Prayers for those Fatigued by this season
How long, O Lord? Will you forget me forever? How long will you hide your face from me? (Psalm 13:1)
At first it was just a big unknown. For some it was terrifying; for others, just a bit of a novelty. However we felt about it, the lockdown began an extraordinary shake-up of everything we take for granted; normal life changed overnight. We washed our hands, stocked up on supplies and listened intently to the news reports.
But that was months ago. We’ve long since stopped hearing daily statistics and new symptoms to watch out for. Now we’re just tired of the hassle and wondering if things will ever get back to normal. As well as the precious people, plans, jobs and other things the virus has cost us, daily activities have become stressful, church seems a distant memory, and our reduced social contact is taking a toll on our mental and emotional health. Will it ever be over?
During one extremely difficult and seemingly purposeless season, my husband and I used to pray the same weary prayer every day as we drove down the bleak road to our house, “How long, O Lord?” (Psalm 13:1). How long do we have to be here? How long until things move on? We began to think it would last forever.
Then, one day something wonderful happened. That season of our lives came to an end! The dry, dark days turned into a new and fruitful time of ministry in the most exciting place we’ve ever lived. It was a time of wonderful blessing; it was like the beauty of spring after a long cold winter.
Here’s the thing; that season of blessing was all the richer because of the hard days that came before. As we look back, we realise that we learned more in our relationship with God during those difficult four years than we ever had in the previous twenty! As we kept calling out and seeking God (vv. 1-2), we kept being drawn to “trust in [the Lord’s] unfailing love” (v. 5).
We’ve come to realise that we’ve never grown as much spiritually during the good and fruitful times as we did when everything felt dark. God was in that winter, and now we know with much more certainty that His love truly is unfailing.
If you are feeling weary and fed up, wondering, “How long, O Lord?”, take heart! Every winter ends and new seasons open up. God is working in our lives, even (and maybe especially) when things are at their darkest. His love is unfailing, even today. When we can’t see God, let’s say with David, “He has been good to me”, let’s “sing the Lord’s praise” and let’s remember that God will answer in His wise timing (vv. 5-6). In His unfailing love, He will bring His spring into our lives.
Father God, the One who loves me and knows me, I call out for Your strength during this hard season. As I grow weary with the challenges and restrictions of each day, renew me in Your Spirit; may I experience Your all-sufficient grace and know Your strength which is made perfect in times of weakness. Thank You for promising to make all grace abound to me, so that in all things at all times, I can still abound in every good deed You have prepared for me. I know Your good purposes are at work; help me to look for what You are doing, to have a renewed passion for living for Your glory and to be a witness for hope to a world struggling under the heavy burden of this virus. In Jesus’ precious name, Amen.
All-Sufficient Father, every good thing comes from Your hand. Thank You for all the blessings of friends, family and freedom that I used to take for granted! Now, as I continue in a time of deprivation, I ask that You would help me to keep an attitude of thankfulness. Fix my eyes on my blessings; not my hardships. Inspire me to lift my eyes to eternal things; to see that I have all things in You. Heaven is my real home; remind me to keep my treasure there, not in the things of this earth. When this season ends, and life returns to normal, help me not to lose sight of what I’ve learned. May I treasure my relationships, be thankful for my comforts, and reach out to others while I have the opportunity. For Christ’s sake, Amen.
Loving Father, give me strength this day for the challenges I face. As the battle against Coronavirus continues and a strange way of life seems to stretch out endlessly before me, may I have courage to face this trial with endurance, Never ceasing to press ahead towards the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus. Thank You, Lord, that though my life on earth is filled with change, my destination never alters. I long to see You face-to-face in Your heavenly kingdom. Keep me holding unswervingly to my hope in these trials, because my best days are always—always—ahead of me, and the One who has promised me this future blessing is faithful. Praise be eternally to Jesus, Amen.
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