Friday, May 27, 2011

dear Jesus

If you are a friend or family member that has the opportunity to speak with me on a regular basis, then you've probably heard me say this a lot:

Sometimes I just don't know how to pray.

Do you ever feel that way?

My Daddy is pretty ill.  He has been for a long time.  He's also made many hospital visits/stays over the course of his life.  And as bad as it sounds, I'm becoming somewhat desensitized to the whole thing.

Don't get me wrong.  I love my Daddy!  And I want nothing more than for him to be and STAY healthy.

So when people ask, how should I pray for him?  I answer, I don't know.

Should I pray....
...that his body to be healed completely?  and is that even possible considering how 'beat up' his body is due to his lifestyle?
...that his walk with the Lord is formed and strengthened, in spite of his bitterness and hardened heart? see the lesson there is for me to learn out of all this?
...for my own heart/emotions?
...for his strength to, at least, fight through one more day?
...for his days to be lengthened?
...or even, to dare pray, that his battle with this life simply end?

To be honest with you, none of those seem to suit the situation.  They don't feel quite right when I pray them.  Something is missing.

Amy Carmichael's view on prayer is helpful to me:
  1. We don't need to explain to our Father things that are known to Him.
  2. We don't need to press Him, as if we had to deal with an unwilling God.
  3. We don't need to suggest to Him what to do, for He Himself knows what to do.
And, of course, God's Word is the perfect comfort-food for the soul:

And when you pray, do not heap up empty phrases as the Gentiles do, for they think that they will be heard for their many words.  Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask Him. -Matthew 6:7-8

Likewise the Spirit helps us in our weakness.  For we do not know what to pray for as we ought, but the Spirit Himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words.  And He who searches hearts knows what is the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for the saints according to the will of God.  -Romans 6:26-27

So, how should I pray for my Daddy?
I still don't know.
But it's OK.
And, somehow, that feels right.

1 comment:

Love is to the heart what the summer is to the farmer's year - it brings to harvest all the loveliest flowers of the soul. -Unknown