Bearing Prayer

Read Psalm 5

“O Lord, hear me as I pray,

pay attention to my groaning.

Listen to my cry for help, my King and my God,

for I pray to no one but you.

Listen to my voice in the morning, LORD.

Each morning I bring my requests to you

and wait expectantly. (Psalm 5.1-3, New Living Translation)

 

“Prayer is not asking. Prayer is putting oneself in the hands of God, at His disposition, and listening to His voice in the depth of our hearts.” ― Mother Teresa

My Grandmother is now 94. She has led a long and faithful life and is now prepared to die. Recently, she said to her son, “I don’t know what I’m doing wrong. I’ve asked the Lord to come carry me home. But I’m still here. I ain’t going nowhere.”

How do you respond to such an honest, heart-felt prayer? How can we show compassion and best enter into such pain with ones we love? Are we prepared to wait expectantly, no matter how long it takes, while prayers seem to go unanswered?

In Psalm 5, David shows us that the most meaningful prayer involves our whole lives to prepare and our whole being to carry out.  While there is not a single, prescribed method for faithful prayer, it is essential that we offer our whole selves. Hold nothing back. Not pray willy-nilly whatever comes to our minds and call that “the leading of the Spirit.” The true Spirit of Christ moves us to search our minds for our raw, authentic needs and desires and shout them out to the One who knows us better than we know ourselves and loves us more than we could ever imagine possible.

Psalm 5 stresses that we talk directly to God, not just about him. Instead of just asking someone to pray for us, it is essential that we pray for ourselves. Prayer can not only be done by proxy. It is our way to build a relationship with our Heavenly Father, who is not removed from our experience, but in the person of Christ, has entered into our lives and, through the presence of the Holy Spirit, shares our deepest sorrows and celebrates our greatest joys.

What do you say to someone who expresses intense needs and desires and is frustrated that it seems prayers are not being answered?

How can we best “bear one another’s burdens” with someone who has such a heavy burden to bear?

Heavenly Father, you know what I need before I tell you. Still, you want me to share my deepest needs and greatest joys. Fill my heart with a desire to express myself so I can better know you and what you want for my life.

 

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