How to Pray

3 Reminders to Pray with Joy During Uncertainty

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By: Laura E. Sumpter
Contributing Writer
LauraESumpter.com

The ocean beaches were my playground growing up. Living in a small coastal town on the Pacific, we were surrounded by craggy rocks, towering cliffs, and majestic breathtaking views of a vast water mass that stretched for miles.

When I was about 13, we had a county-wide alert that shook our core. A recent earthquake in the far reaches of the Pacific had brought the possibility of a tsunami. People scrambled. Our quaint home was located on a hill a few miles east, so we were not in serious threat. 

However, as predictions were made, the would-be looky-loos began to flock with binoculars and go to ridiculous perches to see the natural phenomenon.

There was a massive hill that overlooked the beaches from a safe distance. Naturally, the hillside became jam-packed with cars, pedestrians, and motorcyclists. They were all hoping to get a glimpse of the incoming water wave scientists were predicting.

The papers showed streams of people and some who had less common sense trying to walk through barriers and walk into beach-side parks.

When all was said and done, the “tsunami” amounted to nothing more than an extra high tide that had minimal impact and damage.

The town collectively breathed a sigh of relief. But in the days and months that followed tsunami evacuation route signs began to be posted and official procedures put in place, should this ever happen again. 

Officials realized that their lack of planning could have been devastating.

How often in my own life do I find myself in a situation that brings uncertainty and fear? During these times it is difficult to pray and approach the throne of God with joy. Sometimes it is because I realize I have not prepared my heart. During these times we can become weary and wary and often project our uncertainty on God, forgetting He holds the whole world in His hands.

As we approach praying, especially when worry and fretting tugs at our hearts, here are three reminders I hope will encourage your conversations with the Holy One.

3 Reminders to Pray With Joy During Uncertainty

Stay on the High Ground

Just like those lookers, on that cliff, staying fixed on the high ground is where stability is found. Remembering that our feet are anchored in the Creator helps us in our approach with requests and accepting answers.

Remembering all that God has allowed in our lives and that He is our certainty can help us stay firmly rooted.

We are reminded of this in the beautiful words of Habakkuk 3:17-19:

“Though the fig tree should not blossom, nor fruit be on the vines, the produce of the olive fail and the field yield no food, the flock be cut off from the fold and there be no herd in the stalls, yet, I will rejoice in the Lord; I will take joy in the God of my salvation. God the Lord is my strength; he makes my feet like the deer’s; he makes me tread on high places.”                                                  

Rest in the Quiet

There is something to be said for resting. In the hours after the “predicted” tsunami, there was a quietness that settled over the area. The urgency of the crisis, the reality of safety, and the anticipation of dread had passed away. 

In these moments, it is important to take them as a blessing and remember they are a time for rest. God does not promise us a life free from problems. 

But He also does not promise a life continually full of problems. There exists an ebb and flow that comes with life and in those moments of quiet, it is vital to remember that God is providing the blessing of rest.

Psalms 46:10 tells us the “Be still and know that I am God”. God wants us to keep seeking Him, but also to keep perspective that even in uncertainty, He is still faithful. Still merciful. Still Holy.  

Isaiah reminds us to “Stand by the roads, and look, and ask for the ancient paths, where the good way is; and walk in it and find rest for your souls.” (Isaiah 6:16, ESV) When we look back at all the good God has done in our lives, we can see that we can rest in times of uncertainty because we have a God who never changes.

Look Forward with Anticipation

God will always bring about his plans in His time. His assurance of holding the future allows us to look forward in eager anticipation for His answers. God came to the world to bring peace. 

When we are struggling with uncertainty, peace is hard to come by.  Christ lovingly told His disciples “ I have said these things to you, that in me, you may have peace.   In the world, you will have tribulation. But take heart I have overcome the world.” (John 16:33, ESV) We can trust that God will always bring about His good in our lives because of His incredible love for us.

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One Comment

  1. Laura, this is such a beautiful reminder. There are so many things in life that are uncertain and unless we are rooted and grounded in Jesus, we can become like the looky-loos in your story and just want to focus on the impending doom and gloom. Thank you for the inspiration you shared in this post!

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