Take it to the Lord in Prayer | The Institute for Creation Research
Take it to the Lord in Prayer
In a recent ICR Facebook post,1 friends shared how they structured their prayers, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic. Several offered various models (e.g., A.C.T.S., P.R.A.Y., The Lord’s Prayer). Others said they lift up their prayers conversationally, talking with Jesus as to a close friend in the same room. There are certainly times for both formal and informal prayers. The key is to be intentional about regularly communicating with God throughout the day.

But how can we “pray without ceasing”2 while remaining faithful to our duties and responsibilities? ICR founder Dr. Henry Morris said,

To pray without ceasing means simply to be free to communicate quickly with Him, night and day, always in an attitude of prayer.3

With this in mind, here are a few suggestions for Christians to trigger their hearts to seek God through prayer—day or night.

Perhaps set an alarm on your phone to remind you to stop what you’re doing, go outside, and pray. Move around, get fresh air, and soak up sunshine. Shift your thoughts to focus on communication with God.

Specific requests or praises might come to mind. Maybe you’ll see an airplane on its landing approach—pray for the Lord to protect the pilots, flight attendants, passengers, ground crew, and gate agents, and that he might providentially introduce them to the gospel and that they might be saved.

If you’re reading an ICR article4 and discover an attribute of God, then praise the Lord and give Him thanks! This might not be a planned prayer session, but it becomes an ideal opportunity for adoration and thanksgiving. It might take 5 seconds or even 5 minutes. But recognizing who Jesus is and why He died for us might help refocus your heart.

Personally, I often think about my wife since she works in the healthcare industry. I beg the Lord to keep her and many others safe and well. They’re risking their lives to help those facing the worst of the crisis. I also ask the Lord to protect the families of healthcare workers. Exposure to the coronavirus can be dangerous for any age. I’ve heard of some doctors sleeping in tents in their garage to prevent contaminating their homes and putting family members at risk. The devil can certainly try to use this time to add more division to the family unit. Pray for the protection of marriages, families, and the next generation.

Perhaps you find yourself worrying and being anxious about various troubles. Addressing the nature of rational anxieties, Brad Hambrick suggests,

Acknowledge the realness of the concern. Many psalms do this. Find Psalms that match your concern. It is not a virtue to pretend real potential dangers don’t exist. Proportional concern is wise.5

King David penned many of his psalms during the most intense trials of his life. We essentially get a glimpse into his personal prayer journal. These were words he spoke directly to the Lord.

How many times did David cry out to God to rescue him, save his life, defeat enemy rulers or nations, or make His omnipotence and justice known to ungodly, idolatrous foes? The Bible is clear: God heard and answered David’s prayers. We see many times how God kept His promises and delivered David.

Our own trial-induced prayers find commonality with David’s songs. When you’re facing a moment of fear or anxiety, try this: Pick a psalm that resonates with your conflict, read it carefully, and then pray through each verse.6

Here are three of my favorite passages that have comforted my heart through meditation and prayer:

My soul, wait silently for God alone, For my expectation is from Him. He only is my rock and my salvation; He is my defense; I shall not be moved. In God is my salvation and my glory; The rock of my strength, And my refuge, is in God. Trust in Him at all times, you people; Pour out your heart before Him; God is a refuge for us. Selah7

Bless the Lord, O my soul; And all that is within me, bless His holy name! Bless the Lord, O my soul, And forget not all His benefits: Who forgives all your iniquities, Who heals all your diseases, Who redeems your life from destruction, Who crowns you with lovingkindness and tender mercies, Who satisfies your mouth with good things, So that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s. The Lord executes righteousness And justice for all who are oppressed.8

I will lift up my eyes to the hills— From whence comes my help? My help comes from the Lord, Who made heaven and earth.9

Since this time has us all quarantined at home, don’t neglect the opportunities to make prayer a group activity, too. Pray with your family—when you wake up, at meal times, during family devotions, before bed, and even in the middle of the night, if necessary. Meditate on and memorize Scripture together. Establish these habits now for your family to continue beyond this global health crisis.

What about including those not under your roof? Many video chat platforms alleviate the problem of distance. Schedule times to pray together on the phone with family and friends. Set up a video conference with your Bible study or home group. Commit to share your prayer requests and praises daily via text, email, or direct message. Talk about your concerns, fears, or even joyful surprises. Most importantly, remind each other about God’s character, His Word, and the glory and hope of the gospel.

Do you truly believe that God loves you and will work everything together for your ultimate good?10 Find your comfort, hope, and peace in Jesus. He knows your needs. He hears your prayers. When you are tempted to worry or be anxious, take it to the Lord in prayer. Like the old hymn reminds us:

Have we trials and temptations?
Is there trouble anywhere?
We should never be discouraged,
Take it to the Lord in prayer.
Can we find a friend so faithful
Who will all our sorrows share?
Jesus knows our every weakness,
Take it to the Lord in prayer.11

References
1. How do you structure your prayers? Do you follow a specific model?‬‬‬‬‬‬‬ ICR Facebook page.
2. 1 Thessalonians‬ ‭5:16-18‬.‬‬‬‬‬
3. Morris, H. M. Unceasing Prayer. Days of Praise. Posted on ICR.org, accessed April 2, 2020.
4. ICR Newsroom.
5. Hambrick, B. Sorting Through Our COVID Anxieties. Posted on bradhambrick.com March 31, 2020, accessed April 2, 2020.
6. I learned about praying through the Psalms from Donald S. Whitney in his book Praying the Bible. There is an app for that too—Five Psalms.
7. Psalm 62:5-8.
8. Psalm 103:1-6.
9. Psalm 121:1-2.
10. Romans 8:28.
11. “What a Friend We Have in Jesus.” Posted on hymnal.net, accessed April 10, 2020.

*Michael Hansen is Digital Marketing Specialist at the Institute for Creation Research.
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