"If the Lord had not been on our side when men attacked us, then they would have swallowed us alive..." (Psalm 124:2-3, HCSB)
Have you ever felt like you were drowning? Have you felt attacked, like people were chewing you up and spitting you out? Have you felt like you were trapped?
So did David! Psalm 124 says all that, but also says David survived because of the help he received from the Lord.
David says that the Lord is our helper in every kind of trouble:
*From drowning (v. 3-5)
*From attacks that tear us apart (v. 6)
*From being trapped (v. 7)
So how can we pray in times of trouble? Here are three "R's"
1) Remember how God rescued you in the past. Verses 1-5 talk about how the Lord was with them to prevent the waters from drowning them; this would have reminded them of how God rescued them from the Egyptians when they crossed the Red Sea on dry land. So think back in your past. In what ways has God already rescued you before? Remember that!
2) Realize it could be worse. Verse 6 notes that despite the attacks, God did not let them be torn apart. No matter how bad things are, you can always see how it could have been worse. Thank God for that.
3) Rejoice in your freedom in Christ. Verse 7 says that they had "escaped like a bird from the hunter's net." So although they felt trapped, they were set free! As a believer in Christ, we can rejoice that no matter how trapped we may feel about situations we face, Christ has set us free from the penalty of sin. Rejoice in what you have, rather than fret over what you do not have.
In his book Fearless, Max Lucado tells about a friend who got a letter from the IRS, and he was terrified to open it. It sat on his desk for five days, as he lost sleep worrying about it. Finally, he opened the dreaded letter, and it said the IRS owed him money! While things may not always work out that well for us, there is no point in us worrying over imaginary things. Instead, we need to pray, remembering how God has provided in the past, realizing how things could be worse, and rejoicing over our freedom in Christ.
As Lucado says, "Everything will work out in the end. If it's not working out, it's not the end."