Hard prayer. That is the thought that came to me during our church service this morning. It occurred to to me during congregational prayer after sharing prayer requests. Hard prayer.
Hard prayer is that prayer that is difficult to think or untter with a heart that is accepting of God's blessing. It is prayer that says regardless of the outcome, I will worship you; regardless of your answer, I will continue to pray my thanks for your love. Hard prayer is when you are painfully aware of the likely outcome of a situation -- the probable result -- but still hope for what is possible.
I have considered myself a prayer warrior for a long time. I have not been very disciplined over the past couple of years - not as I once was or would like to have been. That's why I am finding it such a paradox that at point in my life where I am praying for the unlikely and improbable, I am more full of faith and hope - and committed to continue in my prayer.
Hard prayer is praying God's will, not mine. It's praying that well, God if you don't offer the outcome I desire, at least teach me, hold me close, comfort me, and never turn away from me . . . even when I pound my fists at the sky and resent and curse you for not loving me enough to answer my prayer as I desire it to be answered. Of course I realize it's not about whether or not He loves me, but we all have that thought, I think, sometimes when things don't turn out the way we want them to.
Abraham bargained with God about Sodom. God acquiesed. Paul praised God in spite of his unanswered prayer. "Three times I pleaded with the Lord to take it [thorn in the flesh] away from me. But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. 10 That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong" (2 Corinthians 12:8-10 NIV).
Hard prayer is "His grace is sufficient" prayer; "for when I am weak, then I am strong" prayer. God told Moses, ". . . I will have mercy on whom I will have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I will have compassion" (Exodus 33:19). THAT is hard prayer.
It may be hard, but we must pray--perhaps especially when it's hard. "I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God" (Ephesians 3:16-19 NIV)
Blessings on your journey,