I remember once visiting a good, church-going lady, who, along with her family were facing challenging times. Somewhat embarrassed, she eventually blurted out her exasperation, declaring, ‘I honestly wonder sometimes why I bother praying!’
I didn’t argue. I knew how she felt.
Now I could have preached a whole lot of theological stuff, good, sound material, but it wouldn’t have hit the spot. Instead we considered how Biblical characters like David in the Psalms, prophets like Elijah, Jeremiah, Habakkuk, even John the Baptist also had their moments of doubt and pain.
Yet instead of turning away from God to a wilderness of cynical despair they brought their frustrations to God with respectful but very honest prayer. And that seems to be ok with the Lord. He understands.
When stuck for words I’ll often turn to a prayer book or better still the Psalms and find comfort and help in expressing myself in words written by others. I’ve also found it of help at times to write down what I’m trying to say. Some examples can be found in the ‘Prayers’ section of wordsurfers.com Feel free to use any lines or phrases you find helpful.
Just don’t, whatever you do – don’t ever stop praying! The Bible encourages us to be like trusting children ‘seeking our Father’s face’, confident He will greet His beloved children with a smile, not a scowl!
Seek His face today, submit to His guidance and may you know His grace in your need.
Prayer for Faith
Lord, I’m finding this so hard to understand.
It seems so unfair, so cruel, so…wrong!
Wickedness is flourishing and millions are suffering.
Despite the spread of good news and compassionate practice,
Falsehood, greed and the most appalling abuse persist.
Then comes a disease, earthquake or flood, sweeping away
The homes and livelihoods of poor, defenceless children.
What are we supposed to think?
The innocent are wiped out, the guilty carry on.
If we did that it would be a crime!
I don’t know, I don’t understand,
or perhaps struggle to accept an answer.
I can only bring my angry heart and weeping soul to Calvary.
Bowed there, before the King of Love, suffering that brutal travesty,
I choose to trust that surely we are not alone.
After an agonising wait, I look to an empty tomb at sunrise
and pray help and comfort for today’s victims.
In their pain may they still, and always, know love.
In their loss may they have strength to search, and find, hope.
In the deepest darkness may they be given the boldest faith.
Lord, may we all!