DEVOTIONAL: Praying during anxious times
March 26, 2020
Many of you might have seen videos circulating on social media of Italians singing together from the balconies of their homes in the midst of COVID19 crisis. Italy is in a nation-wide lockdown and people are shut in their homes in an effort to contain the spread of the virus. The videos showed people singing together to lift up their spirits during this depressing time. Songs are bringing people together to lift up one another and keep up the community spirit of solidarity, compassion, and hope. Along with songs, I would like to offer prayer as another resource during anxious times.
Prayer of lament
During hard times we can turn to God in prayer to find comfort and hope to endure the challenges. Prayer is an opportunity to share our grief and disappointment and bare ourselves before God.
The psalmist prays, “My God! My God, why have you left me all alone? Why are you so far from saving me—so far from my anguished groans? (22:1, CEB). This first sentence might sound familiar to many of you because it is the same line Jesus prayed in dereliction on the cross. Our Lord and Savior Jesus cried in agony to his Father. We can also cry to our heavenly Father knowing that He cares for us (1 Peter 5:7).
COVID 19 has impacted us in varying ways. Some of you have to make drastic changes to your lives which is very hard on you. Some of you have to deal with loneliness and isolation. Some have worries for tomorrow. I encourage you to bring your frustrations, the pain of loneliness and your worries before our Creator and Sustainer in prayer.
Prayer of praise
Lament is not the end of our prayer; lament leads to praise. God is not deaf, He listens. He did not abandon us to our own devices. He is present with us in the wilderness even when we don’t feel the divine presence sometimes.
“From the horns of the wild oxen you have answered me” (Psalm 22:21b). When we fully release our anxiety to God, we can also more fully experience the comfort of His presence. I hope that you will find calmness and peace through prayer and worship during this anxious time (Psalm 22:22-23).