Are any of you suffering hardships? You should pray. Are any of you happy? You should sing praises. James 5:13 (NLT)

The words of an old hymn:

The Lord’s our Rock, in Him we hide, A Shelter in the time of storm;

Secure whatever ill betide, A Shelter in the time of storm.

The words speak of comfort; of protection from life; of security and hope. For every person that calls Jesus Christ their Savior and Lord these words offer us the promise that regardless of how bad things go in our lives, we have a place where we can go to have our needs met.

Imagine climbing a mountain trail. Suddenly a violent storm encloses you. In the distance you see a large hole in a rock wall that is big enough for  you to ‘hide’ in. You run to the rock and watch the storm crash around you. The thing that once brought fear (the storm) no becomes a source of awe as you see God’s power unleashed in nature.

Each of us has encountered storms in life. Perhaps you are going through one now. The storm of having a spouse that doesn’t believe in Jesus; a child who is in rebellion; financial pressure; unemployment; health issues or the inner struggle to forgive and let go of bitterness. Prayer should be that rock in which we hide from the storms that surround us.

When people encounter the storms of life they tend to seek advice from others, look for ways of escaping the pain or blame other people for the problem. They’ll try new relationships, new ‘adventures’, different jobs or circles of friends. But those are only temporary fixes. Some will seek books or counselors or even conferences to help weather the storm. But even though these may help, the most powerful thing we can do is pray.

Those of us who call ourselves Christ-followers know that. Some of us even preach that. But do we pray? Talking about prayer may give us some emotional satisfaction.Readingabout prayer may give us insightful information. Going to prayer conferences and ‘prayer houses’ may allow us to see awesome acts of God. But for change in our own life, pray.

Prayer. It’s the most powerful weapon we own as believers. It takes no training to learn its use. It can be done by the youngest and newest believer or by the ‘veteran believer’ steeped in years of experience.

I often have people ask me to pray for them. Sometimes they will say things like, “God listens to you” or “I can’t pray as good as you can.” Prayer isn’t graded. God doesn’t ‘listen’ more to a pastor than he does anyone else. The power of prayer comes from practice and persistence and the presence of the Holy Spirit, not from knowledge.

Prayer. It’s our shelter in the time of storm.

PRAYER: Father I thank you for the shelter you have given me in the midst of the storm. Forgive me for talking about prayer and talking to other people. Help me remember that coming to you is the best weapon I have against the storms I’ll face today. Amen.

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