How to Pray Through Your Problems
Psalm 3 (A psalm of David. When he fled from his son Absalom.) Lord, how many are my foes! How many rise up against me! Many are saying of me, “God will not deliver him.” But you, Lord, are a shield around me, my glory, the One who lifts my head high. I call out to the Lord, and he answers me from his holy mountain. I lie down and sleep; I wake again, because the Lord sustains me. I will not fear though tens of thousands assail me on every side. Arise, Lord! Deliver me, my God! Strike all my enemies on the jaw; break the teeth of the wicked. From the Lord comes deliverance. May your blessing be on your people.
David had a bunch of problems. Think about his life… He was on the run from Absalom, and before that Saul – both of which were problems he brought on himself. Problems come in all sizes and shapes and we all have them. David shows us how he prayed through his problems and how we can pray through ours. Let’s look at Psalm 3 and focus in on seven ways David shows us how to pray through our problems.
- GOD WILL ALWAYS BE WITH ME. Ps 3:1: Lord, how many are my foes! How many rise up against me!
David’s prayer starts off with the understanding that God is with Him as he cries for help. Like David, we need to honestly admit our situation to God, knowing that He is present. God knows our circumstances. He cares, He’s aware and He will never leave or forsake us. We will persevere in His power and in His name, just like David did. What is the problem that weighs heavy on your heart today? Give it to Jesus! He is with you always.
- GOD WILL HELP ME OVERCOME DOUBT AND DISCOURAGEMENT. Ps 3:2: Many are saying of me, “God will not deliver him.”
One of the things I encounter most in the work I do with people is trying to encourage those who feel they are being dragged down by life. Discouragement and despair run rampant but we need to keep encouraged in Christ. We all understand and have to deal with discouragement. One of the things I find helpful when dealing with discouragement is to specifically identify the source of discouragement and call it out. Compare it to the promises and power and riches of Christ and let that source of discouragement know that it will not own or define us, that it will not determine the level of joy and impact we will have in this life. David took his doubt and discouragement to God. He called it out and in so doing put his trust in the Lord to help him deal with his doubt and despair.
- GOD WILL GIVE ME STRENGTH. Ps 3:3: But you, Lord, are a shield around me, my glory, the One who lifts my head high.
The reason I don’t doubt is because of God’s strength. David prayed “Lord, you are my strength, you are my shield.” Because we serve an all powerful, all-knowing, ever-present God we can have faith and confidence that He has our back. He is a shield around us. What is the problem you’re praying about today? Remember, He’s got you; He is a shield around you. Nothing is too big, too complicated or too messy for God.
- GOD WILL ANSWER ME. Ps 3:4: I call out to the Lord, and he answers me from his holy mountain.
When God seems silent it doesn’t mean He doesn’t hear. When it feels like God is not answering, by faith we can know that He does hear and that He will answer us. Don’t doubt or be discouraged by His apparent silence. Instead, in faith, remember that we serve a prayer-answering God and He will not give us something He knows will be bad for us. David knew God was there and that He heard him and would answer him. He knew that God had his best interest at heart. It was central to His faith and it needs to be central to our faith, too. What is the problem, trial, and/or adversity you’re dealing with? Remember, God promises us in His Word that He hears every word that we pray to Him. Like a good parent, He is waiting, ready and willing, to listen to our worries, concerns, and needs.
- GOD WILL SUSTAIN ME. Ps 3:5: I lie down and sleep; I wake again, because the Lord sustains me.
I think there are times when we feel like our heart has been crushed or our mind is about to explode. I want to remind you today that when life is the hardest and most hopeless, Jesus is right there with us and He will sustain us! He will help us get through to the other side. David prayed and affirmed: “I will wake again because my God will sustain me.” Pray that way today over your current situation.
- GOD WILL REPLACE MY FEAR WITH FAITH. Ps 3:6: I will not fear though tens of thousands assail me on every side.
Fear can cripple and immobilize us. We can be frozen emotionally, relationally, even spiritually, by fear. We can be stuck by fear, unsure of what to do, unable to do what we know we must. David prayed, “I have God on my side, and His love and strength and help drives out fear.” I don’t care what the odds are against us, how big our problems might seem, our God is bigger still! Trust Him and cast your cares on Him.
- GOD WILL DELIVER ME. Ps 3:7,8: Arise, Lord! Deliver me, my God! Strike all my enemies on the jaw; break the teeth of the wicked. From the Lord comes deliverance. May your blessing be on your people.
One of the reasons we love the Bible so much is that it is real. Here, David tells us how he really feels, his real, raw emotions flowing out. David needed God’s intervention and deliverance and he prayed specifically and passionately from his heart. Sometimes we need to pray a very specific and raw and real and emotional prayer of one word… HELP! We do not waver, we do not doubt, because we are convinced of His love and mercy and kindness and power. God doesn’t promise in the Bible to take our problems away, but He does promise to carry us through them and help us overcome them.
God will always be with you. God will help you overcome doubt and discouragement. God will give you strength; He will answer you. God will sustain you and replace your fear with faith. Ask Him today.