“I rise before dawn and cry for help; I have put my hope in your word.” Psalm 119:147 (NIV)
Some situations weigh heavily on our hearts. Sleep may even become elusive if a sense of desperation creeps into our thoughts. At some point we’ve all given God our preferred solution. But if we’re not mindful, praying in desperation can lead to praying outside of God’s will. So how should we pray in a desperate situation?
First, effective prayer is always in harmony with Scripture. God and His Word are like an infinite circle—one constantly leads us to the other. So our confidence in the Lord doesn’t waver when we place our trust in what the Bible says. And that kind of faith grows by thoroughly knowing God through His Word.
This connection is clear in today’s key verse. The psalmist resolved to hope in God and His Word, even though his troubling situation was unresolved. And again in verse 149, “Hear my voice in accordance with your love; preserve my life, O Lord, according to your laws.”
Secondly, our visible reality doesn’t diminish our invisible reality. The psalmist saw both clearly. “Those who devise wicked schemes are near, but they are far from your law. Yet you are near, Lord, and all your commands are true” (Psalm 119:150-151 NIV).
Throughout this stanza he only mentions those causing his troubles once. Perhaps that’s because He focused on the presence of God and the truth of His Word. Just because we cannot visibly see God doesn’t change the fact that He is there. He is just as real in our daily lives as the people who cause our troubles.
Oswald Chambers put it this way, “The only abiding reality is God Himself. Am I continually in touch with the reality of God, or do I pray only when things have gone wrong—when there is some disturbance in my life? The point of prayer is not to get answers from God, but to have perfect and complete oneness with Him.”
Are you praying in desperation? Conventional wisdom says that desperate times call for desperate measures. Godly wisdom reveals that desperate situations prove our faith. Will you resolve to trust in God and hope in His Word—regardless of the outcome? Praying in line with Scripture keeps your visible reality from overshadowing your invisible reality. Then, that sense of desperation is replaced with inexplicable peace.