Psalm 138:1–5 ‘When I called, you answered me; you greatly emboldened me. May all the kings of the earth praise you, LORD, when they hear what you have decreed. May they sing of the ways of the LORD, for the glory of the LORD is great.’ (vv3–5)

There are many resources on prayer, expressing many different opinions and styles. Yet, Jesus only taught us one prayer, covering every eventuality in its appeal to God. It’s helpful to pray the Lord’s Prayer every day. We can become confused by what’s called unanswered prayer. 

Many ‘explanations’ are unhelpful as if there must be some comprehensible rationale about how God responds to our prayers. The fact that our finite being cannot comprehend the infinite is explanation enough. So be encouraged, together with the psalmist, that in response to our prayer, general or specific, we receive strength to continue. Easy to write from a place of calm, but less easy when facing a personal crisis. 

Strength is defined as the ability to perform and withstand the wear and tear of pressure. It also means someone is not easily disturbed or upset. A friend with a long-term chronic pain condition experiences high pain levels despite strong painkillers. 

Through prayer and by God’s grace, they find an ability to endure and find Jesus amongst the pain. I’m only an observer and hardly dare share their story. Yet, I’m in awe of their witness and God’s capacity to meet and encourage them in their physical distress. 

Prayer is a source of encouragement to live life’s journey during the unwelcome challenges life can present. It will take time to find God’s grace, but prayer offers us a vital resource. The availability of safe and effective non-pharmacological therapies for pain is an important unmet medical need, with prayer considered an effective adjunctive therapy for pain.


Ps. 69:29–36; Isa. 26:7–12; 2 Cor. 1:3–11 and 4:7–18


How well does prayer sustain you through life’s challenges?


‘Lord, lead and shape me as I pray, so I might better deal with life’s many challenges. Amen.’

Photo by Carlos Magno on Unsplash
Micha Jazz is Director of Resources at Waverley Abbey, UK.