God Sustains Us
We in the United States might not understand a people, a nation disgraced. But most of us have had times when it felt like even God was against us-those times when everything went wrong and a hopelessness descended upon us.
The people of Judah felt forsaken by God, yet affirmed that God was still in charge and prayed for restoration. If we think God is punishing us, why pray at all? We pray because we know no one can help us but God.
Our Christian hope and affirmation, is that God is in charge and God has already defeated evil. That gives us the courage to be honest in prayer. God already knows how we feel, but perhaps we need to know it or say it. The main thing is always to acknowledge that God is in control.
One translation of Romans 8:28 says, “We know that all things work together for good for those who love God….” That may seem trite to some people when faced with disasters like losing a job, going through a divorce, or the death of a loved one. The truth in it is that God sustains us through our crises and works in situations to help us grow and thrive.
—Rev. Marty Aden
- How do we carry out the stewardship of prayer? What risk do we encounter by being honest in prayer?
- Do you pray when you feel like God has forsaken you? Do you pray when you feel God is close at hand? For what other reasons do you pray?
- If God already knows how we feel, why do we have to pray? In what ways does the active “doing”” of prayer help you or have you heard helps others?
- Rewrite Romans 8:28 in your own words. Read different paraphrases and list the different ways of saying a specific thing that you noticed.
How Do I Act?
- Look up prayer in a worship dictionary to find different kinds of prayer. Write a prayer using one of these types of prayer. Do research to find prayers that certain forebears of the faith preferred.
- Discuss with a friend how God has helped you through a major crisis in your life.
- Do an individual or church-wide study on prayer. Your church librarian will be able to help you find a book. If not, contact Cumberland Presbyterian Resources, 8207 Traditional Place, Cordova, TN 38016, 901-276-4572, cpcmc.org/store, or contact Cindy Martin at email@example.com for suggestions.
- Begin to collect prayers that are important to you. They may be prayers from a book of prayers or individual prayers from a church worship service or some other source.