Yesterday, one of my daughter’s friends was over for a while.  On the table we had a scratch pad sitting there because we had been playing cards.  As we got ready for the next round after the young man had left, I found a noted he put on the pad.  Dear God and then a frowny face.  It was a reminder that not everyone has a great time during the holidays.

In the glory days of the hair bands, Bon Jovi released a song called “livin on a prayer”.  Basically, the song was about couple that were barely making it.  They were desperate, and didn’t know how things were going to work out. All they could do was hold on.  Livin on a prayer.

This past couple of weeks, I prayed with an elderly woman as she passed away, and then comforted her family. I Sat with a couple in the hospital as he learned he had lung cancer. I had a conversation with a friend who just wants this year to be over, and hopefully next year will be better.  One of my daughter’s close friends is dealing with the anniversary of his father being killed in a tornado last Christmas. Livin on a prayer.

Most of the time we want to focus on all celebration of this time of year.  The parties, the family gatherings, the lights, the gifts, the warm, fond memories.  Yet at the same time, so many are struggling just to keep their head above water. Livin on a prayer

David, when you read many of his psalms, start out with his struggle, his desperation.  You read his thoughts as he cries out to God for strength, for hope, for help.  Livin on a prayer.

Look to the beginning of Psalm 5: Psalm 5:1–3 (NLT) — 1 O Lord, hear me as I pray; pay attention to my groaning. 2 Listen to my cry for help, my King and my God, for I pray to no one but you. 3 Listen to my voice in the morning, Lord. Each morning I bring my requests to you and wait expectantly.

Yet, we draw comfort from his words, why?  Why would we turn to the words of a guy who writes poetry when he is depressed?  Maybe, because most of the time, by the end of the psalm, he writes of the love, the protection, the care of God.  He is truly living on a prayer!

Look at the end of Psalm 5. Psalm 5:11–12 (NLT) — 11 But let all who take refuge in you rejoice; let them sing joyful praises forever. Spread your protection over them, that all who love your name may be filled with joy. 12 For you bless the godly, O Lord; you surround them with your shield of love.

Remember the young man I talked about at the very beginning of this devotional?  Well, I responded for God.  I wrote under his prayer.  Dear _______, then a put a happy face.  Love God.

That’s what God does with our prayers of desperation.  He can turn them around; He gives us hope, gives us comfort, gives us peace, gives us a very large shoulder to cry on.

Maybe, Bon Jovi has it right.  We should be livin on a prayer.

  1. December 28, 2016

    Great thoughts Jim!
    Appreciate the attitude of the message!

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