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January 7, 2023 12:00 pm
Robby: So today we want to talk especially to those listeners who are going
through a crisis. And if you’re not, we want to encourage you to listen in.
Because today’s talk will be helpful whatever season you’re in, whether for
you or someone you love. James?
James: That’s right. We want to talk about “Prayers from the Pit”—think
about Joseph, thrown into a pit by his brothers, then sold into slavery, one
crisis after another.
Robby: James, when we were talking about this before you mentioned that
you read something today about this that you really found helpful.
James: Yeah, that will set this up well. A friend of mine gave me a book of
quotes from Charles Spurgeon, the amazingly gifted British preacher. Just
listen to this, because there’s a lot of truth in it (James reads).
Robby: That’s beautiful. And that really does lead us right into talking about
prayer, because when you’re going through something like that, it can be
hard on your relationship with God. You can wonder why He allows it, what
He’s up to, and that can really have an impact on the ways that we pray.
James: Exactly. And that’s what I wanted to do today, to talk to that person
who is in that place right now and encourage you, even though it’s hard,
even though it’s dark right now, don’t give up. Especially don’t give up on
Robby: I can see why you’d like that message from Spurgeon so much,
because you’ve really been there. I know there were some times where you
and your wife had to feel like you were—how did Spurgeon put it—“marked
for sorrow” because of what was going on in your life with your kids. But
then later, you became a comforter to others because of it, especially the
parents of other prodigals, helping them learn how to pray in those times
through your book “Prayers for Prodigals”
James: Yeah, that’s just the thing. You wonder why God allows it at the
time—and I’m not just talking about those “life doesn’t seem fair” moments,
I’m talking about those circumstances that are heartbreaking. And then
later you see how God really did get you through even those moments
when it seemed like He wasn’t there. But you have to go through them, you
have to feel it in your own skin. Because if you don’t go through something
like that you won’t be as real when it comes to helping others. And of
course that’s the farthest thing from your mind in the moment, you just want
to go through it, to come through the other side. And this is where it comes
down to prayer. How do you pray at a time like that? I think there are three
things we can do that really make a difference, and the first is a simple
prayer of trust. “Lord, I don’t understand this, I don’t like it, but I’m yours. I
trust that you’ve got this, and you’ve got me. I love you and I need you,
please keep me close.
Robby: I like that because when you think about Joseph, the Bible tells us
God was with him in everything, even when he was in prison.
James: That’s right. And think about something else Joseph said later to
Robby: I know where you’re going with this. He told them, “You meant it for
evil, but God meant it for good.”
James: That’s right. So after we pray a prayer of trust, pray a prayer of
praise. Not for your circumstances—that would be really hard to do that
and be real it in—but to just praise God for God, to take your eyes off
yourself and put them on Him.
Robby: Yeah, that can really help us. I find when I try to do that God has a
way of lifting me out of whatever is going on somehow, and giving me what
I need to just get through. He builds my faith when I do it.
James: I think that’s really true. And faith brings us to the third way to
pray—a prayer of thanks. Remember God’s Word encourages us to give
thanks in all circumstances, so we can thank God that He is good, He is
faithful, and He will bring good even though you can’t see it right now. So
that pretty much wraps it up. A prayer of trust, a prayer of praise, and a
prayer of thanks.
Robby: James, let’s pray for those listeners who are going through it right
now as we wrap up. Will you do that?
James: That would be good. (James prays)