Stuck in a Trial?
We go through times when our hard and painful circumstances seem like they are getting the best of us, and our faith feels as though we are walking on a tight rope, a thousand feet off the ground, unharnessed. We are tested, tried and probably at times, on the verge of losing it. We can wonder, “What’s wrong with me? Am I that broken?” (The answer should come down to a resigned “Yes”. But that’s for another day! ; )
These times look and feel messy. And fear takes advantage of our fragile hearts and minds.
This place might just be where God wants us. And though there are many reasons and circumstances that bring each of us here, there is a pattern of prayer that Christ held in his most trying time that can apply to us all. Never underestimate the power of prayer.
From Spurgeon’s Morning and Evening: Daily readings…
“And he went a little farther, and fell on his face, and prayed.” —Matthew 26:39
There are several instructive features in our Saviour’s prayer in his hour of trial. It was lonely prayer. He withdrew even from his three favoured disciples. Believer, be much in solitary prayer, especially in times of trial. Family prayer, social prayer, prayer in the Church, will not suffice, these are very precious, but the best beaten spice will smoke in your censer in your private devotions, where no ear hears but God’s.
It was humble prayer. Luke says he knelt, but another evangelist says he “fell on his face.” Where, then, must be THY place, thou humble servant of the great Master? What dust and ashes should cover thy head! Humility gives us good foot-hold in prayer. There is no hope of prevalence with God unless we abase ourselves that he may exalt us in due time.
It was filial prayer. “Abba, Father.” You will find it a stronghold in the day of trial to plead your adoption. You have no rights as a subject, you have forfeited them by your treason; but nothing can forfeit a child’s right to a father’s protection. Be not afraid to say, “My Father, hear my cry.”
Observe that it was persevering prayer. He prayed three times. Cease not until you prevail. Be as the importunate widow, whose continual coming earned what her first supplication could not win. Continue in prayer, and watch in the same with thanksgiving.
Lastly, it was the prayer of resignation. “Nevertheless, not as I will, but as thou wilt.” Yield, and God yields. Let it be as God wills, and God will determine for the best. Be thou content to leave thy prayer in his hands, who knows when to give, and how to give, and what to give, and what to withhold. So pleading, earnestly, importunately, yet with humility and resignation, thou shalt surely prevail.
Spurgeon, C. H. (1896). Morning and evening: Daily readings. London.
Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary (Mt 26:36-46) shares:
According to this example of Christ, we must drink of the bitterest cup which God puts into our hands; though nature struggle, it must submit. It should be more our care to get troubles sanctified, and our hearts satisfied under them, than to get them taken away.
Eileen is the wife of a Delta pilot. Her blog series is entitled “Fine Lines in the Faith.” More about the author in her own words: “I’m a Sunday school grad. I’ve accepted Jesus in my heart more times than I can remember. I’ve worn masks well and God has stripped me of them, painfully. He has broken my spiritual legs and taught me how to walk again, painfully. Still learning to walk. The unknown is unsettling to me. This place is the start of a journey unknown to me. I don’t know who will visit here or who will stay, if these words will be criticized or will bless. But I welcome you here! My true hope is that this is the start of an act of obedience to God’s calling, a calling to write what He has entrusted to me. Join me in this journey to know Him more, love Him more and grow in our freedom by pursuing these fine lines in the faith.