The house was quiet and Dave and I drifted off to sleep with a plan to take the next morning slow and easy. A rare treat as our middle child had been on suicide watch for some time, causing shifts in our sleep habits. All three kids were at a church camp retreat. REM sleep had settled in when a sudden surge penetrated my body and shot me to a straight up position in bed while the words “in Jesus name” left my mouth loud enough to wake Dave.
Spread the burden, share the pain!Standard
Startled by the ring tone of dogs barking, signaling a text message on my phone, I quickly sat up from a deep sleep. After trying to rub away the blurriness of my weary eyes, I managed to finally focus on the late night hour. Immediately I knew something was wrong. I read the text which confirmed my gut reaction. A dear friend was asking for prayer for her sick and physically frail husband.
I wasn’t surprised by the message of her text, nor was I inconvenienced by the late hour at which the request came. After all, missing an hour of sleep to pray was effortless compared to the countless hours they had spent battling at hospitals or treatment centers. This “spiritual giant” of a man has been an integral part of my own spiritual development, so of course I would respond to the request with great awareness and tearful pleas to heal him. As I was praying, asking for the same healing, the same miraculous intervention as I had many times before, it hit me…
“Empty” Prayers Fall Heavy on God’s heart.Standard
Today, once again, I found myself crumbling on my face before God. Not uncommon given the last couple years of our family life have been wrecked and emotionally turned upside down. All to familiar to me is this place of hopelessness and unanswered questions. A place of heart wrenching turmoil over the life of one of my dear children. Breath stopping anguish and pain settle in and so I do what I know I am suppose to. I pray. At least I try. But the more my mind searches for words, the more I realize they aren’t there. At least nothing new. No new clichés` or verses come to mind. But my prayers fade to thoughts, accusations maybe, or even fear that my prayers are nothing more than empty reciting of meaningless words. Continue reading