When I suffered through depression there were certain songs that sang to my soul. The
song, I Need Thee Every Hour, probably spoke to me more than any other song. The openings
lines of the song seemed to call to my very soul. “I need thee every hour
Most gracious Lord. No tender voice like thine Can peace afford.” There are times in our lives
that hardships seem to control our every thought. During these times it is our inner peace that is
This past year has not exactly been the easiest of years for our congregation. We have had
brothers and sisters choose the world over God; to choose their version of happiness rather
than the happiness (or blessedness) that comes from God. We have had a slew of illness and
long term health problems come to many of our members here. For many of you, it is not just a
brother or sister in Christ, it is a parent, a spouse, or some other very close family tie. I fully
understand that seeing your loved ones struggle is exceptionally difficult. We feel helpless.
And no one likes to feel that way. When we do, our inner peace if robbed.
In our society we have all sorts of books available to help the person struggling in such
ways. Amazon.com has over 38,000 spiritual self help books listed on their website. There
wouldn’t be that many books if there wasn’t a market for it. While I am not knocking the
existence of such books or even the occasional use for them, I do think it speaks volumes to the
issues that we are facing in our society. We feel broken inside and don’t know how to fix it. It
seems like conditions like PTSD and other anxiety disorders are being diagnosed more and
more every year. Peace is something our society desperately needs and peace is something
that sadly seems so very far away.
So, what are we supposed to do? We know what is breaking us. We know how we feel,
and thus far I firmly believe you could say to me, “I’m drowning over here and you are describing
the water.” There is not an easy fix. If there was an easy fix we wouldn’t have 38,000+ spiritual
self help books available on Amazon.com. With that said, here are a few tips to help you with
that demon inside.
Pray. I know that sounds simplistic. But, I also believe that most people don’t know how
to pray correctly. It is one thing to say all the right words. It is quite another to pray as Jesus
prayed. When Jesus’ apostles asked him to teach them to pray is wasn’t that they weren’t aware
of what words were needed in prayer. They saw something special in the way in which Jesus
prayed that their prayers didn’t have. I believe it is that after Jesus prayed he had a sense of
calm that they didn’t. (No I cannot back that with scripture; it is just a really strong hunch). I wish
that I could always have that kind of peace seen in Jesus. Turmoil could be happening all
around, temptations around every corner and he enters prayer and always came out at peace,
bringing peace to the hearts of others. To me the biggest key in having a successful prayer life
is faith. That seems simplistic on the surface, but the more that we learn to trust in God during
these hard times, the more successful our prayers will be in bringing peace to our broken hearts
and lives. In the movie War Room, the “mentor” for this young woman whose marriage was in
crisis taught her of the power of prayer. One of the things she did was keep a prayer journal.
Not only did she use it to keep track of what she needed to pray for, but she used it to keep track
of the prayers that God had answered. Yes, I know that faith comes by hearing and hearing by
the word of God (Rom. 10:17), but let us not forget that faith also comes by witnessing the
power of the almighty. Miracles were performed to show people who God is. They were
performed to prove that He is God over all. When we take the time to remember what God has
done for us, and how he has proven himself trustworthy in specific instances in our lives it
creates an easier path for trust. If God proved himself to be there for more in situation A, while
situation B is a tougher thing for me, I know that he didn’t disappoint me the last time I needed
him, therefore I can trust him now.
Be Patient. This is exceptionally hard to do when you desperately feel the need for peace.
My mind goes to George Costanza on Seinfeld screaming, “Serenity Now!!!” It just doesn’t work
that way. Peace takes time, especially when the reason we cannot find peace is something that
we have been dealing with for a long time. ~WTK