All repetitions are not “vain repetitions.” Souls in agony have no space to find variety of language: pain has to content itself with monotones.
Cultivate your trust and familiarity with the Lord in prayer now so that when the hammer comes down, when the dam bursts, and when the earthquake hits, the door to the throne room of God is well-oiled and will open easily when you run through it.
When the river of suffering rages around you and you ignore prayer, there is no peace, righteousness, strength, growth, sustenance, joy, courage, and steadfastness. Paul wrote in his letter to the Philippians that the path to peace is prayer. This is one of the amazing benefits of suffering – you can fully expect to find your times of prayer with the Lord to be sweeter, more engaging, more passionate, and more focused. Don’t expect to accept the plan of God without doing so in prayer.
Why name joy the gift in trials? Because trials keep us from becoming complacent about our loving God and Savior when we are forced to our knees and the tears won’t stop. It is only then that our communion with our God is the purest. Trials drive us to run boldly to the throne of grace, to the safety of being on our faces in the presence of God, and to spend time in deep communion with God. When we are hurting, we don’t suffer as much from weak, shallow, and meaningless minutes with the Lord, We learn to relish and anticipate hours with God! The experience of communion and intimate fellowship with God is the very depiction of joy!