When you are at the end of your rope, where do you turn for strength to keep holding on?
Many years ago, I would turn to Christian self-help books and I found myself getting more and more discouraged because I could not live up to the expectations that were described. A wise friend told me that those books don't talk about real people and real relationships. She encouraged me to spend six months reading only the Psalms because they do talk about real people (David and the other psalmists) in relationship to God and other real people.
When I finished the six months, I was so encouraged that I continued to read the psalms for many more years and still find myself drawn to them on a daily basis.
Gina Poirer puts it this way in her post:
Have you ever been at a loss about how to pray?
I have…particularly when I’m also feeling exhausted and weak. I need prayers for strength more than ever, but when I try to talk to God, I just draw blanks.
She goes on to say:
I’ve had to tell myself that it’s normal to feel a bit wordless when you’re worn out. When you’re going through a hard time, and most of your emotional energy is spent on just getting through to the end of the day, it’s hard to focus on much of anything.
One of her 5 ways to pray for strength from the Psalms is to pray “wrestling prayers”
Early in my Psalms study I came across Psalm 13:
How long, Lord? Will you forget me forever?
How long will you hide your face from me?
How long must I wrestle with my thoughts
and day after day have sorrow in my heart?
How long will my enemy triumph over me?
But I trust in your unfailing love;
my heart rejoices in your salvation.
I will sing the Lord’s praise,
for he has been good to me.
–Psalm 13: 1–2, 5–6
Because this Psalm described how I felt, I committed it to memory sung to the tune of Finlandia, the tune to which my high school Alma Mater was sung. My Dad, a history teacher at my high school, always loved that tune and one of the last things he did for me was photocopy the sheet music to which I wrote out the verses of Psalm 13. Notice how the psalmist pours out his despair in the opening verses but has been able to rejoice by the end of the Psalm. That is why the Psalms are so helpful in helping one deal with discouragement.
Be sure to check out Gina's full post and the other four ways to pray for strength from the Psalms:
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For more than 15 years, God has used Experiencing God in His work, showing believers how to know Him intimately while encouraging them to step out in faith and join Him in His work with miraculous results. The revised Member Book has been updated with new illustration and testimonial content that demonstrates how this study contributed to some truly miraculous results.
Begin 2020 by reading a new devotional called The One Year Adventure with The God of Your Story. It follows the scripture readings in Tyndale's The One Year Bible Creative Expression . It is written by Brian Hardin who founded the Daily Audio Bible podcast, in which he shares similar devotional commentary verbally.