Praying God’s Words When It Hurts

by Joan C Webb on April 28, 2011

A Story-Guide to Intentional Prayer

Snow MN pixRight before our family moved from sunny California to snowy Minnesota ( and yes, the snow was this high!), I read Psalm 27:4*. My heart’s desire was to know God intimately and enjoy His friendship. So, I wrote a JCW (Joan Carol Webb) paraphrase of the psalmist’s words and prayed, “Lord, what I want most of all is the privilege of being with You every day of my life, delighting in who You are and basking in Your majesty and greatness.”

Then God seemed to urge me to read Psalm 27:5*, too. I didn’t like that verse much, because it mentioned “troubles” and the hint of unpleasantness ahead. So I ignored it, until God prodded some more. So, I added the following words to my prayer, “There I’ll be when trouble comes, safe in Your presence.”

A week after we arrived in MN, I had premature labor pains and lost our baby. I felt like my head was in a vice, yet sensed being unexplainably safe. I had heard God’s words to me and prayed them back to Him, relying on His trustworthiness. And He carried me during a devastating time. In the midst of it all, I experienced the desire of my heart: To know God intimately.

Today consider asking God to give you a specific verse/promise and then turn it into a prayer. To help solidify it in your mind/heart, jot it down and date it and watch how God responses.

Want to share your verse-prayer? I’d love to “hear” it.

(Just to be clear: God’s loving presence doesn’t mean I didn’t feel the loss and grief. Or that I don’t experience the pain now, even years later. Recently while sitting with a loved one who suffered a miscarriage, we hugged and cried together over our lost babies. And I have a lump in my throat right now as I write about baby Matthew–although I know he’s in the arms of Jesus.)

*Psalm 27:4-5 NIV:

4One thing I ask of the LORD, this is what I seek:

that I may dwell in the house of the LORD

all the days of my life,

to gaze upon the beauty of the LORD

and to seek him in his temple.

5For in the day of trouble

he will keep me safe in his dwelling;

he will hide me in the shelter of his tabernacle

and set me high upon a rock.

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