When You Are Too Ill or Tired to Pray

pray3When we are unable to pray, unable to find the words to speak to God, where do we start? Melanie shares.

”My soul is downcast within me; Therefore I will remember You” (Psalm 42:6).

If you’re like me, you probably have days when you can’t pray or read God’s Word because your pain is too severe or you feel too unwell. Perhaps you are in too much pain to be able to gather your thoughts and concentrate.

On such days, how can we prevent our mood, self-esteem, and sense of hope from plummeting as they so easily do? How can we keep ourselves mentally “in the zone” of God’s presence at these times?

Sometimes having a physical symbol of God can help:

A lit candle can prompt us to remember that God is our Light.
Holding a stone in our hand can remind us that God is our Rock.
A holding cross brings to mind the depth of God’s love for us.

Perhaps you can think of others? Maybe it would be helpful to make a small collection of objects to keep in a basket by your bedside to use on those days when the brain won’t engage at all?

I find it useful to try to match each object in my collection with a pithy phrase from the Bible which describes an aspect of God’s character or His care for us. Here are a few examples:

“My God, the Rock, My Savior” (Psalm 89:26).
“My shield is God Most High” (Psalm 7:10).
“The Lord is My Light and My Salvation” (Psalm 27:1).

I’ll leave you with the quirkiest object in my basket–a ping pong ball! This reminds me of the time I heard God’s voice most clearly.

Walking home from church one Sunday evening, years ago, feeling fairly low, I turned a corner and there right before me was a rising, gleaming, full moon. Immediately I saw it, I clearly heard (in my head) the words, “You are my daughter.”

That was it–no ground-breaking revelation, but I knew it was God, my Father, reassuring me of His love for me personally, and of my place in His Heart and His Family.

Prayer: Loving Heavenly Father, please inspire me to find creative and effective ways to help me remember You and stay in the zone of Your Presence on days when pain or illness make it impossible to concentrate normally. Thank You that You never forget about me. Amen.

About the author:
Melanie Hodges has chronic migraine; lives in London, England, with her husband and 2 teenage daughters; loves walking, reading, history & writing. Her writing aims are to encourage Christians living with chronic illness/pain and also to produce wholesome, good quality fiction for children. Her first children’s novel, Sirenna’s Song, for 8-12 year old girls, is available from Lulu at http://ow.ly/Q9irP

What might work for you as preparation for those “Can’t Pray” days?

This is a beautiful song with Jaci Velasquez, “I Will Rest In You.” If you have felt like Melanie has described (and who of us has not?) I am sure this song will touch your heart. Hugs. -Lisa