I pray. a lot. (Let’s face it… not much else I can do at the moment.) I ask for wisdom., I ask for forgiveness, I plead for healing, for myself, for my husband. I pray that God will make up through love the things I can’t do with and for my kids right now. I pray for others. I pray for the impoverished, the entrapped, the persecuted, the addicted, the hurting. Like I said: I pray.
The truth is….lately- I’ve felt like God isn’t answering. (Or, rather, I’m not liking the answers.) I pray for wisdom, and discover more questions. I pray for forgiveness and discover more sin. I plead for healing and find more pain, more disease. More tests to be run, more waiting to be waited.
We currently face: Cancer, chronic illness and pain. I’m in the middle of a difficult surgical recovery. There has been loss. I have questions without clear answers but with potential eternal consequences. I recently told a friend ” I feel like every time I come up for air another wave crashes on my head. ” (Heart?) I feel: Frustrated. Overwhelmed. I’m afraid that the reason God hasn’t answered me (The way I want him to) is because of my lack of faith…. Maybe, it’s my own fault.
Still, I pray. lately? Without bothering to tell God what I need or want him to do . Sometimes, words are barely involved. Sometimes, just breathing, has been a prayer. I’ve started to doubt my sanity. (not new and still unconfirmed.) But also, whether I’m a heretic…. Breathing as prayer? Am I cheating God, by not trying hard enough? (Yes. I over think EVERYTHING.)
As I read “The Mercy Prayer” what resonated most wasn’t the words….it was their truth. Truth that changed my perspective. God hasn’t been ignoring or denying my requests. He’s been answering them with mercy.
Mercy to bear pain. Mercy to stand up under temptation. Mercy in kindness. Mercy in meals made with love to sustain us through recoveries. Mercy in provision. Mercy in lack. Mercy to find joy in the tragedy and pain that threatens to engulf. Mercy to sit with unanswered questions. (And not lose my mind. (Mostly.) Mercy in nested reminders of His love….from friends, and in places where I’ve least expected to find them.
The truth is- a million mercies line the mess of my nest. Even here. God has already been answering my Mercy Prayer…. even when I didn’t know that’s what I was really asking for. (If you’re new to the blog- click “Even Here” for the tender mercies God has been feathering my nest with..)
Reading these words, my hope is renewed. I’m not a heretic. I’m not (that) crazy. My focus is changed. I will endeavor to quit telling God what he should do….and ask him to do what he always does. Lord, have mercy.
The Mercy prayer cuts through the frustration of trying to figure out what I need, so I can pray “right.” . Or the right things to pray…So God will answer “right.”
The heart of the matter.. is always: My need for Mercy. Of all kinds.
“His grace (truly) is sufficient” and it begins with mercy.
Read this book. Let it speak to your heart. Let our hearts beat to the rhythm of the mercy prayer…..I have a feeling that if we do….. they will be beating in time with the very heart of God. What a different world that would be.
Again: Lord, have mercy, Even here.
“The Mercy Prayer” Available on Amazon- or at your local bookstore.
By Pastor Robert Gelinas
Confession: When I saw the title– I was a little worried… “Oh No.. Please don’t try to give me another formulaic- magical harry potter approach to God……They never work. God is far above our puny manipulations and does not owe us his obedience to our magic words or incantations…..God is not a genie released by rubbing a lamp or saying a word… They leave me feeling irritated with the author for trying to profit from manipulating people in desperate need.”
This Book? NOT THAT. No worries. No formula… just an affirmation of our greatest need-for grace through mercy- always being met. By a God who delights to show mercy and grant grace.