Praying When You Hurt
Pardon me while I ask a very serious question: “How do you pray and continue to pray when it does not seem like God hears and answers?” Oh, I know a preacher or elder is not supposed to ask that. He is not supposed to feel that way. After all, he is the preacher. He is an elder. How can he ask something like that? But, seriously, when you do not feel like God is hearing and answering, where do you go? What do you do?
See, it is so easy to preach that God hears. God answers. It is easy to preach, “You need to keep your faith strong. You need to spend more time in the word of God.” I have said that. But until I lived it, I have learned what I may say can really be very empty to the one who is feeling God has left the building.
Yes, on an intellectual level we may know that is not true. But how many of us operate on an intellectual level when we are hurting? When our hearts are breaking? When we feel all alone? When we feel like our world is coming apart? When a relationship that has meant everything is lost? When a disaster has ruined a relationship? How do we go on?
Here is my answer. Please don’t look down on me. “I don’t know.” I used to think I did, but I have realized I don’t know. I don’t have the answer, but I have a seventeen-year-old grandson who helped me. He made a talk recently and this is what he said:
“He (God) is right there. Watching over you all day, every day. Once you hit rock bottom the only way is up. The negative always get our attention. I have tried being positive. I have learned it works. ‘A cheerful heart is a good medicine.’ The cure for our troubles is a cheerful heart. Seeing the positive in every circumstance. ‘Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatsoever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy – meditate on these things’ (Phil. 4:8). In our spiritual lives we cannot put ourselves down before the race even starts. A positive attitude is a must in order to succeed. We fail more than we like to admit. Satan is always bumping us off. Our God is a God of love, grace, and forgiving. ‘As far as the east is from the west, so far has He removed our transgressions from us’ (Psalms 103:12). He gave us a gift that keeps on giving. He sent His son so that we have unending grace and mercy. ‘Who is a God like You, pardoning iniquity and passing over the transgression of the remnant of His heritage? He does not retain His anger forever because He delights in mercy. He will again have compassion on us and will subdue our iniquities’ (Micah 7:18-19). His love, grace and mercy are beyond our imagination.”
Eli reminded his grandad; God is still there. God hears. God will take care. Grandad just needs to trust in God. You see, I cannot fix a broken heart. I cannot fix my own. But God can! I really believe that. “Lord, I believe; help my unbelief.”