How many of you have faced or are facing overwhelming problems? We pour out these problems to God in prayer, but – if you’re like me – sometimes I pray from a place of fear ... not a place of faith. The problems seem too big, too complicated, too painful. In my heart of hearts, I really don’t believe God can or will help me.
What I am learning is that if I use my problems as a springboard to worship God, I become able to pray from a place of faith. Instead of terrified, repetitive pleading, my petitions become clearer, simpler, and calmer ... because my FATHER is filling my mind’s eye, not my FEAR.
So, let’s enter a time of worship, using scripture to turn our problems into opportunities for praise.
Father, we come before you today with a lot of worry and concerns about the world we live in. There are national and international tensions everywhere. We take a moment now to bring you our biggest fears.
Amid all this uncertainty, we praise you because you are our refuge and strength. You are a very present help in trouble, therefore, we will not fear! We praise you, the Lord of hosts, because you are with us!
Father, we are struggling with sin today. Some of us feel enslaved by sin and are in despair. Listen as we confess the sins that seem to have a grip on us.
We praise you because you have promised that you will not allow us to be tempted beyond what we are able. You will provide the way of escape. We worship you because you give grace that never fails.
Father, some of us are living with chronic pain – physical, mental, or emotional. Day in and day out, we hurt. We take the time now to acknowledge the horror of pain, whether it is our own pain or the pain of someone we care about.
We worship you for your faithful, constant presence. You are with us in the midst of the pain. Even if we make our bed in Sheol, you are there. In our darkest night, you stay by our side. When it seems that we are the most alone, you are with us. We worship you because you will lead us through this dark night. We are in your hands now and forever.
Father, we all have friends or family members who do not know you. It seems like their hearts are hardened against you. We name these people to you now as we pray.
We were once in the same place and we are now saved and sanctified! We praise you and worship you because you can rescue them as well from the domain of darkness and transfer them to the kingdom of your beloved Son, redeeming them and forgiving every sin. What incredible grace!
Father, we also have friends and family members who have known you but who have walked away from you. Here are the people we are so concerned about, the prodigals we dearly love.
We praise you because we know that you love them. We thank you for disciplining them out of that love. We worship you because you never give up on your wayward children – you stand at the door of their hearts and knock, offering fellowship and joy and peace. How great is your love!
Father, some of us feel worn out. We are harried, stressed, and over-booked. We have burned the candle at both ends until there is nothing left. We sit quietly before you now, admitting how tired we are.
We worship you because you came to give us an abundant life. We praise you because you are able to make all grace abound to us, so that always, having all sufficiency in everything, we may have an abundance for every good deed. What an amazing promise!
Father, we have other concerns and problems that are burdening us today. We take a moment to name them, laying them before you.
We worship you because we know that you will make even these difficult or painful or terrible things work together for good because we love you and are called according to your purpose. We praise you because, as we submit these things, you will use them in our lives to conform us to the image of your Son, Jesus. That is the greatest good of all, and we are so thankful for your faithfulness to us.