When a Word Becomes a Prayer

Turning to God During Times of Crisis

By Mason Slater
  • March 27, 2015

“Help!” There are times when that word becomes a prayer. Like when my daughter slipped  trying to get out of the bathtub. I grabbed her mid-flip, but not before her head hit the floor. Or when my car started sliding sideways down an icy road, and I could see traffic barreling towards me out of my car’s passenger-side window. Or when that letter from the IRS arrived in the mail, with numbers so large, I dropped the letter in shock.

Time slows, your heart races, and you cry out to God. It might be inarticulate, messy, and short, but all you can do is trust that God hears you and try to remember that when we don’t know how or what to pray, “the Spirit Himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words” (Rom. 8:26).

Thankfully, my daughter was fine (as terrifying as it was to see), my car recovered, and for the most part, things turned out alright with the IRS. But that’s not always the case. Sometimes you know it’s not going to be ok. Or sometimes you don’t know, and the uncertainty drags on with no end in sight.

In those times of crisis, we instinctively cry out for help. We turn to God for answers, for intervention, and to find our footing again when the rug is pulled out from under us. The good news is: He is there.

The night before his crucifixion, Jesus went to a place called Gethsemane to pray. The fateful hour was approaching rapidly—the hour when he would take upon Himself the weight of the world’s sin. Unlike us most of the time, He knew what was to come, and yet He still cried out to the Father, asking, “If it is possible, let this cup pass from Me” (Matt. 26:39).

But the most important part of that prayer came next, when He prayed, “Your will be done” (Matt. 26:42). We can experience peace when we trust that God’s will is greater than our own and that He is in control of all that happens to us.

So when you cry out to God in a moment of fear or distress, know that He is there. He hears you, and He will answer you in His own special way, giving you a comfort and peace only He can provide.

Read more articles on the topic of prayer in the Learn section.

Related Topics:  Prayer  |  Fear  |  Anxiety

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What happens to my notes

26 In the same way the Spirit also helps our weakness; for we do not know how to pray as we should, but the Spirit Himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words;

39 And He went a little beyond them, and fell on His face and prayed, saying, My Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass from Me; yet not as I will, but as You will."

42 He went away again a second time and prayed, saying, My Father, if this cannot pass away unless I drink it, Your will be done."

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