I help run a Messianic congregation, and one of our congregants told me she was going through tough times in the last year.
“2016 was a hard year. I spent most of it in a challenging situation. I hope and pray for the best this year… I need healing because of a spiritual issue I'm dealing with.
Please let me know anything else I can or should try”
I told this woman we’d be glad to pray for her as leaders and pray for her together in our community. I asked if there was anything tangible we could do to help. And I told her what I personally do when I’m going through tough times.
It’s not some magic formula. I’m not selling religious cure-alls. But it’s something that helps me, personally. And if it helps me, maybe it will help you too.
Here’s what I said:
For help with spiritual issues, I personally find two things helpful:
First, when I pray, I just dump everything that's weighing on me onto the Lord in prayer. And I speak to God like I would a close friend: being completely honest, telling Him my frustrations, struggles, all of it. Everything weighing on me, and in plain language. Heart-dumping everything like this has a way of not only bringing my burdens before God, but also helping me evaluate where I'm at in the situation.
Often times when I'm praying like that, God will show me what I need to do.
The second thing that helps me is, I read the psalms aloud over my own life. I go somewhere private and read the psalms out loud and speak them over my own life. Psalms like
are some I often turn to. If there's a sin issue, Psalm 51, Clean Heart. Maybe you have some psalms that speak to you.
The reading aloud part is important for me. Reading silently it’s too easy to separate myself from the text; the text is an old text written by somebody else, to somebody else. But reading aloud and declaring these words of God over my life changes my outlook, changes me.
Doing this helps me see things from a better perspective. Psalm 27 says, for example,
The Lord is my light and the savior of my life; whom shall I fear?
The Lord is the strength of my life; of whom shall I be afraid? …
When my enemies advance against me to devour,
And when my foes attack me, they will fall
And though I am besieged
And a war breaks out against me
Whom shall I fear?
If the God of the universe is the savior of my life – if the God of Everything is the one who saved my life, the life of Judah Himango – truly there is nothing for me to fear. These words from God encourage me to keep pressing on.