Prayer and Reflections

When My Heart Is Overwhelmed

Hear my cry, O God; attend to my prayer. From the end of the earth I will cry to You. When my heart is overwhelmed, lead me to the rock that is higher than I.
- Psalms 61:1-2

Overwhelmed by the uncertainty and chaos of our times? When our world spins out of control, we are tempted to wring our hands with a sense of helplessness and hopelessness or to lapse into denial and complacency. Neither is productive when facing life’s negative realities. Although our problems result from within ourselves and our world, we need wisdom to respond in ways that nurture our faith rather than diminish it. James 1:5 advises to humble ourselves and ask God for the wisdom we need. It is through His Word that He most often instructs, guides, and counsels, thus the importance of spending time in it daily, seeking to grow in our knowledge of Him rather than merely to find answers. 

The Bible teaches that communication with God is possible only through a personal relationship with Him, as we recognize and confess our sinful nature and accept Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior. It is only through His atoning blood, shed at Calvary, that we gain salvation and access to God, the Father (Acts 16:31). When facing overwhelming situations, we would do well to:

 - Be honest and acknowledge the existence of sin in our own lives, as well as in the world around us, with faith and trust in God and His ultimate control. Denial doesn’t make the problems disappear, and obsessing over them only magnifies and increases our focus on them. Identifying and verbalizing problems does help us to recognize our need and the only true source of wisdom and help.

- Make a habit of worshiping God even in the midst of fear, uncertainty, and confusion. Praising Him for who He is rather than what He does enables us to shift our focus to our greatest resource—God Himself—who is waiting for us to reach out to Him.

- Pray daily in a spirit of faith and trust as you continually seek His will rather than dictating your will to Him. Too often this is our last step rather than our first. Ask God to give you the wisdom to change what you can and the faith to trust Him with what you cannot. Pray for discernment in recognizing truth vs. deception. Redirect your energies to intercessory prayer for others in need. Offer prayers of gratitude and praise when He intervenes and share with others His marvelous love, grace, and mercy.

“...praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit---being watchful to the end with all perseverance and supplication for all saints." Ephesians 6:18

So often I have come, Lord,
Seeking answers for my prayers,
But instead of finding answers
Gained greater knowledge of You there.

So often I have sought relief
From the burdens of the day,
And gained a new perspective
That brought peace and joy my way.

So often I have seen despair
Give way to hope and light,
And found grace and strength to overcome,
Through Your wisdom, love, and light.

And so I've learned to daily knock
At heaven's door in prayer,
And trust by faith You'll hear me,
And in Your love will meet me there.

From Reflections on Prayer: Growing in Intimacy with God, © 2018, Doris Haver Rouse.

For additional thoughts and poems, visit Doris Rouse's Amazon page.

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