PRAYER - WHY BOTHER?
After Catie died, I didn’t have a crisis of faith. I knew there was a God. I knew He loved me, and I believed with all my heart that Catie was safe with Him.
But I did have a crisis of prayer. Why bother? After all the nights standing by her bed, asking God for healing and seeing no results, I was done. Maybe I was just discouraged. Maybe I was frustrated that God hadn’t come through in the way I hoped. Maybe I didn’t want to risk being disappointed again.
I prayed at mealtimes and at a few public appearances, that was fine. But real prayer – that was tough. One realization that helped me back into conversation with God was understanding that God was big enough, strong enough, and loving enough to hear the cry of my heart. He was the same God who heard the heart of David.
David was a warrior/king who was also a musician/songwriter - a novel mixture of giftings and personality types.
David was the primary writer of the Psalms, the Bible’s songbook. Many of his lyrics are filled with praise to God and instruction for God’s people. But many others are laments, filled with pain and regret. In the laments, David poured out his broken heart to God.
Many lament psalms were for the community. They were sung by a nation reflecting on their corporate sorrow and regret. But some are personal – David wrestling one-on-one with God. Psalm 13 is a powerful example.
“For the Director of Music. A psalm of David.
How long, O LORD? Will you forget me forever? How long will you hide your face from me?
How long must I wrestle with my thoughts and every day have sorrow in my heart? How long will my enemy triumph over me? Look on me and answer, O LORD my God. Give light to my eyes, or I will sleep in death; my enemy will say, "I have overcome him," and my foes will rejoice when I fall.
But I trust in your unfailing love; my heart rejoices in your salvation. I will sing to the LORD, for he has been good to me.”
Two-thirds of this little psalm is wrapped in despair. I can identify with David’s seemingly endless sorrow and ongoing sense of defeat. But the rest overflows with hope. The final verses focus on God’s unfailing love, salvation, and goodness and David’s trust, joy, and singing. I’ve known some of that as well.
Don’t give up on prayer. In times of pain, we need prayer more than ever. God is ready to hear our lament. Coming to Him with our authentic pain and unresolved questions, pouring out the sorrows of our heart, allows a new awareness of His love, salvation, and goodness.
Waiting until all is well before coming to God in prayer is waiting too long. He is always ready to hear our troubled hearts.