Our days may at times be tainted with unpleasant surprises in the name of trouble. Even the most organized and disciplined person comes face to face with problems here and there, and this can be a major setback since people in general want to succeed and be well.
A verse in the good book (Bible) pops up in my mind from James 5:13 quoted as follows: “Is anyone among you in trouble? Let them pray.” Verse 16 reiterates that “The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.” The word of God confirms that prayer is never in vain, especially if it comes from a righteous or right heart.
A problem shared is a problem halved. This aphorism goes all the way back to times when mental health was not a priority. Yet, it states a profound psychological truth.
It is commended to air your frustrations to a trusted listener/counsellor, and for Christians, this counsellor is God.
Not only does it unburden your mind, but it may also help you think of resolutions owing to the peace of mind and advice you get after discussing your issues with the right person.
It is not good to bottle up your problems.
Find a community that shares the same values with you – this may be your family, genuine friends, or a place of worship. Within that trusted setting, find one or two people that you can fellowship with, i.e., share a word or prayer with.
This will give a sense of relief when dealing with challenges as genuine friends will look out for each other and may come to your rescue when in times of need.
A story comes to mind of a story in the Bible when Jesus’ disciples asked him “who was a true neighbor.” He cited a story of a good Samaritan who picked up a wounded stranger, attacked by thieves, badly beaten and left to die. The clergy of the time; a priest and a levite passed by and looked away, but when the Samaritan came, he cleaned his wounds and booked him an inn to stay in until he got better.
When you find yourself in trouble and pray, trust the person God sends your way to help. It may be the doctor who treats you; do not withhold information from them that may reveal the symptoms of a disease that could be treated in time and save your life.
You should not hide your woes from family or close friends who may support you at a time when you need them the most. No man is an island.
Despite the facade portrayed on social media where people post a different reality from the one they are living or the audience don’t see beyond the person’s outward bravery, humans are social beings and need each other in person.
With the digital evolution, communication is more affordable than ever; pick the phone and call someone occasionally to find out how they are doing or tell them how you are doing.
I am amazed by how many times our elderly grandparents and relatives in remote places want to talk to us out of genuine concern. Sometimes you call back thinking it is an emergency, only to find out that the person just wanted to find out how you were doing.
Cherish the people who look out for you whether they can help or not. Having a genuine listener is a blessing.
However, praying or airing one’s problems alone is not enough. The good book (Bible) discourages faith without action. Seek the right direction and take steps towards the resolution of the problem faced, you will be amazed how less difficult the challenge is when you act than when it is left unaddressed.
Prayer is not limited to problems but also guides us in the right direction of life e.g., a new endeavour like a business idea, how to succeed in general or the life decisions we take from time to time. All these need faiths, sanity of mind and sound advice if you are able to get one. Even common sense tells us to think before we act.
Prayer/meditation can help us weigh the pros & cons of each decision/action we take, thereby avoiding trouble.
In the same rhythm with the old saying, an apple a day keeps the doctor (sickness) away, a prayer a day keeps trouble away.