When bad times hit, and are compounded by the collateral damage of “cures,” or other disasters, I can see why Job’s friends shut their mouths in the face of their friend’s anguish! (Job 2:13) Even saying, “I am praying for you” sounds both feeble and presumptuous.
Many years ago, I prayed that God, who was not then my personal Friend, would totally heal a friend from lung cancer, in part to show me that He was real and worth knowing. She was the same age I am now: 64. For nine months she fought – and spoke very little of God. Her sister came and tended her. I think she was a Christian, remembering some things she said to me – she would be close to 100 if she still lived. But my friend died, and I got the idea prayers – my prayers – were pointless and powerless. For many years following I felt unqualified to talk to God, other than sending “arrow prayers.”
In the face of so much suffering, I still feel “unqualified” to pray – and my prayers still sound both feeble and presumptuous. What has changed is that now I believe God is real and have faith, (though small as a mustard seed), that He in Christ is worth knowing – and moreover He receives all my prayers, and answers each one. (Isaiah 53:12) Moreover He Himself prays (Hebrews 7:24-25), asking for things I have phrased poorly, or even forgotten to ask. As a father overlooks silly and ignorant requests from his child, God sifts through my words, and gives appropriate answers.
Unlike Job’s friends, I have no idea why some of my friends’ storms are so severe. But, I will keep watch with you friends, as we wait together for these storms to blow out to sea. And I will enjoy God’s loving and purposeful rescue for you. I am praying for you and yours during these “hurricanes” that are bearing down on you, dear friends. But way more powerful is the truth that Christ the Lord intercedes , and His words are powerful, and purposeful.(Romans 8:26)
“Even to your old age and gray hairs
I am he, I am he who will sustain you.
I have made you and I will carry you;
I will sustain you and I will rescue you.”
Art work: Hurricane Season - Gavin Mayhew