Sunday, August 23, 2009

Sickness, Prayer Sickness

Jesus said to pray and not lose heart (Luke 18:1-8). Paul said to pray without ceasing. But it hurts and feels stupid sometimes when you have prayed so long and so hard for the same things.
Of course, there is more to prayer than petition. We should also give thanks and praise and repent before the Lord. But when our loved ones hurt, and hurt, and hurt, and when we fear for their (and our) future, petition is central.

"God, please heal my loved one." Over and over, we pray it, along with requests for comfort, growth in Christ, or salvation. Jesus said not to pray in vain repetitions, and I wonder if I fall into that some times (Matthew 7:7). What to do?

1. Pray the Bible itself, especially Psalms, which are prayers expressing every human emotion.
2. Pray written prayers, especially from The Book of Common Prayer.
3. Try to pray with others instead of by oneself. There is a different dynamic in this, but it is difficult to find people who really storm heaven by Scripture.

2 comments:

  1. Speaking as one who has struggled with serious chronic diseases for nearly 30 years, I found the frustration was greatly lessened when I changed my attitude in prayer. Once I stopped prayng for healing, and instead began to pray for courage and peace to bear these illnesses, I was filled with that incredible, all-enfolding peace which passes our understanding.

    Do I still encounter frustration? Of course! But it's only occasional and fleeting now instead of being a near constant companion.

    God is in control. I have to believe that He has a plan and a purpose for this illness and that somehow He will be glorified in the long run. Meanwhile, He has given us the strength and courage we need to face each day and enjoy the life we have. He has also given us a strong sense of humor, which makes any difficulty easier to face.

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