March 22nd, 2005


Tribe of Judah StarCraft Series Chapter Leader
Unable to Pray

The psalmist wrote, "O Lord, all my longing is known to you; my sighing is not hidden from you."

-Psalm 38:9 (NRSV)

MY mother was going through a difficult surgery to repair a brain aneurysm, and I was 600 miles away. I was distracted and anxious as I paced through the house. It was no use calling the hospital until the next morning because the surgery would last for hours. I was unable to pray; all I could do was turn on the television and watch a football game. I am not even a sports fan, but somehow as I watched the game my spirit was finally able to become quiet.

Looking back now, I realize that even at that difficult time I was being upheld in prayer. My church family knew what I was going through. They were praying for me and for my family. And, as Romans 8 reminds us, the Holy Spirit also prays for us when we cannot put into words what we need. The Spirit was close to me during that troubling time, voicing my fear and linking me to God.

It's a relief to know that we don't have to have the right words to be able to pray or even the ability to focus on God in times of trouble and fear. It's not our effort that brings us comfort but God's persistent love reaching out to us.

Jane Claspy Nesmith (Iowa, U.S.A.)

Dear God, help us to remember that even when we are unable to focus heart and mind in prayer, the Holy Spirit still upholds us and prays for us. Amen.