Pray Till the “Ache” Goes Away

 

“I pour out my complaint before him; before him I tell my trouble.”
(Psalms 142:2)

Sometimes all you have is ten minutes to pray and that’s that.

But let me suggest a better way. As often as possible, put yourself in a position to pray…as long as it takes. I call it, “praying till the ‘ache’ goes away.”

Don’t deny the hurt

Several years ago I passed through the valley of the shadow of death in one extremely important area of my life. I was distraught beyond words. When alone, it wasn’t at all unusual for me to break down, sobbing over what I perceived to be my terrible, irretrievable loss. It probably didn’t help that simultaneously, I was trying to get my money’s worth out of a first-class mid-life crisis.

I would go to the LORD in prayer, feeling as though there was a knot in my chest, a dense, heavy ache that made it nearly impossible to go on. I prayed into that ache, peeling it away like the layers of an onion, telling God exactly how I felt and what I feared. I kept praying and praying and praying, until I had totally emptied myself upon my God.

Let me tell you, that’s casting your cares on the LORD (Psalm 55:22). You know what I found? He sustained me, just as He promised He would. The problem was still there…but at least for that moment, the ache was gone.

The good news is that God worked a miracle through that time of utter submission to Him and His will, and pulled a Job on me. Some time later, He restored to me infinitely more in that very area, than He had initially taken away.

Get in touch with your own “ache”

But I never forgot that lesson. Now, I’ve learned to identify the “ache.” It’s always there – but it’s not always in the form of intense sorrow.

Sometimes, there’s a bubbling effervescence that I can’t stop – and don’t want to! It can be as simple as having a lot of important stuff on my mind to talk over with my Best Friend and refusing to quit until I’ve got it all off my chest. At other times, it’s an indefinable inner sense that although I’ve finished my conscious agenda, somehow our conversation isn’t complete. At such times I let my fingers pause over the keys…and wait.

The truth is, every single one of us has a deep, inner “ache” to know our Creator, our Savior, our holy Indweller.

Give in to it.

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Scripture taken from the HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®. NIV®. Copyright© 1973, 1978, 1984 by International Bible Society. Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved.

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