It is often in the very toughest of times and trials that God brings us to a crisis of faith, and it’s through that experience that God speaks to us and we begin to pray.
The writer C.S. Lewis put it best: “God whispers to us in our pleasures, speaks in our conscience, but shouts in our pain. It is his megaphone to rouse a deaf world.”
I experienced such a time in 2009 when I was diagnosed with prostate cancer. Me – a relatively young guy in excellent health with energy to spare. I never imagined that the word cancer would be attached to my life. And yet it was.
While I made it through surgery without incident, recovery nearly did me in. I was exhausted. I was fearful. I was weak and despondent. I wondered if I would ever get better.
For many months, I prayed to God for healing and for hope. Meanwhile, week after week, I crawled into the pulpit to deliver my weekly sermon, sustained by the prayerful persistence that connected my heart to God’s.
Strangely, during this time of pain and weakness, more than any other point in my life, I became utterly convinced of the power of prayer. Though I was wobbly and wounded, the more I pursued interaction with my heavenly Father, the more divine strength I sensed in my life. The more I knocked on the doors of heaven, the more I found God ready and willing to carry the burden I bore.
Whatever broken conditions you are facing today – in your marriage, your home, your family, through a child who’s wandered away, or the collapse of a career – it is so often pain that drives us to dependence upon God.
How many times through our pain do we discover our purpose? How many times through our suffering do we discover power? It’s this upside-down dynamic – of going from utter weakness to strength – that the apostle Paul talked about when he wrote, “But [God] said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.’” (2 Corinthians 12:9)
I’ve always loved the definition of prayer as “linking our nothingness to God’s almightiness.” When we’re wrestling our way through tragedy or wringing our hands over a cupboard that’s bare, God says, “It is I who can supply what you need. Just come to Me and ask.”
No matter what you are going through today I want to remind you that God is with you. He cares for you. He hears your prayers. And He will see you through it. All you have to do is draw near.