A member of our congregation came in last Sunday and told me, “I’m done. I don’t even know what to pray for anymore.” I bet you have no difficulty understanding her comments. We hoped with the coming of a new year, we could leave behind all the events, challenges and pains of 2020; only to find that so much of last year has bled into this new one.
It’s tiring. It’s exhausting. And so, came the cry, “I’m done. I don’t even know what to pray for anymore.”
If you are feeling this way too, let me share some good news with you: “I’m done. I don’t even know what to pray for anymore,” is a wonderful and holy prayer. It is taking those feelings that resonate in the depths of your soul and you are lifting them up to God. That is prayer at its finest.
Good prayer doesn’t mean it is a comfortable prayer. Good prayer doesn’t ignore the pain. Good prayer is honest prayer.
Phillip Yancey was teaching a class at a church in Chicago when a young woman raised her hand with a question. He knew her as a shy, conscientious student who attended faithfully but never spoke. The rest of the class seemed surprised as well and listened attentively. “I’m not always sincere when I pray,” she began. “Sometimes it seems forced, more like a ritual. I’m just repeating words. Does God hear those prayers? Should I keep going even though I have no confidence that I’m doing it right?”
Yancey let the silence hang in the room for a moment before attempting an answer. “Do you notice how quiet it is in here?” he said. “We all sense your honesty. It took courage for you to be vulnerable, and you touched a nerve with others of us in the room. You seem sincere, unlike a salesman, say, who gets paid to give a spiel. We’re tuned in, listening, respectfully, because you are being authentic. And I imagine it’s the same with God. More than anything else, God wants your authentic self.”
If you are feeling overwhelmed by the events swirling around you right now, and you feel you are sinking – let go of the rock! Let go of all your burdens, all your fears, all your concerns, and instead call up to God and say, “I’m done. You deal with this,” and had it all to the Lord.
You know what? He will take it!
Through prayers like this, we come to see that God really does have us safely in his arms, even and especially through these rough times. By giving these prayers to God we find we don’t have to have the power to overcome, we just have to turn them over to the one who does.
Rest in that hope weary ones.
~ Pastor Dan