to say. If you don’t know what to say, pray in tongues. You can never go wrong there.
God cares for you and the only valid antidote to feelings of anxiety and worry is and will always be prayer.