The Prayer of Faith

sad man i cannot pray

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God, I want to pray but I can’t. Sometimes you are our only hope, and it seems like you’re really not much. You let that little girl in California get murdered the other day. Right now, in every corner of the earth, someone is grieving over a child who is about to die, crying out to you for deliverance — knowing you are their only hope — and maybe afraid that that’s not much.

I know, death isn’t the end of THE story. But it’s an important part of OUR story, God.

WE care about our lives. WE hurt and ache and long for you to deliver us from the things that darken our way upon the earth. So I cannot pray. I cannot pray because to pray is to again find myself broken-hearted that my God so often does not heal. My God so often does not rescue the perishing. Sure you may grieve with us. But it would be nice if you would save your tears and raise your hands instead. What do we do in these moments when we realize that you’re our only hope and that doesn’t seem like much? That is why I cannot pray.

I want to have faith that stays in the middle of chaos and confusion and pain. I want to be a person who does not run from my own emptiness. I want to know you love me. I want to love you too. Even on the days when I am far from you — during the times I am running — I want to know you are still there, right where you kissed me goodbye  and waved, settling into a chair on the front porch, patiently waiting for me to return. But there are times I cannot pray. So pray for me. Pray in spite of me. Pray with my weakness. Pray with my muteness. Pray with my prayerlessness. Pray with my emptiness. Pray with my pain. Pray with my lack of love. Pray through me, to you, with or without me. Pray in the sighs and the groans that words cannot express.

You are my only hope. There are times that doesn’t seem like much. That is why I cannot pray.

Amen.