“Are you doing business in great waters, or wading around in the shallows?”

“Those who go down to the sea in ships, who do business on great waters; they have seen the works of the Lord, and His wonders in the deep. For He spoke and raised up a stormy wind, which lifted up the waves of the sea. Their soul melted away in their misery.” Psalm 107:23-31

Many Christians regard prayer as their spiritual airbag. In my car’s owner’s manual it says, “Frontal airbags are designed to deploy in moderate to severe crashes.” Weak and immature Christians believe that prayer is like an airbag, to be deployed only in emergencies.

First, what is the “business” these sailors in Psalms do out on the “great waters?” At first, it looks like it’s the business of transporting goods—merchant marines. However, a deeper look reveals that it’s not the shipping business to which the writer refers.

It’s the business of calling out to God when the seas get rough and unpredictable. The text says: “Their soul melted away in misery. They reeled and staggered like a drunken man and were at their wits end.” It’s what I call deep-water praying. Life and death are at stake and the outcome is uncertain.

Second, deep-water praying is not just for when the ship is sinking. I believe great waters is where God would have us do all our praying. The wonders of the Lord are not found in the harbor or the shallows, but in the deep waters.

Deep water is where God is more in control than we are, our feet can’t touch bottom. Our options are limited only to His grace, wisdom and strength. It’s when we are out of our comfort zone that we learn to fully trust Him. Great water praying is when I’m not comfortable, and yet I know I’m right in the center of His will for that moment.

Third, Scripture is replete with great guidance for praying. But when it comes to our personal prayer life, too many are communicating with God dabbling around in the shallows. Deep water praying doesn’t mean we must always pray longer and harder, just deeper.

Jesus warned against long wordy prayers that put the person on display for their spiritual vocabulary. He said they have their reward. Instead, Jesus desires depth of prayer. Sincerity wins over longevity and vocabulary every time.

Today, some of you are in the deep waters of life. Not because you asked for it, but because life put you there. Health issues, difficult decisions handed down by the courts, severed relationships with family or friends, aging and financial setbacks are all deep water and stormy sea issues.

Never forget. We serve a deep-water God! Keep your eye on the Captain of your ship, not the waves tossing you about. America is reeling and staggering like a drunken man because of the Covid-19 virus. Many are at their wits and afraid of what tomorrow may bring.

As believers, learning to trust God while doing business in great waters is not for our benefit alone. Many who cross our path daily know very little, if anything, about navigating through troubled waters.

Till this storm passes over, God is calling the Church to join Him as life preservers and life transformers to the hurting and fearful all around us. No better day than today to throw a lifeline to someone who is struggling!

“When my heart is weak, I cry out to you from the very ends of the earth. Lead me to the rock that is higher than I am.” Psalm 62:1