A Prayer for Seasons When Feeling Overwhelmed
When the servant of the man of God rose early in the morning and went out, behold, an army with horses and chariots was all around the city. And the servant said, “Alas, my master! What shall we do?” He said, “Do not be afraid, for those who are with us are more than those who are with them.” Then Elisha prayed and said, “O Lord, please open his eyes that he may see.” So the Lord opened the eyes of the young man, and he saw, and behold, the mountain was full of horses and chariots of fire all around Elisha. 2 Kings 6:15-17
Gracious Father, there are times when the “odds” feel quite stacked against us, as your beloved people. With the naked eye, the enemies of justice, truth, and the gospel greatly seem to outnumber your “troops.” Serving you feels quite overwhelming, at times even futile.
But just when I begin to retreat into a basement of fear or question your concern and faithfulness, once again you open the eyes of my heart and show me the way things really are. You’re such a patient and merciful God.
Though serving you is not like a childhood game of soccer—where we did our best to choose the best players for our team, nevertheless, it is good—no, vital to know that because of the gospel, “those who are with us are more than those who are with them” (2 Kings 6:16). Indeed, if you are for us, who ultimately, can be against us? What can mere men to do us but take our physical lives? But for us, to live is Christ, and to die is gain.
But the way of the gospel will always be strength in weakness—the transforming treasure of the gospel in fragile pots of clay, like us. It was three hundred poorly armed soldiers, not thirty-four thousand fighting men, you sent with Gideon to defeat the Midianite army. Jesse’s youngest son, David—a shepherd boy, was your choice to be the king of Israel. Most profoundly, it was the crucifixion of Jesus, not an insurrection of zealots, which won our salvation.
Father, the odds are never stacked against your eternal decrees and covenant purposes. There’s never been panic or consternation in heaven. You never “try” to do anything. You don’t cross your fingers and hope for the best. You never have to go back to the drawing board, or resort to plan B or C. You never hedge your bets. You are God, and there is no other.
So help us, and your servants throughout the world, not to become weary in preaching the gospel and planting churches, in doing justice and loving mercy. We will reap a harvest at the proper time, if we do not give up (Gal. 6:9), and the gospel is all the motivation, hope, and power we need to not give up.
Before he returns, Jesus will redeem his pan-national bride, and when Jesus returns, he will finish making all things new. Our labors in the Lord are often exhausting and discouraging, overwhelming and quite costly, but they are never ever in vain (1 Cor. 15:58). Hallelujah, what a Savior; Hallelujah, what a salvation! So very Amen we pray with thanksgiving and confidence, in Jesus’ name.