A Prayer for When You Feel Under Pressure
By Betsy de Cruz
“We were under great pressure, far beyond our ability to endure, so that we despaired of life itself. Indeed, we felt we had received the sentence of death. But this happened that we might not rely on ourselves but on God, who raises the dead.” - 2 Corinthians 1:8b,9, NIV
When life feels like a pressure cooker, it helps to remember that people in trouble populate the pages of the Bible. The apostle Paul surely knew many of the pressures we face today: illness, relational problems, financial crunches, busy schedules, and job stress. Yet he determined to place his hope in the God he trusted to deliver him. He even learned to praise God in difficult situations
However, Paul also faced out-of-the-ordinary trials that would cause anyone’s stress meter to skyrocket: riots, beatings, storms at sea, a shipwreck, and jail. (How do you feel about your life after reading this list? Mine is looking a lot better.) Paul’s second letter to the Corinthians reports that he was under pressure so far beyond his ability to endure that he wondered if he would even make it.
Can you relate? Maybe you’re wondering how you’ll survive the pressure you’re feeling and get through the trial staring you in the face. Maybe you’ve come to the end of your own strength and abilities. Trials have a way of showing us we cannot rely on ourselves; they leave us with no other choice than to rely on God.
How about turning your gaze to God? Paul focused his attention on the character of God, and he began his letter to the Corinthians with words of praise: “Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles” (2 Corinthians 1:3,4a).
How about entrusting yourself to God’s faithful care today? No matter what you face, ask God to help you rely on Him for all you need.
Dear Lord, only you know the pressure I face. I’ve come to the end of my strength and abilities, and I need you to take over.
Forgive me, Father, for relying on myself and striving in my own power to take control of my circumstances. Forgive me for relying on others to see me through, when you are the true source of everything I need. Today I look to you alone.
Lord, I thank you for bringing me to this point, so I can learn to trust and rely on you. Father, I praise you for the hope I have in Jesus. You are the God of the impossible, able to do abundantly beyond all I can ask or imagine.
I praise you because you have the power to raise the dead to life. Just like you raised Jesus up from the dead, you can bring to life the hope in me that has died. I ask you to restore hope and joy to my heart.
Father, I turn away from leaning on my own understanding, and I want to acknowledge you in all my ways. I choose to trust you with all my heart. Fill me with your Holy Spirit and empower me to keep walking forward on the path you have chosen for me.
I thank you in advance for all you will do, Lord. I will rely on you, and I praise you for your great love and power. You are my Redeemer, my refuge, and the strength of my life.
In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
Betsy de Cruz helps overwhelmed women take small steps to invite more of God’s presence and power into their lives. Connect with Betsy to get your free Quiet Time Renewal Guide and other resources at FaithSpillingOver.com. Her book More of God is a distracted woman’s guide to more meaningful quiet times. After living in the Middle East for 16 years with her husband and two children, Betsy landed in Texas, where she still enjoys drinking chai with friends.
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