A while back my wife Mary and I were reading Max Lucado's book He Still Moves Stones. Let me paraphrase the words of Max. The honest prayer of a hurting man, the feeble prayer of a righteous man.. the awkward prayer of the average joe/jane, the timid prayer of those emotionally/spiritually broken down.. the sincere prayer of a sinner, EVEN a 'pathetic prayer of Jeff' .. HAS GREAT POWER and WONDERFUL RESULTS.
This is my rambling paraphrase of James 5:16.Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective. , and gleaned from the truths found in Mark 9:14-29 where the power of God is found not in what we can do but instead when we pray.
Max also writes ..Our prayers may be awkward, our attempts may be feeble. BUT since the power of prayer is in the one who 'hears' it and not the one who 'says' it, our prayers make a difference.
That is great news for folk like me who can get lost in my real or perceived problems juggling them in my head all while I pray.. awkwardly. These sincere prayers are highlighted with fumbling words sounding confused, anxious, and kind of pathetic.
So do you ever say pathetic prayers. I am sure you don't, it's only me right? But I would like to suggest when we feel lost and/or pathetic simply cry to God "HELP! I DON'T KNOW WHAT TO DO!" That's OK, because God does.
I actually have my prayer list hanging on a bulletin board in my office. This simple list of very few words is mostly family, friends, my church, our country, and this tumultuous world.. and gives me a visual perspective that my issues pale by comparison.. LIFE IS NOT ABOUT ME and when I pray for others and trust God I find a peace that was not there when my prayers revolved around ME.
Philippians 4:6-7 do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
So let's all agree to bring our prayers to God even when our words are fumbling and our spirit is weak. Speak to God when you feel forsaken, alone, desperate, when your thoughts are riddled with doubts.. AND when life is good (do not let your guard down) . Our perfect Heavenly Father hears our word and His spirit interceds for us.
Romans 8:26-27 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 through wordless groans. And he who searches our hearts knows the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for God’s people in accordance with the will of God.
May God bless all of you today with the promise of .. when life is difficult.. God says, "Don't worry, I got your back.
Jeff (in need of HELP) Larson
The mutterings on life and faith by cartoonist Jeff Larson