When you get into a tight place and everything goes against you until it seems that you cannot hold on for a minute longer, never give up then, for that is just the place and time that the tide will turn.
-Harriet Beecher Stowe
From "The Healing Power of Prayer," by Chester Tolson, Ph.D. and Harold G. Koenig, M.D.:
Life offers many challenges, the ultimate being death itself. We are sometimes called upon to face pain, suffering, loss, and grief that may seem impossible to handle. Prayer gives us hope and keeps us moving. Here is a formula you may use to help overcome. When confronted with a trial of any kind:
1. Face it.
2. Life it.
3. Commit it.
4. Release it.
Let's look at each of these in more detail:
1. Face it. One thing that adds enormous pressure to an already tense situation is our inability to face realistically what may be happening to us. We may be:
Fearful of the outcome
Unwilling to believe the facts
Embarrassed by the conditions
Protective of ourselves or others
Denying or avoiding a problem that requires action on our part is never helpful. Research has shown that people who do this regularly end up not coping as well. Studies of both college students and sick older adults demonstrate that those who approach their problems by avoidance and denial experience less well-being overall, compared to those who face their problems.
2. Lift it. After facing up to the real facts of what is happening in your life or someone else's, or in the conditions around you, and having done everything you know or can do with the help of thers, you must then lift these facts above yourself to God in prayer. At that point you make a full and complete disclosure of your needs. It is helpful to name them one by one. God does not need this recitation, but doing so strengthens us. We admit to ourselves that we cannot do it alone and we are asking God for help.
3. Commit it. Having faced it and lifted it to God, we commit it. We take it out of our hands and hand it over to God. The solution to the problem will be through us from God's divine will for our lives. This commitment should be without any reserves. It is handed over in faith that God will handle it.
4. Release it. Having faced it, lifted it, and committed it, we must release it. We may not be able to forget it, but we should release it and no longer worry about it.