Return to Prayer

May 7, 2013

Today’s Reflection

WHAT WOULD MY LIFE be like if I just stopped praying altogether? I mean, what if God promised me that things would stay the same regardless of whether I prayed or not: would I still continue to pray? That’s a hard question. But I’ve thought about it because on a whole other level I’m a little curious about why some of us feel compelled to pray, even when our scales of belief are tipped toward the negative.

But even with a sporadic prayer life, I can’t imagine a life without prayer, without some effort to reach for God with all the cares and worries I drag with me wherever I go, and without some effort to invite God to speak to me in the times when I am sensible enough to just be quiet. Plus there’s a side of me that doesn’t really know how to express my love for God without prayer in my life. I’m not sure when or how I started feeling this way, but somewhere along the line, I’ve discovered that when I do pray, I am reminded of who God is and who I am. It’s hard to pray for anything without at some point naming God as one who is capable of all things.

- Enuma Okoro
Reluctant Pilgrim

From page 95 of Reluctant Pilgrim: A Moody, Somehwat Self-Indulgent Introvert’s Search for Spiritual Community. Copyright © 2010 by Enuma Okoro. All rights reserved. Used by permission. http://bookstore.upperroom.org/ Learn more about or purchase this book.

Today’s Question

When have you stopped praying? What made you return to prayer? Share your thoughts.

Today’s Scripture

The LORD is king! Let the earth rejoice; let the many coastlands be glad!
Psalm 92:1, NRSV

This Week: pray for single mothers. Submit your prayer to The Upper Room Living Prayer Center or share it in the comment section below.

Did You Know?

Need a Spiritual Retreat? Join us at SOULfeast, the Upper Room’s spiritual retreat at Lake Junaluska Conference and Retreat Center in the beautiful Smoky Mountains, July 14-18, 2013. Come discover how, as the Holy Spirit washes over us, this powerful presence brings us alive to God, community, transformation, and missions in the here and now. For more information, visit soulfeast.upperroom.org.

Saints, Inc.:

This week we remember:
John of Avila.
(May 10).

Lectionary Readings

(Courtesy of Vanderbilt Divinity Library)

Sponsored by Upper Room Ministries ®. Copyright © 2013, a ministry of GBOD | PO Box 340004 | Nashville, TN 37203-0004 | USA

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{ 14 comments… read them below or add one }

rosslyne May 7, 2013 at 1:18 am

My mom is single..four lovely daughters and a son..I can just watch in awe of her struggle since my dad passed away 9years ago..she is made of iron but has a heart of gold! I’m raising my 4 girls with almost the same dedication, copmpassion, love and respect she did us! Lord Almighty give her your love, millions of blessing, strenght cause times r hard..keep her safe. I humbly ask of Thee, Amen

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robert moeller May 7, 2013 at 5:13 am

Thank You Lord for Your ever presence, we all need You all the time.

I pray more and I pray less but prayer is constant.

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Betsy May 7, 2013 at 6:03 am

I felt far away from a prayer life when my mother was sick and dying. I was grieving, and a part of me didn’t believe that things would improve with prayer. Fortunately, as I experienced love and support of friends and family members in the days right after her death, prayer again came into my life. Having all those around me doing the praying for me brought me closer to God!

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Gary May 7, 2013 at 8:13 am

After my denominational membership had been stripped from me and I had been made to feel totally outcast by a vengeful “pastor” I stopped praying for a time. Even though my wife supported me through that time I could not find my way through my hatred of what had happened to me and through what I had caused to happen. After a brief interlude of being way off the path, I heard a still small voice searching for me calling my name. I returned to an even stronger prayer life than I had before “the incident”. Praise God that Jesus is my, and our, shepherd.

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robert moeller May 9, 2013 at 3:02 am

God never strips a relationship with God from us. Losing denominational membership is an earthly not divine act.
That doesn’t mean it is painless but it does make a whole lot of difference knowing that God is always there for us.

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Sally Friedli May 7, 2013 at 10:22 am

I seem to pray more since my son died in 2011. I talk out loud to God while I am driving, like he is a passenger in my car, or I’ll walk outside, look at the stars and talk to Him.

I cannot remember a time when I stopped praying. Prayer gives me hope and a reason for living. When all is lost, I cry out to Jesus, cry real tears and let the grief run it’s course…then God soothes me quietly and I am finally okay.

I try to give a thankful prayer and thank God for all he has given me…count my blessings as my grandmother used to say. I don’t ask for anything from God….just give thanks. This helps me also when I am down. Grief over losing my son will be with me forever, but God is always with me forever, too.

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robert moeller May 9, 2013 at 3:05 am

Jesus said, “Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted.” Yes, God is with you forever and that makes all the difference.

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AC May 7, 2013 at 1:45 pm

In the past, I’ve stopped praying when I was either angry with God or ashamed of the way in which I was living. When I felt ashamed, I believed I had no right to pray to God. I also had a hard time talking to God when I watched an awesome friend and servant of God struggle through cancer; this was during the same time period in which I lost a parent. I was frustrated, confused, heartbroken, and talking to God in a civil manner was difficult, to say the least. My pastor told me once, that the distance & difficulty I feel during dark periods is because of me turning from God, not the other way around. Believing that God is there waiting on me to come out of whatever I’m going through has pulled me through those times of ultimate loneliness–feeling as though I can’t talk to the one that always listens.

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robert moeller May 9, 2013 at 3:07 am

When my wife passed away I felt I had two choices: be angry with God or turn to God. I turned to God and am very thankful I did.

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suchi May 8, 2013 at 8:16 am

I am a single mom with a bundle of problems and worries which I believe every single mother must be going through on a daily basis. But, at times I feel so over-shadowed and overwhelmed with situations which have to be handled single-handedly, otherwise would have been easier with a life partner. I have to be a SUPERHERO to keep things under check and control. Though tired and worried, I still have to appear crisp, happy and smiling all the time. At times even though I give my best, things don’t look pretty and the going gets rough.This is when I feel abandoned and overlooked by God. But, when I read the scriptures, I get solace and comfort. I can feel God’s presence in my empty life. He directs me to think and act in difficult situations. When faced with challenges, I just leave it on Him to take charge and things fall in place.

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robert moeller May 9, 2013 at 3:08 am

Bless you, God is watching over you.

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Erica Hutchinson May 10, 2013 at 6:27 pm

Sometimes I forget that God is always there for me, it’s a wonderful feeling when I remember and once again I hand my concerns of life over to him. Today I especially pray for single Mums you not only have my prayers but also my admiration. I pray that God will give you His strength as only He can.

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Mary Ng Shwu Ling May 12, 2013 at 9:38 am

Prayer is my lifeline. Sometimes, when I am angry or frustrated, I will go the the neighborhood park and pray. Many times after prayer, I felt better. At times, God even helps me to understand the situation better. Thank God for the privilege of prayer and for hearing our prayers.

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Mary Ng Shwu Ling May 12, 2013 at 9:43 am

Prayer is my lifeline. Sometimes, when I am angry or frustrated, I will go to the neighborhood park and pray. Many times after prayer, I felt better. At times, God even helps me to understand the situation better. Thank God for the privilege of prayer and for hearing our prayers.

Reply

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