Prayer, Chronic vs. Acute and the Desperate Choice

The Solution for Desperate Choice

Desperate choice calls for desperate prayer. With prayer, I always mix chronic and acute needs. Ongoing issues, circumstances, obstacles, and constraints list the chronic needs that I face where prayer provides daily sustenance until my deliverance. Acute needs are those immediate needs, things happening right now where I need help, right now. God knows what I need and when I need it. Although I sometimes think I understand timing best, prayer will teach me who really knows best. In this acceptance, I step closer to humility and my Lord.

When in a desperate place, a place where I think, ‘only one way out:’ the desperate choice. I need emergency acute prayer. Whenever I have this type of thought, I need to take 5 to pray. Just five minutes of prayer can bring me back from the edge of the desperate choice. Reach out to God. Ask him for help. Especially if that desperate choice means suicide, harming myself or someone else, or giving into addiction.

I’m not talking about emergency workers or soldiers here. They know they will face emergency decisions as part of their profession, and prepare in advance for immediate emergency response. They can’t pray for 5 most of the time. In contrast, I usually have time to take 5 to pray.

Returning from the Edge of Desperate Choice

After I come back from the edge of the desperate choice, I need to strengthen my lifelines. I need to commit to regular times of communication with God in prayer and study of his Word. Then I need to look at my list of friends. Which ones would I do anything for? Get on a plane to fly across the world to save them, get them out of prison, get them to a hospital—lay down my life? Maybe I would do this for everyone on my list. I suspect that in dire circumstances, that I would be surprised how much risk I would shoulder to save even a casual acquaintance. Nevertheless, I will pick a handful of people, then send them a note letting them know that I am there for them anytime they ask. That they can call on me anytime, anywhere, and I will be there, especially in the darkness. If I don’t have a friend, I will ask God to send me a friend that I need and who needs me.

Preparing for the Desperate Choice

Then the next time I get to the desperate choice, I will take 5 to pray, and then call, text, or e-mail one of the people I have chosen as a lifeline. I’ll let them know I’m feeling isolated and depressed. I’ll ask them to pray for me. This will demonstrate my permission to them to call me when they near the desperate choice and will show them that I meant what I said, when I said, they could call me.

By living this way and sharing my acute, desperate experiences, I can strengthen my chronic need for true community. So instead of retreating, hiding, and licking my wounds, I’ll bring it all into the light. I might be surprised to find many others are and have been in the same desperate place with a desperate choice as me.

As I do this, I suspect God will bring people into my life that desperately need lifelines. Sadly, I missed the warning signs for two and didn’t see them contemplating a desperate choice, and I wasn’t there for them when they took their lives. ‘Lord, may I be more diligent and attentive from this point forward.’

Imaginary ideas about my future creates the perception of a desperate choice. These ideas about future and desperate choice are always lies. I cannot know what will happen in an hour much less tomorrow. Just pray and wait. Ask God for help. Ask God for sight and help to focus on the reality of the here and now. “Wait on the Lord: be of good courage, and he shall strengthen thine heart: wait, I say, on the Lord.” – Psalm 27:14

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