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How to Pray Like Jesus During Your Trials

“And Jesus answered them, saying, The hour is come, that the Son of man should be glorified… Now is my soul troubled; and what shall I say? Father, save me from this hour: but for this cause came I unto this hour. Father, glorify thy name. Then came there a voice from heaven, saying, I have both glorified it, and will glorify it again.” —John 12:23, 27-28

No one is immune to trials and suffering. Some people mistakenly think that Christians are supposed to get a free pass from life’s problems. “If God is on my side,” they reason, “then I shouldn’t have to face any storms.” Ironically, they miss the fact that Jesus faced the greatest trial in human history as He died on the cross. Does this mean that Jesus was out of the Father’s will when He went to the cross? Certainly not.

Jesus knew His hour had arrived. The moment the world had waited thousands of years for had arrived. He was about to fulfill His earthly mission. It was time for Him to be glorified but His glorification would come through the most intense suffering of His earthly experience. Facing the brutality of the cross, the spiritual opposition from demonic forces, the injustice of a fake trial, the betrayal of Judas, the denial of Peter, and the abandonment of His family and friends, Jesus taught us something powerful about praying in difficult seasons and trusting the Father’s heart through them.

Jesus questioned, “Now is my soul troubled, and what shall I say? Father, save me from this hour” (John 12:27). Have you faced a difficult season when your daily prayer became needy? You implored Him, “God, get me out of this!” When you pray day after day and God does not get you out of your difficulty, there is a temptation to grow increasingly frustrated with Him. As this frustration increases, some people are then tempted to turn their back on God, and drift away from a close relationship with Him, if not turn their backs on Him altogether.

We must beware of these thoughts. When stormy seasons of life hit, the enemy of our souls shoots arrows of doubt at us to cause us to question God’s goodness and greatness. We face a crossroads: Will we turn away from God with doubt or turn to Him with faith?

Jesus made his choice clear by saying, “for this cause came I unto this hour. Father, glorify thy name” (John 12:27-28a). Instead of praying, “God, get me out of this!” Jesus prayed, “Father, may your name be glorified through this.” What would happen if you chose to pray that God would be glorified through your troubling season?

Further, Jesus recognized that the Father had a good purpose and a plan through this pain: “for this cause came I unto this hour.” Jesus’ mission on Earth was not merely to preach the Good News and perform miracles. His chief mission was to atone for the sins of the world by laying His life down as the sinless substitute. His death and resurrection are the foundation of the Good News!

Hebrews 12:2 sheds more light on Jesus’ mindset as He faced the cross: “[W]ho for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.” Jesus despised the shame of the old rugged cross. His soul was troubled by what He must endure. Yet, He knew great joy would come on the other side of this dark trial.

We must keep our minds focused on the joy coming on the other side of our trial just as Jesus did. As it says in Psalm 30:5, “weeping may endure for a night, but joy cometh in the morning.” On that Resurrection morning, joy burst forth as God transformed the darkest day in human history into the greatest victory the world has ever witnessed!

We cannot see the future. We don’t know what is coming tomorrow, but God does. As Jesus stared down death, He chose to trust the Father’s purpose and He provided us with a powerful example to follow in His steps. Only God knows what victory might be just around the corner for you.

What is for God’s greatest glory is for your greatest good. He is with you and He is for you. If you need to be reminded how much God loves you, remember that Jesus went to the cross for you. He faced the valley of the shadow of death so that you could have eternal life.

During this special week, spend time reflecting on God’s goodness and greatness on display even during the valleys of life. Draw closer to Him through prayer. Pray that God will be glorified through your life today. Remember the joy that is set before you. Trust that God has a good purpose for the dark seasons of your life. Trust His heart and His guiding hand to lead you safely through your journey.

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Josh Davis

SWRC Staff Evangelist Josh Davis accepted Jesus Christ as Savior at a young age and grew up in a preacher’s home. While preparing for a career in pharmacy, God redirected Josh’s heart, mind, and future to prepare for ministry. He earned a Master of Divinity from Southern Evangelical Seminary near Charlotte, NC. He has served his home church in pastoral ministry since 2007. God has blessed Josh with a lovely wife and two wonderful kids.

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