Each of us, no matter what our faith or lack of it, will be challenged by the death of something valuable and meaningful to us. It can be the death of a person, a marriage, or our physical health.
In our losses, upsets and tragedies, we come face to face with our own mortality – what we can and cannot do and what we believe or don’t believe.
Grieving losses take time and energy. It’s hard work. Our desire to be out of pain becomes overwhelming at times; we want relief and we want it now. We are like the man in the desert dying from thirst. When given water, he gulps it down and quickly holds out his cup for more.
In our desire to return to a world of stability, we try to gulp down enough comfort, hope and peace to make it happen right away. At times it seems as though we have a hole in our cup and the wellbeing we crave drains out as fast as it is poured in.
So it is with prayers. “God fix me. Give me that shot of spiritual morphine to deaden this pain – that elixir of life to make everything okay again.” But that’s not how God works and that’s not how the world works.
Just like all the journeys we make in life, there is a process, meeting the challenges each day and slowly working through them. We can either draw closer to God during this time or push Him away.
Do prayers help?
Scientific research has shown that prayer has a healing influence in the medical arena, even when the recipient is unaware he is being prayed for. I know in my own life, I wouldn’t be where I am today without the faith to work through my struggles.
We need more than just positive thinking or determination to work through the losses in our life. We need the strength, hope and healing power of a God who loves us more than we can begin to fathom.
It is easy to get discouraged. When we feel no relief, it may seem as though prayers and questions remain unanswered. Does He hear and answer our prayers? Why don’t I feel better?
We all want that immediate response from God. But I found that when I left my pain and depressed spirit with God each morning I was given what was needed for that day.
Your idea of prayer may be different than mine. For me, prayer is not some religious ritual but a relationship. Prayer is a part of my internal dialogue – streaming of consciousness and thought. Just as in other close relationships, sometimes nothing needs to be said –there is simply a deep understanding.
You might not feel comfortable with the whole concept of prayer. If however, you have a belief in God, or want to believe, you may want to start a conversation. Begin by closing your eyes and seeing yourself having a conversation with your closest friend. Then see God as your closest friend.
What would you like to say to God if He were right there in front of you? What worries and concerns would you like to ask Him to help you with? Maybe you want to tell God about your anger and doubts but are afraid to tell Him you are angry with Him. Just tell Him as it is. Be honest. He knows all about it anyway.
And as you step out to start that relationship with God, remember that God loves you just as you are. It is not a love you earn. It is a gift.