For my love they are my adversaries: but I give myself unto prayer.—Psalm 109:4
The word panacea means “a cure-all for problems or difficulties.” It has the idea of an effective remedy or solution for all problems regardless of their dimensions, difficulties, or dismay. Trials and afflictions are part of the Christian life. Without them, we can’t grow in the Lord. Without them, we won’t understand the scope of God’s grace at work in us. No two trials, afflictions, or problems are alike. James describes our trials as being diverse. They can weigh us down and defeat our spirit. However, we can be encouraged that there is a panacea for all of our trials. It is the panacea of prayer for every Christian.
1. We See the Extenuating Pressures
David was under severe criticism and verbal attack by his enemies. The enemies sought to destroy his reputation, his morale, and his credibility through disparaging words. In Psalm 109 he said, “They have spoken against me with a lying tongue, they compassed me about also with words of hatred; and fought against me without a cause.” To top all this off, he said, “For my love they are my adversaries.”
No matter how much good David tried to do for them, his adversaries intensified their attacks against him. The pressures brought him to a very low state in his spiritual life. He describes himself as being poor and needy, wounded in heart, gone like the shadow when it declineth, tossed up and down like a locust, and such a reproach that they shook their heads at him. David was feeling humbled, hurt, and hopeless. What David experienced, we will experience when people turn on us and become our enemies.
2. We See the Extraordinary Power of Prayer
David was way over his head in problems. However, he made a powerful statement of trust and gave his problems to God: “I give myself to prayer.” David found that there was only one panacea that would get him through his trials. That panacea is praying completely and confidently.
How is prayer a real panacea? First, it alleviates us from the stress. We are giving our burden to the Lord! Second, it helps us to see God as our refuge during the storm we are in. Third, it is asking God to show Himself strong on our behalf. Fourth, it delivers us from bitterness by giving us the appropriate venue to pour out our hearts to God. Fifth, it turns the problem-solving over to God so we do not trust in our limited and deficient wisdom. We should determine to give ourselves to prayer whenever any problem or circumstance comes into our life.
3. We see the Extricating Product
How does prayer help us? It strengthens our shield of faith so that the fiery darts of the hurtful words do not bother us. It gives us liberty from the oppressive burden of hurtful words. We tend to allow criticism to wear away at our soul and make us extremely insecure. Extensive prayer gives us liberty from this burden. It leads us to pray for our enemies. Jesus commanded us to love and pray for our enemies. When we pray for our enemies, we are able to see the bigger picture from God’s viewpoint. It puts God to work for us! God changes us, and He changes our circumstances! It changes us so that we praise God for our problems and the solutions He gives us.
When Daniel was thrust into the lion’s den, he probably thought about the disparaging words of his enemies. However, while he was in that den, he gave himself to prayer! The lion’s mouths were shut and they could not touch him. Prayer makes us untouchable to the enemy. Daniel’s decision to pray resulted in God being glorified and His name being magnified among the Persians! Prayer extricates us from the imprisonment of discouragement!
Discover the panacea of prayer today! Let God deliver you from your imprisonment and help you see how He shuts the lion’s mouth against you. Pray at all times! Pray without ceasing!