I remember where I was standing during the worship service when the realization hit me: I was not truly desperate for God. In the middle of a well-known worship song, I was singing words that declared my desperation for Him. Then suddenly, I stopped singing, interrupted by a jarring thought:
No, you’re not. The Spirit’s conviction came over me. Life was fairly good at that moment, so the heart cry of desperation was far from my mind. But in my silence I quietly prayed I would never again sing the chorus of that song unless I had come to a place in my life of experiencing desperation for the Lord.
True to God’s extraordinary work in my life, soon afterward I suffered through seasons of desperation. I found myself crying out to God with a new depth of understanding. Suddenly I knew how much I needed Him.
First, I went through a painful time of speaking truth in a corporate setting that put me at odds with leadership. I found myself completely alone, unable to share with anyone—except the Lord. I spent many long, lonely nights in prayer, crying out to God. Speaking truth in this situation was proving to be very costly. I desperately needed the Lord—and my prayers reflected that.
Then a job change required an extra dose of faith. Although the Lord had clearly directed me to start my own editorial business, I had no potential clients and no idea how the Lord was going to provide for my financial needs. During that season, I spent a month praying and fasting for God’s direction. I found myself in a facedown position much of that time.
Then my dad suffered a serious heart attack. I remember when I got the phone call in the middle of the night and I was uncertain what to do. Should I pack a bag and begin driving at 2:00 a.m.? Should I wait until I knew more details? I found myself on the floor of my bedroom, crying out to the Lord to spare the life of my father. I was truly desperate. That night, God graciously answered my prayers.
The Healthy Side of Desperation
God used those experiences to mentor me in desperate prayer. From there, my desperation for personal intervention began moving toward a new type of desperation: heart cries for God to send revival. Interesting how He uses such personal things to awaken us to the desperate need for God Himself to revive His Church! Such desperation is spiritually healthy.
In this issue, Cynthia Bezek explains how she learned that God welcomes desperate prayer, and it can eventually lead to greater trust and intimacy with Him. Jim Jarman challenges us to consider that perhaps the desperation we sense in our lives is actually a longing for connection with the Lord—and we might need to sign out of Facebook and go facedown before Him to find out. And Rick Padgett defines desperation as just you and the Lord. When you get to that place, you can count on God to use desperation in a redemptive way.
I’ve gone back to singing that song. I trust my prayers will more and more reflect my understanding of how much I absolutely and desperately need God.
–CAROL MADISON is editor of Prayer Connect.
(C) 2014 Prayer Connect magazine