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The following is a post from John T Brown's Scotwise Blog. This was John's Sunday Sermon post from May 14th, 2006. We ask if we could repost it and share it with our readers. John was kind enough to agree.  

For those unfamilar with John's blog - red text is scripture and John's prayers, blue text is John's comments, thoughts, views, ideas, points, etc.   That should cover it. Now on too the post, we will comment a bit below.

Answer me when I call to you, my righteous God. Give me relief from my distress; have mercy on me and hear my prayer. - Psalm 4:1.

At first, this cry for help seems very demanding. However, closer inspection shows that this is really the cry of desperation.

Have you been there? I surely have, and I regularly hear from other Christians, who are there now. But, read how this Psalm ends! What is the secret to surviving a long agony? I believe three things are important:

1. Honesty in our prayer life with God.
2. Confidence that God hears, and cares even when our prayers sizzle with pain and frustration.
3. Genuine praise for God included in our prayers, even when things seem miserable.

It's not a magical formula, but it is a Spirit-inspired one... check it out in Psalm 4!

Loving Father, hear my cry for relief, as well as the relief of those I love, from agony, burdens, and suffering. By the power of the Holy Spirit, answer in amazing and miraculous ways, so that we may not only be relieved, but in such a way that you may be glorified. In the wonderful Name of Jesus I pray. Amen.

Be encouraged!

Wow what a short, yet important message. Personally I know that I have been at this point of desperate longing several times. In fact, I am currently there now in one area of my life. Simply there are times when only a movement from God can and will suffice to solve our problems. Human plans, ideas, concepts, etc will only get us so far, and our best plans will always come up short in the end.

Tough times should bring us to our knees. Tough times make us yearn for a mercy drop from God. They drive us to scream out to God. We yell out - move God or move me - and mean it. Our prayers no longer are surface and bland, but are deep, soulful, and real.

We must remember that we are not some island in the galaxy. Tough times reveal that to us. In the end, rough times show us that we are loved, that we are cared for,that we are nourished, and that we are not alone, even if we feel none of the above at the moment.

The human heart, and the emotions that come with it, are not true and pure. No matter what our emotions say, God truly is there, He is moving, and He is working. The truth is that sometimes we need tough times where we will call on God, thus allowing us to focus on seeing His mighty hand at work. Our lack of appreciation, and / or notice, day in and out does not negate the work of God, nor the power He has over my days. Tough times are just what make us slow down enough sometimes to see God at work.

Today we urge everyone to sit and reflect. Once you have done that pray, really pray, and not just for yourself. Pray for your work, your family, your world, your church, your pastor, your Sunday school teacher, your favorite radio / TV host, etc. Then and only then, after you have pour out your prayers for God's love for everyone else, start praying for yourself and your own needs. If you do that we think you will find that the situation you find yourself in may not be as dire as you first believed.

Sure it may be serious, sure it may be stressful, painful, hurtful, etc, but once you really begin to petition God over it you will begin to feel the power of God in the situation, and that will move you from a place of anxious waiting to a place of peaceful rest. God is moving, He has a plan, and He is about His work. That work does involve you if you are called by His name. He has not forgotten or forsaken you, even if you feel He has. Yearn for the power of the cross today, not the power of your burden and your problems. Today switch burdens with God. Take on His yoke as His burden is light. Let Him take on your burderns aS He can easily handle it.


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