There are few guarantees in life. However, one of them is that at some point in time we’ll all need some extra help getting out of situations we can’t handle. Facing trouble and not knowing what to do can leave us feeling vulnerable and powerless; asking God for His help provides insights that we may not have known even existed. Going to Him in prayer whenever we need guidance empowers our lives.
Most people would never think to pray when they need help. Some assume that praying is a sign of weakness; nothing could be further from the truth. Prayer is simply having a conversation with God, who created us and has all the answers we need. He loves us and wants to talk with us, and He’s always willing to step in and provide assistance when we ask. “This is God’s Message, the God who made earth, made it livable and lasting, known everywhere as God: ‘Call to me and I will answer you. I’ll tell you marvelous and wondrous things that you could never figure out on your own’” (Jeremiah 33:2, 3, MSG).
When we hit a snag, we may initially think we can find our own solution to the problem; we’ll begin to see things differently after we’ve struggled awhile with no results. During Jesus’ ministry, a woman who suffered with a bleeding disorder spent twelve years trying to find someone who could help, to no avail. She was finally healed when she turned to Jesus (Mark 5:25-34; Luke 8:43-48). When we prayerfully turn to God when everyone else has let us down, our faith in what He is willing and able to do in our lives makes a powerful difference.
God loves to hear from us even when we’re not in crisis mode. Acknowledging Him and asking for His input in our everyday lives gives us wisdom and discernment that come from someone far greater than us, and enables us to understand things that mystify everyone else. By getting in the habit of going to Him in prayer regularly, we begin to catch glimpses of His will for us. “Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you” (1 Thessalonians 5:16-18, NKJV).
A grateful heart willing to give thanks to God strengthens our prayer lives. We all have plenty of reasons to thank Him; pausing for a moment to focus on all the good things He has brought into our lives changes our prayers from a miserable monologue to a joyful dialogue with our Creator. The joy that comes from God goes much deeper than feelings and emotions. Finding something to be joyful about when we pray—even when things go wrong—brings us into His presence. “Although the fig tree shall not blossom, neither shall fruit be in the vines; the labour of the olive shall fail, and the fields shall yield no meat; the flock shall be cut off from the fold, and there shall be no herd in the stalls: Yet I will rejoice in the Lord, I will joy in the God of my salvation” (Habakkuk 3:17, 18).
Salvation is defined as deliverance from harm, ruin, or loss. We can experience that right now while we’re still on earth. God’s will for those who believe in Him is to be able to carry them through the messes of life. Connecting with Him through prayer allows Him to do this for us.