Prayer and Hope for the Anxious

Rebecca Van Noor

Anxiety, depression, and fear aren’t part of the Christian life—or the ideal Christian life, anyway. But for those who struggle with these emotions, this tidy concept isn’t helpful or true. What is helpful is hope and belief in the midst of tumultuous emotion. The writer of Psa 28 expresses deep anxiety, but even as he does this, he expresses trust in Yahweh: “To you, O Yahweh, I call. O my rock, do not be deaf to me. Or else, if you are silent to me, then I will become like those descending to the pit” (Psa 28:1). Though he feels like God is not listening, the psalmist doesn’t stop pursuing God. He worships and cries for help anyway. In contrast to the “workers of evil” who “do not regard the works of Yahweh, nor the work of his hands,” the psalmist puts all of his dependence and trust in Yahweh (Psa 28:3, 5). Halfway through the psalm, the petition turns to praise when Yahweh answers his prayer. The psalmist realizes his confidence is in the right place: “Blessed is Yahweh, because he has heard the voice of my supplications” (Psa 28:6). Even through dark times and bleak circumstances, God is faithful. He is never far from us, though emotions might dictate otherwise. He will “Shepherd them also and carry them always” (Psa 28:9). He saves, blesses, guides, and even carries us through all seasons. We are saved not according to our own works, but the work of Christ. In the midst of struggle, we can be certain that we are experiencing salvation now, in part. And we can be “convinced of this same thing, that the one who began a good work in [us] will finish it until the day of Christ Jesus” (Phil 1:6).

How are you trusting in God in the midst of struggle? How can you thoughtfully support someone who is suffering through a season like this?

Barry, J. D., & Van Noord, R. (2012). Connect the Testaments: A One-Year Daily Devotional with Bible Reading Plan. Bellingham, WA: Lexham Press.