This is adapted from Steve May’s book HERE COMES TROUBLE.

Former baseball great Satchel Paige once said, “Don’t pray when it rains if you don’t pray when the sun shines.”

This sounds like good old salt-of-the-earth wisdom, but it’s terrible advice. (For future reference, good advice never begins with the phrase, “Don’t pray.”)

Everyone knows that it’s a mistake not to pray when the sun is shining. But it’s foolish to compound this mistake by refusing to pray when the rain starts pouring down. Even if you haven’t prayed enough in the past, this is time to start praying more than ever.

Many times, when trouble strikes, our first reaction is panic. Our first emotion is fear. We need to get past that and move move in the direction of prayer.

This is what happened to King Jeshophat when he heard the news that three armies were aligned against him, prepared to attack. The Bible says…

Jehoshaphat was terrified by this news and begged the Lord for guidance. (2 Chronicles 20:3)

First came fear, a normal reaction.

Then came prayer.

Then came guidance.

Then provision.

Then victory.

This is where God’s work in your life often begins: from a place of need, or hurt, or fear. Many who walk close to Christ can tell you that it was pain that led them to pursue a deeper walk with God. Despair can be a catalyst to experiencing God’s power.

There’s a reason for this. When confronted with trouble, we’re more likely to shed the religious façade and get real with God. In the journey to experiencing God, this is the first step.