Helplessness is an Extraordinary Teacher

Wednesday is for Prayer

Sometimes a truth is presented in such beautiful, and pristine clarity that it takes your breath away with its obvious weight and importance.  When I read Bill Thrasher’s[1] comment on prayer it hit me that way. Here it is:

Don’t resist helplessness—it’s the power of your prayer life.”

He echoes the voice of God in the Scripture.

“Before I was afflicted I went astray
but now I keep your word.”   (Psalm 119:67)

“It is good for me that I was afflicted,
that I might learn your statutes.”   (Psalm 119:71)

My most helpless prayers, my most painful experiences, my most desperate needs have always been the soil of my most passionate prayers. But oh how I want to run from the process that produces fruitfulness in my kneeling pleadings.

Dr. Thrasher is right. Instead of resenting my helplessness I should follow James advice in James 1:2-3:

“Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness.”

Church planting will produce great desperation in your spirit from time to time. You will feel helpless and hopeless. Don’t despair. Your God is big and his delight is to rescue the helpless. Your helplessness is his opportunity to show you the greatness of his power and love. Cry out to him. If necessary, use tears.

[1] Dr. Bill Thrasher is a professor at Moody Bible Institute and an authority on prayer and spiritual formation.

One thought on “Helplessness is an Extraordinary Teacher

  1. Thanks Marty for this post on helplessness and desperation. It was an impetus for reflection in some time with our Lord today.

    The twins of helplessness and desperation are core elements of the gospel and therefore discipleship. They are foundational to all that we are and do. For “apart from me you can do nothing.”

    Dear Lord help me to live in constant desperation for You. I am helpless without You and desperate for You are my only source of life.

    I look forward to seeing you Lord willing in a couple of weeks.

    For the Kingdom,



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