Praying Through Pain

Sometimes I find it hard to trust God. I have experienced His love and grace in such richness throughout my life, so I know He will prove faithful yet again. However during difficult seasons, my heart can easily seize up, unable to believe that He will truly meet me in the midst of my pain. My prayers become desperate with each passing day they remain unanswered: God, please fix this. Please heal this person, please show up in this situation, please restore, please show mercy. Please. Please.

So what happens when our prayers go unanswered? It can seem easier to give up on communicating with God altogether, enacting a kind of silent treatment against our Creator. We barely open the Bible because we don’t believe God will use it to speak to our particular situation. Surrounded by pain and questions, we allow ourselves to be ruled by anxiety, often adding to an already difficult circumstance.

Having become so focused on the end-goal of having God solve our problem, we can forget to simply appreciate that He is there listening with love. God is patient with us as we list off the things we want Him to do, the people we want him to take care of, and the pleas for that elusive perfect job. God delights in giving his children good gifts, but His greatest desire is that that we would live our lives by the direction and power of the Holy Spirit, completely trusting in and depending on Him.

What if our view of God has been too small? We hear that He is all-powerful, but do we truly expect to experience that personally? What would happen if we were able to talk to God like a friend, laying our emotions bare before him? In order to truly begin to follow Christ, we actually have to be in intimate relationship with him. Building trust takes time. We have to come to him with every aspect of our lives, even the painful ones, and ask Him, “How do you want to use this? What are you trying to teach me?”

We should expect God not only to listen, but to answer – through the timeless stories of His Word and that still, small voice in the recesses of our minds. This kind of prayer is not always easy to do – it feels silly or unproductive, sitting around waiting for God to show up. But Our Father, who is eager to answer our prayers and to bless His children when they ask, wants us to understand why He does this in the first place. He just wants to be with you. He wants you to know that He values you simply because you are his son or daughter. He knows and feels your joy and your pain, and will walk alongside you through both. Because you are loved by Him, you can walk forward in confidence knowing your prayers have been heard, and you are never alone.

Erika is a Dinner Group Leader at Hoboken Grace and you can read more about faith, relationships, and life lessons on her blog Married in Mile Square City.

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