There have been times in most of our lives where we felt that we were at the end of our rope. All hope was gone. We didn’t have the money to pay our rent or mortgage, plus buy food, or gas to get to work, even if we had a job. The future was bleak. There was nobody we could call on. This was it...the end. The only thing that we could do was to fall on our face and cry out to God in desperation. “God if you don’t help I can’t go on. If you don’t help I won’t survive. Please help me.”
That’s not the prayer that we like to pray. We like the prayers when we are thanking God for all that He’s done for us. The prayer where we are asking God to bless our friends and families. The prayer that we pray everyday following the pattern of the Lord’s prayer; “Give us this day our daily bread, etc. etc. No, this time it’s a prayer of desperation because we’re in trouble and and have nowhere to turn. We’ve reached the point where we are sick and tired of the situation we’re in. Tired of being in need, or sick, or confused, or anxious, or afraid We’ve reached the bottom of the barrell.
We know that we’re not alone because we hear of the trials and tribulations of other believers but those are their trials and tribulations these are ours. We go to the Psalms and read of the times that David pleaded for deliverance from his enemies sometimes even fearing death, but those were David’s times these are ours.
Then there’s the story of Hannah who was miserable because she had been unable to conceive. She had reached the point of desperation. On one trip to Jerusalem for one of the festivals Hannah in desperation prayed for a son. She was so desperate she said that if God blessed her with a son she would give him to God. After praying that desperate prayer Hannah became pregnant and the Prophet and last Judge of Israel was born to a woman who prior to that time was barren. Not only did Hannah conceive Samuel, who she did give to God, she had five more children, three more sons and two daughters.
1 Samuel 2:21 (NKJV) And the LORD visited Hannah, so that she conceived and bore three sons and two daughters. Meanwhile the child Samuel grew before the LORD.
Hannah is an example to us that we should not let our current situation cause us to stop seeking God’s best for us. When we in our desperation cry out to God our desperation can become the first step in deliverance. Don’t let desperation become discouragement which is a trap of the enemy.
When you fall into the trap of discouragement, there is no joy or contentment, no matter what you do. It’s Satan’s, objective for you to question or to blame God for every discouraging thing that’s happening to you. He puts it in your mind that after all if God is all powerful He would keep those discouraging things from happening to you.
The circumstances that trigger disappointment may be unavoidable, but the way we respond is a choice. We can either let the disappointment overwhelm us or we can face the situation with courage and take it to the One who can help us through them. Remember He promised to never leave or forsake us. (Don’t Become Trapped By Discouragement)
Don’t be proud...cry out in desperation!
Jim Cymbaila, author and Pastor the Brooklyn Tabernacle tell the story of that prayer of desperation in his book Storm: Hearing Jesus for the Times We Live In
The Power of Desperate Prayer
Editor’s Note: The complete text of the referenced scriptures were added for emphasis by me
After the dark period described in the Old Testament book of Judges, Israel’s desperate situation began to turn around with the prayer of a woman named Hannah. She had had enough and decided she could not take it any longer.
Hannah was one of two wives married to a man named Elkanah. The other wife had children, but Hannah was barren. According to the Bible, Peninnah, the rival wife, would mock Hannah and make fun of her, “provoking her in order to irritate her” because “the Lord had closed Hannah’s womb”.
1 Samuel 1:2 (NKJV) And he had two wives: the name of one was Hannah, and the name of the other Peninnah. Peninnah had children, but Hannah had no children.
Day after day, year after year, Hannah was teased and taunted, mocked and ridiculed.
Every year Elkanah’s family went to the tabernacle of the Lord in Shiloh, which was the center of worship in Israel. There the family would offer sacrifices to the Lord. But that’s also when Peninnah’s taunting of Hannah increased, to the point where Hannah wept so hard she could no longer eat.
1 Samuel 1:3-8 (NKJV)3 This man went up from his city yearly to worship and sacrifice to the LORD of hosts in Shiloh. Also the two sons of Eli, Hophni and Phinehas, the priests of the LORD, were there.4 And whenever the time came for Elkanah to make an offering, he would give portions to Peninnah his wife and to all her sons and daughters.5 But to Hannah he would give a double portion, for he loved Hannah, although the LORD had closed her womb.6 And her rival also provoked her severely, to make her miserable, because the LORD had closed her womb.7 So it was, year by year, when she went up to the house of the LORD, that she provoked her; therefore she wept and did not eat.8 Then Elkanah her husband said to her, "Hannah, why do you weep? Why do you not eat? And why is your heart grieved? Am I not better to you than ten sons?"
Each year this pattern repeated. Her husband, Elkanah, loved Hannah and gave her extra portions of the sacrifice, but that didn’t heal his wife’s pain. Why don’t you eat? Why are you downhearted?” he would ask Hannah. “Don’t I mean more to you than ten sons?”
1 Samuel 1:8 (NKJV) Then Elkanah her husband said to her, "Hannah, why do you weep? Why do you not eat? And why is your heart grieved? Am I not better to you than ten sons?"
Then one year, something snapped inside of Hannah, and she suddenly refused to endure the taunts of Peninnah and accept her childless status. Once when they had finished eating and drinking in Shiloh, Hannah stood up.
1 Samuel 1:9 (NKJV) So Hannah arose after they had finished eating and drinking in Shiloh. Now Eli the priest was sitting on the seat by the doorpost of the tabernacle of the LORD.
Hannah left the table and went to pray near the doorpost of the tabernacle. It was a moment with historic ramifications.
“In her deep anguish Hannah prayed to the Lord, weeping bitterly”
1 Samuel 1:10 (NKJV) And she was in bitterness of soul, and prayed to the LORD and wept in anguish.
She didn’t recite mental prayers as we often do; her heart went out to the Lord. Amid the backslidden and even corrupt religious establishment of that day, we see a desperate, simple woman stirred to pray a prayer that will usher in a new day in Israel’s history. In her prayer she promised God that if he gave her a son, she would dedicate him to the Lord for as long as he lived. When she finished praying, she got something to eat, and her face was no longer downcast .
1 Samuel 1:18 (NKJV) And she said, "Let your maidservant find favor in your sight." So the woman went her way and ate, and her face was no longer sad.
It was as if she knew something was about to change.
The next morning Elkanah’s family arose and worshiped God before they headed back home to Ramah. Once there, Elkanah made love to his wife as he had so often done before, but this time “the Lord remembered her”
1 Samuel 1:19 (NKJV) Then they rose early in the morning and worshiped before the LORD, and returned and came to their house at Ramah. And Elkanah knew Hannah his wife, and the LORD remembered her.
Hannah became pregnant and gave birth to a son.
Now, what was it that stirred Hannah to pray a prayer that changed the future of Israel?
Hannah could have chosen to live in denial. When Peninnah mocked her, she could have said, “Who cares? I’m not into kids. I don’t want to change diapers anyway!” But she didn’t. She faced the truth (as painful as it was), saying, “I want a baby, I want a son, I want to be fruitful.”
Hannah could have forgotten her heartache and just rejoiced in the fact that she was a child of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob and a part of the covenant people of Israel. Or she could have looked at her situation and said, “I don’t have a child, so it must be God’s sovereign will that I don’t.”
But she didn’t do either of those things. Hannah’s story shows us that she did not deny her barrenness, but neither did she accept it. Her unique prayer became the channel that God both prompted and then used to turn the tide in Israel and bring much-needed blessing upon them. The lesson is clear for us today.
We must not silently accept our lack of fruitfulness and somehow justify it as God’s will for us.
Imagine if Hannah had said, “Well, I guess I’m not supposed to have a baby.”
No, as hard as it was, she honestly faced her circumstances and then desperately prayed for God to change them. What was in her mighty prayer that God could not ignore? None of us totally understands the power of prayer, but we know that Hannah’s prayer was powerful and effective, the kind James describes in his epistle.
James 5:16 (NKJV) Confess your trespasses to one another, and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much.
Yet if I had to guess, I would say it was both the heightened element of desperation coupled with deep faith in God. Hannah had no other place to turn. It was as if, in her great anguish and grief, she cried, “Make me fruitful, or I don’t want to go on.” She was at her end. “Give me a child or I will die!”
God heard Hannah’s weeping, and her prayer became the pathway to divine intervention. Furthermore, God wanted her story told in detail in the Bible, so future generations would recognize that Israel’s turnaround started with a lonely, heartbroken woman who just wanted to bear fruit.
Desperate and soul-stirring prayers like hers result in answers.
When God is sought in desperation, he responds.
Even in hopeless situations.
Excerpted from Storm: Hearing Jesus for the Times We Live In by Jim Cymbala, copyright Zondervan.
To purchase a copy of Storm: Hearing Jesus for the Times We Live In click or touch the links or images.
Recently, my Pastor has become very excited about Psalm 9 because of it’s praise to God for maintaining our position with and protection in Him.
This is the verse that that really gets him excited;
“For You have maintained my right and my cause; You sat on the throne judging in righteousness.“
The Hebrew word translated maintain is ʿāśâ. Various versions translate the word as “maintained”, “judged”, “upheld”, “gave approval”or “defended”. Strong’s Greek and Hebrew Dictionary says that ʿāśâ conveys the following images; to do or make, in the broadest sense and widest application (as follows) :- accomplish, advance, appoint, apt, be at, become, bear, bestow, bring forth, finish, fit, fly, follow, fulfill furnish, gather, get, go about, govern, grant, bring (come) to pass, perform, practice, prepare, procure, provide, put, requite, - Strong's Talking Greek & Hebrew Dictionary.
No wonder he gets to excited!
The writer, David was confident, as we can be as well, that God takes care of everything for the righteous, including the judgement of our enemy, Satan, and everything he uses against us in spiritual warfare.
Praise For Destruction Of The Enemy
Psalm 9:1-20 (NKJV)1 I will praise You, O LORD, with my whole heart; I will tell of all Your marvelous works.2 I will be glad and rejoice in You; I will sing praise to Your name, O Most High.3 When my enemies turn back, They shall fall and perish at Your presence.4 For You have maintained my right and my cause; You sat on the throne judging in righteousness.5 You have rebuked the nations, You have destroyed the wicked; You have blotted out their name forever and ever.6 O enemy, destructions are finished forever! And you have destroyed cities; Even their memory has perished.7 But the LORD shall endure forever; He has prepared His throne for judgment.8 He shall judge the world in righteousness, And He shall administer judgment for the peoples in uprightness.9 The LORD also will be a refuge for the oppressed, A refuge in times of trouble.10 And those who know Your name will put their trust in You; For You, LORD, have not forsaken those who seek You.11 Sing praises to the LORD, who dwells in Zion! Declare His deeds among the people.12 When He avenges blood, He remembers them; He does not forget the cry of the humble.13 Have mercy on me, O LORD! Consider my trouble from those who hate me, You who lift me up from the gates of death,14 That I may tell of all Your praise In the gates of the daughter of Zion. I will rejoice in Your salvation.15 The nations have sunk down in the pit which they made; In the net which they hid, their own foot is caught.16 The LORD is known by the judgment He executes; The wicked is snared in the work of his own hands. Meditation. Selah17 The wicked shall be turned into hell, And all the nations that forget God.18 For the needy shall not always be forgotten; The expectation of the poor shall not perish forever.19 Arise, O LORD, Do not let man prevail; Let the nations be judged in Your sight.20 Put them in fear, O LORD, That the nations may know themselves to be but men. Selah
We think that if we worry about something we will be able somehow to reduce the chances of whatever we’re worrying about happening, or if it does happen it won’t be as bad as it would be if we didn’t worry about it. Pastor Peter Haas, founding pastor of Substance Church in Minneapolis shares some statistics about worry that might cause us to think differently. Read this from “Waiting without worry by Susie Larson.
“Research shows that only 8% of the things we worry about actually come to pass. Of the 8% of worries that come to pass, research shows that only 4% of those things are things we could control anyway.”
In the end, that worry simply doesn’t make sense.
“It doesn’t actually help us at all. This is why the psalmist can say that the righteous man will have no fear of bad news because his heart is steadfast, trusting in the Lord. In the end, he will look in triumph at his foes.”
Psalm 112:6-8 (NLT) 6 Such people will not be overcome by evil. Those who are righteous will be long remembered.7 They do not fear bad news; they confidently trust the LORD to care for them.8 They are confident and fearless and can face their foes triumphantly.
It’s not that bad things won’t happen in our lives, but we don’t have to fear the bad things that do happen.
“The righteous man will have no fear of bad news because he knows how it’s going to end. No matter what happens to us, in the end, we will look at our past in triumph. Of the 4% of worries that are beyond our control, even those that do happen, when I look back on those moments, they are the most profound moments of my life.”
Even when the worst-case scenario happens, Peter says that God has enabled him to look back at those trials and see His hand at work on the other side.
“They are simply great stories to encourage people that pain is temporary. No matter who you are out there, I just want to encourage you that pain is temporary. If we could just take that eternal perspective and allow the Holy Spirit to give us that council, it’s going to change how we see things. I just want to encourage everybody to hold on. What is going on in your life right now, what you’re worrying about is temporary and God is going to show himself strong.”
Don’t Worry God Is On Your Side
In his letter to the Christians in Rome Paul Romans is a letter of instruction touching upon those main truths of the Gospel that Paul felt were needed by those in Rome. In chapter eight of that letter Paul introduces the purpose of God for those loving who loved him.
Romans 8:28-30 (NLT)28 And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them.29 For God knew his people in advance, and he chose them to become like his Son, so that his Son would be the firstborn among many brothers and sisters.30 And having chosen them, he called them to come to him. And having called them, he gave them right standing with himself. And having given them right standing, he gave them his glory.
Those who He called and made righteous He gave victory over all opposition because He is for us.
Romans 8:31-39 (NLT)31 What shall we say about such wonderful things as these? If God is for us, who can ever be against us?32 Since he did not spare even his own Son but gave him up for us all, won’t he also give us everything else?33 Who dares accuse us whom God has chosen for his own? No one—for God himself has given us right standing with himself.34 Who then will condemn us? No one—for Christ Jesus died for us and was raised to life for us, and he is sitting in the place of honor at God’s right hand, pleading for us.35 Can anything ever separate us from Christ’s love? Does it mean he no longer loves us if we have trouble or calamity, or are persecuted, or hungry, or destitute, or in danger, or threatened with death?36 (As the Scriptures say, “For your sake we are killed every day; we are being slaughtered like sheep.”)37 No, despite all these things, overwhelming victory is ours through Christ, who loved us.38 And I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from God’s love. Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither our fears for today nor our worries about tomorrow—not even the powers of hell can separate us from God’s love.39 No power in the sky above or in the earth below—indeed, nothing in all creation will ever be able to separate us from the love of God that is revealed in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Since God is for us we should not worry about anything. Paul summarizes these anythings into five areas. They are opposition, provision, accusation, condemnation, and separation.
In an article published on gwinnett.com. Jonathan Howes, Lead Pastor of Graystone Church, Loganville, Georgia tells us why we shouldn’t worry about these things. Here is the entire text of that article.
Never Worry About These 5 Things
In Romans 8:31-39 the Apostle Paul instructs Christians that God is for us, and he wants what is best for our lives. Through 5 rhetorical questions, the Apostle Paul reminds us of the incredible benefits of being on God’s team.
Since God is for us, we should never worry about these 5 things.
“What, then, shall we say in response to this? If God is for us, who can be against us?” (Romans 8:31) If God is for us, we do not have to worry about opposition. If God is on our team, we win. If God is on our side, the enemy has no chance. “You, dear children, are from God and have overcome them, because the one who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world.” (1 John 4:4) The one who is in you, Jesus, is greater than the one in the world, Satan. Since God is on our side, we do not have to worry about opposition.
“He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all—how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things?” (Romans 8:32) Since God gave us his only son, Jesus, He will graciously give us all things. Since God is for us, we do not have to worry about provision. God, our Heavenly Father, provides for all of his children. “And my God will meet all your needs according to his glorious riches in Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 4:19)
“Who will bring any charge against those whom God has chosen? It is God who justifies.” (Romans 8:33) Since God is on our side, we do not have to worry about accusation. “My dear children, I write this to you so that you will not sin. But if anybody does sin, we have one who speaks to the Father in our defense—Jesus Christ, the Righteous One.” (1 John 2:1) In God’s court of law, Satan is the prosecuting attorney, and he is always accusing us of doing wrong. But here’s the deal. Jesus is our defense attorney. He speaks to God the Father on our behalf. And God is the judge. It’s nice to have the defense attorney and the judge on our side. As Christians, we do not have to worry about accusations.
“Who is he that condemns? Christ Jesus, who died—more than that, who was raised to life—and is at the right hand of God and is interceding for us.” (Romans 8:34) The only person who can truly condemn us is Jesus. And he is for us. In fact, he died on the cross for our sins and is sitting at the right hand of God interceding for us. He is praying for us. He is speaking to the Father on our behalf. “Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus,” (Romans 8:1) We do not have to worry about being condemned, because “Jesus Christ died for our sins once and for all.” (1 Peter 3:18)
“Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword? No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (Romans 8:35-39) Once we place our faith in Jesus Christ there is nothing that can separate us from the love of Jesus. We have a close, personal relationship with Him that lasts for all eternity. In fact, eternal life is to know God through His Son, Jesus (John 17:3).
Once we come to know Jesus personally, God is for us! And if God is for us, who can be against us? Let’s thank Him today that we do not have to worry about these 5 things: opposition, provision, accusation, condemnation, and separation.
© 2017 The Gwinnett Citizen. All Rights Reserved
Isaiah 41:10-14 (NLT) 10 Don’t be afraid, for I am with you. Don’t be discouraged, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you. I will hold you up with my victorious right hand.11 “See, all your angry enemies lie there, confused and humiliated. Anyone who opposes you will die and come to nothing.12 You will look in vain for those who tried to conquer you. Those who attack you will come to nothing.13 For I hold you by your right hand— I, the LORD your God. And I say to you, ‘Don’t be afraid. I am here to help you.
14 Though you are a lowly worm, O Jacob, don’t be afraid, people of Israel, for I will help you. I am the LORD, your Redeemer. I am the Holy One of Israel.’
Romans 8:35-39 (NLT) 35 Can anything ever separate us from Christ’s love? Does it mean he no longer loves us if we have trouble or calamity, or are persecuted, or hungry, or destitute, or in danger, or threatened with death?36 (As the Scriptures say, “For your sake we are killed every day; we are being slaughtered like sheep.”)37 No, despite all these things, overwhelming victory is ours through Christ, who loved us.38 And I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from God’s love. Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither our fears for today nor our worries about tomorrow—not even the powers of hell can separate us from God’s love.39 No power in the sky above or in the earth below—indeed, nothing in all creation will ever be able to separate us from the love of God that is revealed in Christ Jesus our Lord.
DON'T WORRY BE HAPPY!
The God Of Compassion
In Psalm 146 the psalmist promises never ending praise to God. Don’t put all your trust in man no matter their position or title. Even the highest of among men (government or religions leaders) are not worthy of our confidence. If we put all of our trust in them we are sure to be disappointed. God Almighty is the only one worthy of our unending trust and praise.
This trust and praise based upon God's creation of the universe, his loving care of man, and the fact that He will reign forever. His leadership has no term of office and will never be terminated. He is the champion of the needy and the oppressed; He frees those bound by sin,; He opens the eye of the blind so that they can see their salvation; He protects the strangers (those who are not one of us); He cares for the widows and orphans those who need it most; and He frustrated the plans of the wicked they will not succeed forever their end is destruction.
For all these things we give God praise.
Never Ending Praise
Psalm 146:1-10 (NLT)1 Praise the LORD! Let all that I am praise the LORD.2 I will praise the LORD as long as I live. I will sing praises to my God with my dying breath.3 Don’t put your confidence in powerful people; there is no help for you there.4 When they breathe their last, they return to the earth, and all their plans die with them.5 But joyful are those who have the God of Israel as their helper, whose hope is in the LORD their God.6 He made heaven and earth, the sea, and everything in them. He keeps every promise forever.7 He gives justice to the oppressed and food to the hungry. The LORD frees the prisoners.8 The LORD opens the eyes of the blind. The LORD lifts up those who are weighed down. The LORD loves the godly.9 The LORD protects the foreigners among us. He cares for the orphans and widows, but he frustrates the plans of the wicked.10 The LORD will reign forever. He will be your God, O Jerusalem, throughout the generations. Praise the LORD!
Donald Jacobs is an ordained minister with the spiritual gift of teaching. He is the Associate Pastor of a non-denominational church in Los Angeles, CA.