A Time To Grieve In Prayer
I cry out to God, yes, I shout. Oh, that God would listen to me! When I was in deep trouble, I searched for the Lord. All night long I prayed, with hands lifted toward heaven, but my soul was not comforted. Psalm 77:1-2
It’s late at night on the other side of the world when I finally get a text message on my phone. It’s Anya, my friend for whom God answered many prayers, when Anya and her husband welcomed a baby girl into their arms two months ago.
But tonight, she’s texting me from a bomb shelter. She can hear fighting as her tiny daughter finally falls asleep. I pray for her by text, and I tell her that God made her little girl strong, that she was born for such a time as this. But my heart is broken. In the words of Henri Nouwen, “I am beginning to see that much of praying is grieving.”
In this anguish, the words of Psalm 77 are so fitting: “I think of God, and I moan, overwhelmed with longing for his help” (verse 3). Like David, I wonder, “Has the Lord rejected…Has God forgotten to be gracious? Hs he slammed the door on his compassion?” (77:7, 9)
“But then,” says David, “I recall all you have done, Oh Lord; I remember your wonderful deeds. I cannot stop thinking of your mighty works” (77:11-12). And I have to think of little baby Sonya, this long prayed-for gift of God.
The Psalm ends by telling how God led the Israelites through mighty waters of the sea, through, a “pathway no one knew was there” (77:19). In times of despair, ours is a God who directs those He loves, with pathways no one knows are there. Yes, at times, we grieve. Always, we pray.
Resource reading: Psalm 77:1-20
 Goodreads. (n.d.). The Return of the Prodigal Son Quotes by Henri J.M. Nouwen. Goodreads. Retrieved February 28, 2022, from https://www.goodreads.com/work/quotes/169164-the-return-of-the-prodigal-son-a-story-of-homecoming