Tuesday, July 05, 2005

I cannot not pray

I cannot, not pray.
I can no sooner not breathe than I can not pray.
For indeed, not breathing would mean death, and that’s the only thing that can stop me from praying.

But I cannot, not pray.
Believe me, I’ve tried.
I’ve kicked at gravels in the driveway and I’ve swung my fist through the air, and I’ve cried with the prophet Habakkuk (Habakkuk 1:2) “How long, Oh Lord will I cry for help and You will not hear?”

I’ve cried, “How, Oh Lord, can I pray for others when I can’t see answers to my own prayers? How long can I keep telling others that I’ll pray for them when in my own life I hear only silence?”

How long, oh Lord, how long?

“I know!” (I’ve said in my frustration) “I’ll just quit praying. What’s the point anyway? If God’s will is going to be done - regardless of my praying, then why pray? Why worry about it? I’ll just leave it all up to His sovereign will.”

But the next thing I know, I’m talking to God and I “hear” in my spirit, “I thought you weren’t going to pray anymore.”
And I cannot, not pray.

Answers come (or they don’t; at least not that I can see) and I eventually kneel with the prophet Habakkuk and say, (Habakkuk 3: 17-18) “Even though the fig tree doesn’t blossom and there’s no fruit on the vines; even though the olive may fail and the fields produce no food; even though the flock should be cut off from the fold and there be no cattle in the stalls,
Yet I will exult in the LORD, I will rejoice in the God of my salvation.”

Because, I cannot, not pray.

Betty J. Newman © May 26, 2005


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