Several months after my daughter left us on her personal journey of discovery I stopped praying for her.
My Bible study prayer partner called me on it. After we’dswapped written prayer requests for the week she said, “Penny. There’s something missing here.”
“Really? I don’t think so.”
“Yes, there is. Look,” she said handing me back my list. “Your daughter’s name isn’t here, is it?”
Before I could answer she touched my hand, looked me straight in the eye, and gently but firmly said, “You’ve stopped praying for her, haven’t you?”
I had given up on prayer.
Actually—I had given up on God.
After all, He’d let this happen, and despite all the hours and tears I’d spent desperately praying with a broken heart, pleading for Him to send her home and make things right again, nothing had changed. She was still gone, and I had no idea where she was. So why keep praying about it?
Maybe you’re in a similar situation, feeling the same way right now. If you are, I can truly say, “I know how you feel,” and I’m sorry you’re going through whatever it is that has you experiencing so much pain.
But more than empathizing and understanding I have three things to share that I learned during what some have called my“dark night of the soul.” Maybe this will help you, or someone you know, get through a really rough time.
He wasn’t bored or exasperated hearing me go over and over what I was feeling and dealing with. He was listening, He cared, and as I opened up and talked to Him with brutal honesty, it deepened my relationship with Him—my trust in God was regained.
“O my people, trust in him at all times. Pour out your heart to him, for God is our refuge.” Psalm 62:8
As I slowly allowed Him to loosen my grip on all I so tightlyheld—as I stopped trying to solve and fix everything myself—and turned my attention back toward heaven—I was reminded of how powerful, capable and faithful God is. Little-by-little I was able to relinquish my position of self-reliance and give Him space to work in my life—dependenceon Him returned.
“Look up into the heavens. Who created all the stars? He brings them out like an army, one after another, calling each by its name. Because of His great power and incomparable strength, not a single one is missing.” Isaiah 40:26
When I stopped asking, “Why?” stopped pleading for Him to magically repair and restore all that was broken in my life, and began asking, “How?” How am I supposed to respond to all of this? How can I cope with what is clearly beyond my control?—peace was restored in my soul.
“Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:6-7
God hears us when we pray. Our prayers move Him—even when we don’t see or feel a thing.
God loves us.
He’s on our side.
We can trust Him with our future.
Don’t give up. Keep praying!
PS: You’ll be happy to know that after three long years of being separated God brought my daughter and I back together. Today our relationship and love for each another is stronger than ever.