Have you ever been walking along life’s journey thinking, “I finally got a good handle on things. I’ve been praying, studying, doing all the things God wants me to do…” Then, all of a sudden, SMACK!!! You hit the proverbial wall that makes you question everything you ever thought you had a handle on. When this happens, and unfortunately it happens at the most inopportune times, what can we do to get over the wall? In life, we only have two choices: we can turn to God, or we can turn to the world. As Christians, turning to the world is never an option.
“I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service. And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.” (Romans 12:1-2)
We hit the wall, because we thought we had it all figured out—when really, we never truly have it ALL figured out. When we think we do, we just open the door for Satan to roar his big, fat, ugly head in. So, what do we do? Simply, we keep praying, studying, and doing what God wants us to. We got that much figured out, right? I guess that’s not much help then, huh?
Perhaps the moment you hit the wall you feel like you can’t pray. You feel so lost and inadequate that you can’t find the strength to even whisper, “Father, help me, please.” Or, maybe you feel so hurt and angry that you can’t even scream, “Where are you God, please don’t leave me; help me! Help ME! HELP ME!”
When we turn to the Psalms, we can see David pleading over and over with God in his despair. We can learn from David what true submission to God is, and just what to pray in those moments of deep desperation.
“But You, O Lord, do not be far from Me; O My Strength, hasten to help Me!” (Psalm 22:19)
“Make haste to help me, O Lord, my salvation!” (Psalm 38:22)
“Be pleased, O Lord, to deliver me; O Lord, make haste to help me!” (Psalm 40:13)
“Make haste, O God, to deliver me! Make haste to help me, O Lord!” (Psalm 70:1)
“O God, do not be far from me; O my God, make haste to help me!” (Psalm 71:12)
“Hear me when I call, O God of my righteousness! You have relieved me in my distress; Have mercy on me, and hear my prayer.” (Psalm 4:1)
“Consider and hear me, O Lord my God; Enlighten my eyes,” (Psalm 13:3a)
“Hear, O Lord, when I cry with my voice! Have mercy also upon me, and answer me.” (Psalm 27:7)
“Hear, O Lord, and have mercy on me; Lord, be my helper!” (Psalm 30:10)
“Hear my prayer, O God; Give ear to the words of my mouth.” (Psalm 54:2)
Help me! Hear me! These were David’s pleas, and they should be our pleas as well. Peter tells us to cast all of our cares upon God, because He cares for us (1 Peter 5:7). James tells us to submit to God, and resist the devil, and the devil will flee from us (James 4:7). It is through our submission to God that the devil flees, because the devil knows God is on our side when we submit to Him. The first part of James 4:8 says to, “Draw near to God and He will draw near to you.” God does not leave us, nor will He ever forsake us (Hebrews 13:5). When we fail to submit to God in prayer during these difficult times, we leave Him and fail to do His will.
So, yes, the easy part is to say keep praying, keep studying, keep doing God’s will. The challenging part is to FULLY submit to God when we feel so lost, angry, and hurt. What do we pray when we feel we can’t utter a prayer or have no idea what to pray? We turn to the Psalms. We pray one of these pleas as David prayed, and we simply ask God to hear us and help us in our weaknesses. We cry, and we plead to Him about whatever it is we are struggling with. We ask Him very specifically to take away our fear, or anger, or heartache, or bitterness. We ask Him specifically to give us courage, peace, comfort, patience, kindness, and self-control. We ask Him to help us trust Him more—to help us put our complete faith and hope in Him, The One who controls it all.
The harder we hit the wall, the harder we need to pray. No one else can do it for us. No one else can submit to God on our behalf. Yes, people can pray for us, but until we pray and ask God to help us with our own very specific struggles, we are not submitting to Him. These things that cause us to hit the wall will continue to plague us. Will they ever completely go away? Probably not; that’s why we hit the wall, right? Although, the next time we hit the wall, we will be able to get over it a little easier and a little faster. Each time we turn to God in those challenging moments, things will get easier, because the devil will say, “There she goes again submitting to God. I thought I had her this time, but nope.” Then, just as James said and God promised, the devil will turn right around and flee.
Don’t give up! Turn to God, and plead with Him to help you with whatever your proverbial wall is. He has promised to help us, and He is faithful!
“Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful.” (Hebrews 10:23)