The last several months have taught me a lot about prayer, especially about prayer as ongoing conversation. I’ve begun, occasionally, to ask God for help in the midst of a challenging moment/hour/day. When I want to crash and never get out of bed again, I complain to Him that my life is too much for me.
The admonition to pray without ceasing has taken on new meaning, too. The more aware I am of how much I need God’s power, the more aware I become of all the pain around me. I recently met a woman who told me, in a 5-minute conversation, about the series of difficulties that have shaped her family’s life in the last months: she was laid off at the same time they moved to a new house, she is expecting a baby soon, and her older children are struggling with the new school year. All I can offer her is compassion and prayers asking God to care for her family.
Now I have become increasingly concerned about the spiritual condition of our congregation. In the last months, more than one parishioner has said something to Husband about Satan being at work in the congregation. These are people who know more than I do about the interpersonal relationships and conflict among laypeople and leaders. It is alarming to me. I feel helpless. My first thought is, “I guess there’s nothing I can do except pray.” That is awfully dismissive of God’s promises to work through our prayers. I try to revise that thought: “God has given naïve, depressed, wishing-I-were-somewhere-else little me the opportunity to support our entire congregation by praying for them.”