Living on Prayer
Here's a simple fact: prayer changes lives. Not only for the people who pray, but also those being prayed for. It's a domino effect that you just can't help being part of...or maybe an extension of what you get in return for thinking about someone else. In some ways, we can relate to "living on a prayer" like the song of the same name by Jon Bon Jovi.
Prayer is what gets us focused, helping us see the answers more clearly. It's an act of submission to God, recognizing the sinfulness and helplessness of man. A true, honest prayer soothes the soul and defines spirituality, while an imitation never reaches the heart.
Hand-in-hand with prayer is faith. We cannot succeed in anything without it - our prayers would merely be senseless words.
When the prophet Elijah prayed, God always heard! From sending and withhold rains, to preserving the lives of Elijah and the people whom he was sent to help, each answer to prayer was undoubtedly an encouragement to them as it is to us today. The assurances of knowing God can and will do great things for us when we are faithful and faith-filled in our prayers to Him is reason to rejoice! And the more faith we have, the less opportunity there is to be let down. Not taht we won't have disappointments - but is that we are able to forge ahead with ceaseless fervor, preventing the chance for depression or being spiritually handicapped by the bad. Hardships are set before us to test and improve upon our faith. Without them, it's easy to become careless in prayer-life and take faith for granted.
When Wills Collide
If we become angry and act out in response to the struggles we face, we slowly shred our faith, placing God farther and farther away until we cease praying altogether, figuring it would only be in vain if we tried. Sometimes, too, we turn to desperate measures, further complicating matters. Without much faith, we try any and everything other than praying - even running away from God - in order to obtain peace or come to a solution on our own. However, we find that most pain and suffering we bring upon ourselves, which is borne of our own humanly minds.
Truly, the bad is always meant for good in some way in the long run. God does know what He is doing with each of our lives - we only have to trust Him. An argument with someone might be the only way that the Lord can show you that either you need to resolve an issue with that person, or you should not be around him or her. A natural disaster or personal distress can end up as God's way of saying "stop relying on yourself and the things of this world to get you by, and turn to Me." Or perhaps you might be humbled in a given situation to rid you of excess pride before it destroys you.
So you see, if we really think back to conflicting, confusing, or unfair times in our lives, God always has had a reason and a plan. Great faith comes only from surviving experiences, learning to see God's timing in our prayer requests, believing in the Lord's power to answer our prayers, and sharing our faith with others, in order to build upon what we have. Because, like anything else, our faith can become dormant if not exercised. As Revelation 14:12 states, "Here is the patience of the saints; here are those who keep the commandments of God and the faith of Jesus."