“At the profoundest depths in life, men talk not about God, but with Him.” — D. Elton Trueblood
“A Christian should never let adversity get him down, except on his knees.” — Mae Nicholson
“While the fire is hot, keep conversing with the Refiner.” — F. B. Meyer
“In the day when I cried thou answeredst me, and strengthenedst me with strength in my soul” (Ps. 138:3).
There is a correlation between prayer and strength. Here the Psalmist called, and God answered him by encouraging him with strength in his soul. Horatius Bonar wisely commented, “In the day of prosperity, we have many refuges to resort to; in the day of adversity, only one.” And one is enough — when it is the right One.
Weakness is a call to prayer. Sickness is a call to intercession. “Is any among you afflicted? let him pray” (James 5:13). Having others pray for you is one thing, but praying for yourself is very important too. Very few are going to pray for you like you! There may be some intercessors who will shoulder your burden, but chances are there will not be a throng beseeching the Throne on your behalf with fervency and intensity. Of course, you should solicit prayer support from others, but James says, when you suffer hardship you should pray.
Often in the Bible we find weak people praying and in need of prayer. Paul opened his heart, “For we would not, brethren, have you ignorant of our trouble which came to us in Asia, that we were pressed out of measure, above strength, insomuch that we despaired even of life . . . Ye also helping together by prayer for us” (2 Cor. 1:8, 11). Weighed down beyond description, Paul and his entourage were in utter despondency. They were so overwhelmed that day-today existence brought despair. Now this must have been a serious burden if even death seemed preferable. Hardships do not make us frail; they only reveal how frail we really are. So, when adverse circumstances are weighing you down or your acquaintances are crushed with burdens, you should pray. Prayer brings heavenly resources to bear upon your situation. “But they that wait upon the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint” (Isa. 40:31). Strength is what you need when you are weak, and strength is what you get when you pray.
“And Samson called unto the LORD, and said, O Lord God, remember me, I pray thee, and strengthen me, I pray thee, only this once, O God, that I may be at once avenged of the Philistines for my two eyes” (Judges 16:28). Samson had forfeited his power through his involvement with Delilah. The haircut he got in the Devil’s barbershop had stripped him of his supernatural strength. He was blind, weak, and mocked; yet he called on the Lord and appealed for the power he had lost. God heard his cry and anointed him with strength to take vengeance on God’s enemies.
If you are keenly aware of your weakness, you are in a perfect position to cry out to the Lord. You may be weak in body, emotional reserves, faith, and mind; but don’t despair. The very troubles you are experiencing may be the very tools God uses to fashion you for better things. “God does not mock His children with a night that has no ending; and to every man who stands resolute while the darkness lasts, there comes at length the vindication of faith and the breaking of the day,” says James S. Stewart. The low valley may well be the prelude to walking in high places with hind’s feet (Hab. 3:19). Be encouraged for “He giveth power to the faint; and to them that have no might he increaseth strength” (Isa. 40:29).
- Are you praying?
- Are your prayers characterized by an active waiting upon the Lord for strength and renewal?
- Is your heart being encouraged by God’s promises to His weak and often-fainting children?
Taken from “Extraordinary Strength in Adversity” by Harold Vaughan. CLICK HERE for more information on the book.