Prayer has been elusive lately. I feel like I've been praying the same prayer for 10 months and right now the the connection just isn't as "strong". I'm not too worried - I've gone through lulls in my spiritual life before. I don't know if this is normal... or if I'm just not as dedicated a Christian as others, but in any event, it's me and my life. I find at times like this that I resort to "impromptu" prayers - not formal prayers. I say a quick thanks for the beautiful birds outside my window, a quick prayer for strength when I'm feeling particularly weak. It does bother me a bit that I can't seem to pray right now as I have so much to pray for. But I feel like I'm asking of God all the time.... for health, for strength, for my Dad and my sister and me as we grieve Mom's death....ask ask ask. I've been feeling this way for a while but it hasn't yet resolved. So my prayers continue to be minimal.
Then, a few days ago, I received an email from a woman ("H") I met on-line who has the same cancer as me. She wrote: I don't know about you but lately I've just been putting my hands up to Jesus and groaning. Nothing more to say. Just help us Lord.
That night, I opened a devotional I hadn't read for a while. For some reason, I decided to read the devotional for the day my Mom died (October 31). The verse is from Romans 6:26-27: "In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groans that words cannot express. And he who searches our hearts knows the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for the saints in accordance with God's will".
Wow - talk about an answer to a non-prayer! The devotion continues: "So we can simply pour from the fullness of our heart the burden of our spirit and the sorrow that seems to crush us. We can know that He hears, loves, understands, receives and separates from our prayer everything that is in error, imperfect, or wrong...... It is not necessary to be continually speaking to God, or always hearing from God, in order to have communion or fellowship with Him, for there is an unspeakable fellowship that is sweeter than words. A little child can sit all day long beside his mother, totally engrossed in his playing, while his mother is consumed by her work, and although both are busy and few words are spoken by either, they are in perfect fellowship.....Then when troubled with burdens and difficulties too complicated to put into words and too puzzling to express or fully understand, how sweet it is to fall into the embrace of His blessed arms and to simply sob out the sorrow that we cannot speak".
- from Streams in the Desert, L.B. Cowman
H, I hold up my hands as well and say "help us Lord". God hears us even though we don't know what to say. He hears the inmost desires of our heart and listens. May we both feel God's presence, love and peace. I keep thinking of this verse and it helps to feel "connected" even when I don't feel overly connected via prayer.