It’s the little things that get you. Well, it’s kind of the big things too–those situations that push you right over the edge you’ve been so carefully negotiating for way too long. Before you even know what hit you, you’re ready to pull your hair out, throw in the towel, and cry uncle.
When that feeling strikes, what do you do? Some of us shut down completely. Some of us try to numb the unpleasant sensation with alcohol, drugs, food, shopping. Others of us explode with a litany of complaints (or worse!) and shake our fists at God. But as believers, we can choose a better–and much more effective–option.
Do you remember back in grade school when you were taught what to do if your clothes caught on fire? Stop, Drop, and Roll. It’s one of those lessons you will never forget–three simple things to remember, three simple things to do to put out the fire and save yourself. Recently, the Lord showed me three simple things to pray when you feel like your life is going up in flames:
- God, I know you understand.
- God, I know you care.
- God, I know you’ll help me.
Let me elaborate a little.
- God, I know you understand. I don’t know about you, but feeling misunderstood has to be one of the worst feelings for me. It feels like such a bitter injustice when you know your intentions or even your actions have been misinterpreted. Sometimes that happens when we are blind to our own shortcomings or sin, and other times, it has more to do with what the other person is dealing with. But we can be assured that 100% of the time, God knows and understands us completely and accurately. We can take great comfort in this truth, and knowing we are understood gives us a solid place to stand, and an accurate perspective on our situation.
O Lord, you examine me and know. You know when I sit down and when I get up; even from far away you understand my motives. Ps.139:1-2 NET
- God, I know you care. This is perhaps the most important truth we can confess before the Lord and to our own spirits. He does care–not just generally (because he’s God and he has to), but specifically. He cares about YOU and every little detail in your life. He cares about what matters to you and he is supremely interested in all matters that pertain to your life, your heart, and your eternal place with him. The Father never brushes you aside to attend to more important matters. When you come to him, you have his full attention and his passionate, devoted love.
The Lord directs the steps of the godly.
He delights in every detail of their lives.
Though they stumble, they will never fall,
for the Lord holds them by the hand. Ps. 37:23-24 NLT
- God, I know you’ll help me. This is a promise we can absolutely count on. It is so essential to the very nature of God that he takes it as one of his names: The Helper (Jn 14:26). He is our rescuer, our problem-solver, our deliverer, our defender. Though he is outside of and above all our circumstances, he does not help us at an arm’s length–he gets right there in it with us and works on our behalf for not only our good, but for our best. He may not always help us in the way we ask for, but he will either give us what we want or something better. Always.
For I, the Lord your God, hold your right hand;
it is I who say to you, “Fear not; I am the one who helps you.” Isa. 41:13 ESV
These three things aren’t intended to be a magic formula, but sometimes, the most complex situations and emotions require the simplest of prayers. Often, our minds are so bogged down with the details, it’s hard to even make sense in our prayers–and that’s OK too. He gets it; he understands. He cares, and he will help you. Stop, drop, and roll.
Do you have a go-to prayer for crisis situations? How has it helped you?
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