When Prayer is Hard

“And the Holy Spirit helps us in our weakness.” (Romans 8:26a NLT)

Has this Christmas season been hard? Perhaps a severe loss has you grieving. I get it. Pain is a tremendous deterrent to celebration. It’s as though life has been sucked out of us. Even as Jesus followers, we’re not exempt from the anguish of suffering and loss.

Grief, in whatever form it may come, can rob us of energy, desire, motivation. It’s almost like the seasonal “blow-ups” you see in people’s lawns before the power is turned on and they’re just sort of lying in a pile, waiting to be filled again.

My daughter and I were preparing to leave for a mission’s trip, when my wife announced to me, she would let me know when I returned whether or not she was leaving. That was the beginning of a deep sense of loss that continued through our divorce and into subsequent years of battling depression and all that entails.

I understand what it’s like to not have energy, even to pray. That’s when it’s important to know that others are praying for us, the most important Person among them being, the Holy Spirit. Paul wrote in Romans 8:26-27: And the Holy Spirit helps us in our weakness. For example, we don’t know what God wants us to pray for. But the Holy Spirit prays for us with groanings that cannot be expressed in words. And the Father who knows all hearts knows what the Spirit is saying, for the Spirit pleads for us believers in harmony with God’s own will.”

Even though I felt I didn’t deserve love. Even when I had no energy and little desire even to pray, wondering if God was walking out with my wife and kids. Even when I had nothing to offer anyone. Even then God was praying for me, ushering in healing, wholeness and help I couldn’t have known how to ask for myself.

Whatever your loss. Whatever is causing your deep sadness and self-deprecating thoughts, know this – God loves you! He’s with you (Emmanuel)! He’s for you! And He’s working in and through even this painful season to bring you good. That’s what He promises in the very next verse – Romans 8:28 says: “And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to His purpose for them.”

It may not mean much now, but on the basis of my own experience and the authority and truthfulness of God’s Word, while God hasn’t caused this loss in your life, He saw it coming before the foundation of the earth was laid, and He’s working to bring you good that is literally unimaginable to you in this moment. Be assured of two things: You are not alone, and God will walk with you into a future that is better than anything you can currently imagine.

He loves you! He’s with you! He’s working even this tragic loss for your good. Trust Him. Let Him surround you with His compassionate, caring, strong arms. Let Him cradle you and protect you in the safety and security of His holy Presence.

I am praying for you, believing now what you can’t believe for yourself, that better days are ahead. You WILL get through this, by the grace of God and with the help of loving friends and family. PLEASE, I know you don’t feel like it, but please click this link and listen to a song that will bless and encourage you. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eUHRDCYnFfg  

Blessings, Ed 😊

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