When affliction comes and your faith becomes distressed, you may find that your prayer life takes a body blow! At times mine certainly has. As we listen to ourselves pray, we may hear ourselves praying like unbelievers. We may well find ourselves praying angry prayers, complaining prayers, bargaining prayers, accusing prayers. Just read Lamentations 3.
In his lamentations to God, Jeremiah accuses God of turning the lights off on him. “He has driven me away and made me walk in darkness rather than light” (Lam. 3:2). He complains that God has put His hands over His ears and “even when I call out or cry for help, He shuts out my prayer” (Lam. 3:8).
Jeremiah feels as if he has been used for target practice: “He drew his bow and made me the target for his arrows” (Lam. 3:12). He wails, “He has broken my teeth with gravel” (Lam. 3:16). Try listening to your prayers; they may tell you if are experiencing faith distress!
One day I received a phone call that put me into a tailspin. My daughter-in-law had left her husband, my son. I fell to my knees. I remember my heart rate escalating. “Lord,” I prayed… Then my prayer turned into garbled words. I couldn’t believe I was praying like this! Had I learned nothing in over forty years of knowing Christ and serving Him? I listened to myself charging God with sleeping on the job! I heard myself getting God and life mixed up, accusing Him of behavior that had nothing whatsoever to do with Him. Suddenly I didn’t want to talk about it anymore. Not with Him. My prayer life moved into a holding pattern!
In faith distress, you may find yourself unable or unwilling to pray. God understands. He knows your pain. Pray anyway, and tell Him exactly how you feel. Those feelings are coming from your inner turmoil, another sign of faith distress.
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