Monday, October 21, 2013

When Prayer Doesn't Cut It....

Sometimes, it seems as if the world around me is crumbling, like I am living within the deep crevasse of brokenness that is our "world".

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  • Marriages falling apart. 
  • Children stricken with chronic illness.
  • Mothers given months to live. 
  • Relationships broken beyond repair.
  • Drugs suffocating the potential of our future generations. 
  • Abuse sucking souls dry and leaving inhabited shells behind, left to find hope once again.  

Being married to someone who is "in ministry" can (at times) leave me with a skewed view of reality.  I live within the dichotomy of despair and spiritual euphoria, causing reality whiplash when I am not careful to stand firm in truth.  But, as always, when I go to scripture, my barometer resets. I find new hope, I find sound advice, wisdom washes over me, and hope is revealed through Jesus Christ, alone.

Knowing all of this, still, I find myself wallowing in the puddles of apathy and pity... for our society, for my friends, and at times for myself... and again...God gently sets my feet back of the firm foundation of prayer.

Prayer is so counterintuitive.  When every cell in my body is moved to action, quickly I realize my haste, my inability to help, my complete need for codependency, and the simple fact that the situation is out of my control.  When I am confronted with desperation, my human nature drives me to anger, to rage, to a place where peace does not exist.  I want to be the healer, I want to be the provider, I want to be the protector... but i can't.  I must release it.  With open hands, I pray, because HE alone is the provider, the healer, the protector... 

So, I come to the Father in prayer because He told me to.  Jesus himself said in Matthew 6

But when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you. And when you pray, do not keep on babbling like pagans, for they think they will be heard because of their many words. Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask him.

Prayer is easy.  I don't need fancy words to utter the groaning of my heart.  He does not require all the details of me, because HE knows.   I do not need to enter into a church to pray, or to be heard by others... but in the quiet of my soul I can pour out my cry before HIM and He hears.  I can petition my cause to Him and call on HIS name to heal, to provide, to protect...

I love that the Bible includes the story of Job... simply because our life will never be as horrific as Job's.  What is worse than losing every family member, all of your possessions, contracting leprosy, and then having your 3 best friends tell you that it was your fault... but really, it wasn't.

In Job 16:19-21 Job replies to one of the "friends" talking to him, and says:

Even now my witness is in heaven;
    my advocate is on high.
20 My intercessor is my friend[a]
    as my eyes pour out tears to God;
21 on behalf of a man he pleads with God
    as one pleads for a friend.

My intercessor is my friend... An intercessor is defined as "someone who intervenes on behalf of someone else, esp through prayer"...

When Job had lost everything, he found that the only one who could offer hope to him, here on earth, was his intercessor.  We have been given the power of intercession through the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ.  Before Jesus' life we would have to approach the temple with a sacrifice so that we were clean before God, in oder to make a petition to Him.  But now, Jesus himself has invited us into the divine through the act of prayer.

I am trying to make prayer my habit.  When I encounter a hopeless situation, I pray.  But still, I have to admit to you, that even yesterday, when I prayed for a friend in the trenches of agony, prayer didn't feel like enough.  I felt the need to do more, to be more, to act more... but there was nothing I was able to do to change the situation, other than pray.   Prayer was my only course of action.

So when you feel hopeless for someone, or for something (i.e.:our government) pray.  Satan wants us to diminish the power of prayer.  He wants us to use it as a last resort instead of our knee-jerk reaction.  Satan places within our mind cynicism towards prayer, taking away the invitation of Jesus Christ, to come and pray, to ask, to intercede, to be an advocate...

Christ ends his call to prayer in Matthew 6 by offering us an example.

“‘Our Father in heaven,
hallowed be your name,
10 your kingdom come,
your will be done,
    on earth as it is in heaven.
11 Give us today our daily bread.
12 And forgive us our debts,
    as we also have forgiven our debtors.
13 And lead us not into temptation,[a]
    but deliver us from the evil one.

May this be the framework of every prayer we lift up.

Thanks for reading ... now pray. 


  1. I completely understand what you're saying about being weighed down by the woes of others/our world/etc. So many times, I also have felt like praying wasn't enough. :( Thank you for the reminder that it is one of the most powerful things we can do.

  2. Yes! I'm right there with you right now.


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