i just read this insiteful devotional from www.restministries.org ... it blessed my heart & leo's ... so i hope it will bless yours as well! saija
Prayer in Times of Pain
"In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groans that words cannot express." (Romans 8:26 NIV)
I have always been in the habit of reading the Bible and praying. Lately, in the face of incessant chemo-induced nausea, fatigue and absentmindedness, my thoughts have been on trying to breathe without heaving and trying to talk myself through another day of pain. For a few nights now, my bible has sat on the desk without being opened. I have felt like an abject failure in my relationship with God, convincing myself if I just try harder or push myself more that I can navigate this treatment with greater success. If I am just a bit tougher, I can read and recall what I read and pray for those whose circumstances are more difficult than mine.
Somewhere in the middle of my self accusation and do-better cajoling, grace entered in. I remember that God did not change when I was diagnosed with CIDP and cancer, nor did He suddenly become dependent or impressed by my performance. His Spirit is still busy doing what He said He'd do: continually interceding on my behalf.
A farmer had a field that needed to be cleared of many trees so he could plant his crops. The farmer hired two men to do this job, Bill and Charlie. They would each be paid by the number of trees they cut down. Bill got right to work and worked for 8 hours without a break. Charlie worked for an hour and then took a break, worked two hours and took another break, etc... After 8 hours of work they stopped. The farmer came to count the trees and give each man his earnings. Who do you think earned more pay? Bill who worked 8 straight hours or Charlie who took breaks and chatted with Bill? The farmer counted the trees and found that Bill had cut down 24 trees, an impressive number. Charlie had cut down 32 trees. Bill was incredulous. He asked, "How is that possible? I worked 8 straight hours without a break and you took many breaks, ate some food and talked with me." Charlie said, "Did you see what I was doing on my breaks?" Bill said, "No, what are you talking about?" Charlie said, "I wasn't just goofing off, I was sharpening my ax blade."
That is what prayer should be for all of us. Prayer should be our way of sharpening our blade. With a sharp blade Charlie cut down more trees. Prayer is our sharp blade; it is our way of staying connected to our God and ourselves. Our means of cutting down illness and pain in our lives and also in the lives of others we pray for.
~*~*~*~*~*~* ~*~*~*~*~ *~*~*~*~* ~*~*~*~*~ *~*~*~*~* ~*~*~*~*~ *~*~*~*~* ~*
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Denny Dowd lives in Pennsylvania with her two cats, Liam and Shamrock. Denny is a social worker and she enjoys writing, reading, and volunteering. Denny is the world's biggest Notre Dame football fan. Denny lives with Chronic Inflammatory Demylineating Polyneuropathy and cancer and has strong faith that God will see her through even the most difficult of days.