There are moments throughout life when we find ourselves facing a crisis, and, as leaders in the body of Christ, we need to know how to pray when a crisis develops, as well as how to encourage others to pray as they walk through their own personal moments of crisis.
Prayer not only moves things in the spirit realm, but also connects us with God during the most difficult moments in life.
God’s people need to know that He is more than a good crisis manager, and teaching them about His faithfulness prepares them for those crisis moments in life. Then, when a crisis does occur, they will not be overcome by the circumstance because they understand that God is present, even when they cannot see Him or discern His actions.
In 2 Kings 6:15-17, Elisha had that understanding. When his servant expressed fear and concern over pending danger, Elisha remained cool, calm and collected, knowing that the omnipresent God was with them. God’s people can have that same confidence as they stand on His promise found in Hebrews 13:5, where God says: “I will never fail you. I will never abandon you” (NLT).
What a precious promise we have from our Lord and Savior! This is a promise that we can carry with us in the midst of whatever crisis we encounter. It is also a promise that helps us overcome the feelings of trepidation, and doom and gloom, that can be so prevalent during a crisis.
Having pastored my community after Alabama’s worst tornado, I now urge fellow leaders to consider these three points in prayer when facing crisis:
Pray against fear that will try to invade the atmosphere and contaminate the hope that we have in God.
Fear can be debilitating, but reminding God’s people of His promise to always be with us alleviates that fear. Fear also moves us away from faith, and it is in those faith moments that God shows up, no matter how big the crisis may be.
Elisha told his servant: “Don’t be afraid! … For there are more on our side than on theirs!” (2 Kings 6:16, NLT). His words offered hope and peace to the young man amidst the crisis they faced.
Pray for evidence of God’s presence.
Elisha prayed, “O Lord, open his eyes and let him see!” (v. 17). The Lord opened the young man’s eyes, and, when he looked up, he saw that the hillside around Elisha was filled with horses and chariots of fire.
When people see evidence of God’s presence, especially during moments of crisis, faith is renewed and hope restored. But the man or woman who feels they must walk through a crisis void of the Lord’s presence can quickly be overcome with worry, dread and anxiety that things are not going to end well.
Pray that people will turn to God when facing a crisis.
There are many things that people can place their hope in when facing a critical time, but turning to God is the only guaranteed path of success. When the servant of Elisha saw God’s army, I believe he turned with his whole heart to the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. As we focus on Jesus in the midst of a crisis, and not the problems presented by the crisis, God is pleased, and He becomes our deliverer.