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Learning to Pray in a Crisis

Posted on January 16, 2024
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In Daniel chapter 2, the lives of Daniel and his three friends are put in jeopardy when the king announces that all the wise men will be executed. Why? Because they could not figure out the meaning of the king’s dream. Daniel courageously went to the king and asked for more time so that he could “figure out” the dream (actually, he was going to pray like never before). 

 

Count on it, Christian: crises will come into your life! And in those moments, don’t call upon the doctors, don’t call upon your neighbors, don’t call upon the government, call upon God! There’s only so much man can do, but God is unlimited, so throw yourself upon His mighty arms. In a moment of crisis, Hezekiah made this statement: “With him [his enemy] is an arm of flesh; but with us is the LORD our God to help us, and to fight our battles” (II Chron. 32:8). This is still true for us today. 

 

Daniel returned and told the others that they had a short amount of time to figure out the dream. It was time for a prayer meeting. I’m sure if you had been there you would have heard those boys praying harder than ever. This was a matter of life and death, and only God could save them. Of course, God knew the answer and He had a perfect plan. 

 

Prayer meetings are in short supply in most churches today. If a church does have one, it’s easily the smallest attended meeting in the church. People don’t see it as very exciting, and perhaps it’s not, but it’s vitally important! It’s wonderful to come together with likeminded Christians and pray for the same requests. I wonder, do you ever pray with others? Do you pray as a family? Do you meet together with friends to share requests and pray? Does your church meet together to pray? There is power in corporate prayer. God is thrilled when He sees His people meeting together to bring their pleas and requests before His throne. 

 

The answer did not come during the prayer meeting. The boys nervously went to bed, hoping that God would still answer. During the night, Daniel had a vision in his sleep. It was Nebuchadnezzar’s dream! God had revealed it to him. He awoke and began praising God (Dan. 2:20-22). 

 

We can say with confidence that our prayers are in good hands. God is all-wise, all-powerful, and can easily answer our prayers and bring us out of those emergencies. The question should not be, “Will God answer my prayer?” The correct question would be, “Do I trust God to answer my prayer as He sees fit?” 

 

The reason we pray is for the answer. It would be foolish to pray if you did not believe the answer would ever come. But I fear sometimes we do this. Sometimes we pray just to make ourselves feel better. We don’t really want an answer. Don’t fall into this trap! Pray with the answer in mind, and don’t be content without an answer. This brings me to a very important point on prayer. 

 

Unfortunately, there’s nothing you can do to stop a crisis. You cannot see it coming, and when it strikes, it often seems hopeless. So let me give you some practical guidelines for praying through a crisis. None of these points are very deep, but they are things we need to remember in times of crisis. 

 

Beware of hasty decisions

 

When something horrible happens, our mental capabilities can “snap” and we can make some hasty decisions that we will later regret. The first step is to take a breath and let this situation sink in. Before you make any decisions, pray. Ask the Lord to give you wisdom concerning the situation, and He will. “If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him” (Jam. 1:5). 

 

Make God your hope

 

Perhaps your situation seems hopeless, but let me remind you that it is not! Our great God is actually called “the God of hope,” and He can bring hope to your crisis. Most likely He is your only hope. “Now the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that ye may abound in hope, through the power of the Holy Ghost” (Rom. 15:13). 

 

Have faith that God will work

 

    We’ve already discussed how important faith is, so be sure to put your faith in God, even if it seems (again) hopeless. Remember that we serve a God who can work miracles—and He still does them today. If you are lacking faith, just read the Bible—that’s how your faith can be strengthened. “So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God” (Rom. 10:17). 

 

Be patient—God is working 

 

If you’re like me, patience is not one of your strengths, but patience is vital in a crisis. Perhaps you need God to work right away, or perhaps this crisis seems like it will never end. Either way, give the whole thing to God and let Him work it out according to His time. He knows what He is doing. We want immediate answers, but like the butterfly that needs a certain amount of time in the molting process, we also need to let the Lord mold and shape us through the fiery trials of life so that we can come out as beautiful trophies of His grace. 

 

Whether you’re in a crisis or not, realize that prayer should be a vital part of any trial God allows in your life. Remember these truths—a trial might be right around the corner, and a man of prayer will be ready to seek the Lord when a crisis happens. When the attack comes, make prayer your iron-clad defense. 

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This article is an excerpt from Paul's book Becoming a Man of Prayer: A Study on the Life of Daniel. You can buy the book here 

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