Prayers for Troubled TimesPrayers for Troubled Times
Jeannie St. John Taylor
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Have you ever felt so numbed by crisis that you couldn't form words to pray? Right when you need God's help more than ever before, you can't ask for it. There is no hope but God-no other comfort. But how can you call out to Him when you are too paralyzed to focus? Prayers for Troubled Times will help you turn to God in those unthinkable, difficult times when grief and loneliness steal life's purpose. Times when problems threaten to suffocate you, when all hope disappears. The prayers in this book cover very specific times of difficulty and crisis-troubled times. As you read (and speak) them, your heart will open to God. Your own thoughts and words will begin to flow as prayer. Your faith will soar. You will be encouraged as your remember that nothing is impossible with God.
     

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INTRODUCTION

In times of crisis and difficulty, we often feel too wounded and numb to pray. Fear and worry freeze our brains, still our tongues. We hold a cup of coffee and stare into space or curl into a fetal position on the couch. Though we know our only help comes from the Lord, the words don't come; we can't cry out to him.
That's when we call on friends to uplift us, to pray the words that won't form in our brains. Or, if we don't know many praying people, we call the prayer chain at a local church, feeling comforted in the knowledge that they will ask God to fill our needs. We know they will pray the right words, even though we can't.
Wouldn't it be wonderful, though, if we could think how to pray for ourselves during a tragedy or knew how to speak fervent words for friends in trouble? Or form effective words to beg God to lift our nation from disaster and heal it?
This book was written for those terrible times when hope fades and you sink into near-catatonia. It is filled with prayers you can read; prayers to fill your heart with comfort and calm your thoughts; and prayers you can earnestly and fervently pray to the King of kings who has all power, to the God who will hear and help you.
Because of the endless situations requiring prayer, no book could ever cover every circumstance for every person. You may need to scan the table of contents, and then adapt a prayer as you speak it. You may need to change "him" or "them" to "me." But the content of the prayer, if prayed in earnest, will reach deep into the heart of your Abba Father, who loves you eternally-the God who longs to help you.
In this book, people who spend hours in prayer have joyfully shared some of their prayers with you. They poured their cries to the Lord onto paper for you-so you could pray with them. Prayer comes easily for these men and women because they do it so often. Prayer is their daily habit. The time they spend in prayer polishes their words, tingeing them with eloquence.
Many of the prayers in this book flowed from the band of intercessors who have gathered at Petery Prater's house every Tuesday for twenty-five years. Others come from people who partner in twos to pray; still other from people who meet God at home alone in their "prayer closet." These people all have three things in common; they love the Lord, take great pleasure and find contentment from meeting with him often, and desire to pray with you in the pages of this book. They want to help you call out to God in the tough times.
Now, before you begin, would you pray with me?
"Gracious heavenly Father, I know you love me and want to help me through every difficult situation. I desperately need your help, but I know I need to be in right relationship with you before I ask for it. Will you please forgive my sins and be the Lord of my life? We can come to you because of Jesus, Amen."

 
    Excerpt from Prayers for Troubled Times by Jeannie St. John Taylor
    AMG Publishers, 2002
    All rights reserved.