After all these years I still don’t fully understand prayer. It’s something of a mystery to me. But one thing I know: when we’re in desperate need, prayers for help spring naturally from our mouths.

When we’re frightened out of our wits, when we’re pushed beyond our limits, when we’re pulled out of our comfort zones, when our wellbeing is challenged and endangered, we quickly resort to prayer. “Help, Lord!” is our natural cry.

Author Eugene Peterson wrote: “The language of prayer is forged in the crucible of trouble. When we can’t help ourselves and call for help, when we don’t like where we are and want out, when we don’t like who we are and want a change, we use primal language, and this language becomes the root language of prayer.”

Prayer begins in trouble, and it continues because we’re always in trouble at some level. It requires no special preparation, no specific words and no rules. It springs from us in the face of necessity and, in time, becomes our natural response to every issue—good and bad—we face in this life (Phil. 4:6). What a privilege it is to carry everything to God in prayer!

We can come to God in prayer at all times for all things.


David H. Roper


Our Daily Bread