Praying When Your Heart is Hurting

Tonight, a group of people from my congregation and beyond will gather to pray for an awesome young girl in our church family who is battling a serious health condition.  We will pray to “the God who sees me” (El Roi) in full confidence that he hears our prayers and notices our pain…yet our hearts still hurt for this girl and her family.  We are anxious about the outcome, and this is why we pray.  So, before we gather, I want to pass along this helpful reminder about prayer from Dr. John Mark Hicks, theology professor at Lipscomb University and author of the book Yet Will I Trust Him:

“…those laments are in Scripture precisely because God invites us to lament.  He invites us into his presence to speak our hearts to him.  God seeks communion – real communion.  He does not want ritual repetitions or high-sounding platitudes.  He wants to hear the hearts of his people.  He wants his people to share their hearts with him.  God wants to engage them in genuine communion, but there is no authentic communion when God’s people are not honest with their God.  Can we deceive God by ‘putting on a good face’ in prayer while our heart is breaking?  God does not seek such superficiality.  Rather, he yearns to hear the cries of his people so he can respond to their hurts and share their burden.”

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