The Power of Prayer: Finding Peace and Strength in Tragedy
Prayer is a powerful tool that has been used by people throughout history to find comfort and guidance through communication with God. Why would we not use the most effective tool in our toolbox to solve our problems? We have direct access to the God of all creation to bring all fears, worries, and praises to. When tragedy strikes, prayer can be a source of comfort and strength, and in this utterly broken world, we need that. Today, we will explore the power of prayer in dealing with tragedy and where we see it in the Bible.
What The Bible Says
The Bible is filled with examples of people turning to prayer in times of need. In the book of Psalms, we see King David expressing his sorrow and pain through prayer. In Psalm 22, he cries out to God, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me? Why are you so far from saving me, so far from my cries of anguish?” Despite his despair, David continues to pray, expressing his trust in God’s faithfulness and goodness. What is interesting here is that Jesus prays this same prayer to God when he is on the cross in Matthew 27. In that moment, God literally turned away from Jesus as all sin and shame was laid on him, but David’s experience was that he felt that God was far from him. Even though we know that God is near, we still cry out in anguish, and that is okay. We bring it to the Lord’s feet.
In the New Testament, we see Jesus himself praying in times of trial. He cried out to his Father in Heaven on the cross, but even before that he came to God. In the Garden of Gethsemane, just before his arrest and crucifixion, Jesus prays to his Father, “My Father, if it is possible, may this cup be taken from me. Yet not as I will, but as you will” (Matthew 26:39). Jesus’ prayer shows us that even in the face of great suffering, we can trust in God’s plan and find peace through prayer, and still ask for another way if possible.
“My Father, if it is possible, may this cup be taken from me. Yet not as I will, but as you will”
Throughout history, people have turned to prayer in times of tragedy. Studies have even shown that prayer can have a positive effect on mental and physical health, reducing stress and anxiety. It is literally resting in the Lord.
What it Does
But why does prayer have such power? Some may argue that it is simply a psychological effect, a way for us to feel like we are doing something in the face of tragedy. Prayer goes deeper than that. It is a way for us to connect with the One above it all, to acknowledge our dependence on something greater than ourselves. It is a way for us to express our emotions, to ask for guidance and help, and to find peace in the midst of chaos. And that is only found when we realize and accept that we cannot go through the trials of the world alone. We cannot live by our own strength, but must rely solely on that of God.
When tragedy strikes, it can be easy to feel overwhelmed and helpless. But prayer can give us a sense of control, a way to actively engage with our circumstances and find hope in the midst of despair. In the moments when you feel helpless, the thing you can do is pray. It is taking action. To pray on someone’s behalf is one of the purest forms of love that we can show. When we lift things up to God, that is the best thing we can do in any situation.
In conclusion, the power of prayer is undeniable. It has been a source of comfort and strength for people throughout history, and it continues to be a powerful tool for us today. When tragedy strikes, we can turn to prayer as a way to find peace, hope, and strength. Prayer has the power to transform our lives and give us the courage to face whatever comes our way, because all of that peace, hope, and strength comes through Jesus.
Remember to go to God. Though I emphasize turning to prayer in times of tragedy, it is a tool to be used every day of our lives. God doesn’t want us to just give Him the sad stuff, He wants our praises and our joys. He wants us to run to Him for help in decision making. He wants us to pray to Him because that is how we get to know Him; how we grow in our relationship with Him. Run to God with everything and you will find joy and peace; rest and comfort.