Can you think of a time when you cried out to the Lord in a moment of desperation or need?
What do you remember about the situation? If you were anything like the Israelites, you were begging for a life-saving way out. They saw the rolling Red Sea in one direction and heard the approaching Egyptian army from the other. The Message reads, “They were totally afraid. They cried out in terror to God” (v. 10b).
And this wasn’t really even a cry of faith! They followed it up by asking Moses why he took them out of Egypt just to let them die in the wilderness. “Weren’t the cemeteries large enough in Egypt so that you had to take us out here to die…?” (v. 11, The Message)
But even if their prayer wasn’t filled with faith, at least they prayed it. At least the Israelites showed us that “when we can’t press forward, move sideward, or step backward, it’s time to look upward and to ask God to make a way” (Morgan, 44).
Do you ever hesitate to cry out to God, thinking that if He was going to fix a situation, He would have done it before now OR that He would never let things get so out of control? No? Just me? Well, it is in the seemingly improbable and impossible times that I learn best to let go and to let God do things in His time and in His way.
I recently cried out to God concerning a financial situation for someone I love. Several voices told her not to expect any assistance from her insurance company and they sounded like thundering Egyptians to our ears. Knowing we needed reinforcements, I invited several others to pray for the ‘Red Sea of bureaucracy’ to open up, allowing the needed monies to become available. Week after week, it was incredible to see claims being approved. The naysayers had said, “They’ll never approve this and, if somehow they do, it’ll just be for a few days of treatment.” And yet, forty-two days later, everything was covered (minus the deductible, of course).
Robert Morgan pointed out, “God doesn’t always say yes to all our requests, but He listens with unusual attentiveness when two or three gather in united prayer – and He responds in His own way and time with power and wisdom.”
Does God welcome crisis-time praying? Here’s one possible response: “Humble yourself, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that He may lift you up in due time. Cast all your anxiety on Him because He cares for you” (I Peter 5:6-7). How can you work on a stronger set of prayer habits during this season?
Questions to Ponder:
· Can you think of a time when you cried out to God in a moment of desperation or need? Jot down your recollection of the occasion.
· How can prayer help us transition from panic to peace AND from peace to praise?