Back to Basics: When Prayer is Scary

I’ve had to remind myself of some the basics lately.

For instance, it’s incredibly easy for me to digest as much information as possible right before I sleep and right when I awake. It doesn’t have to be good information – just information. Reading through Tweets, scanning headlines, scrolling through Facebook – just digesting.

It’s mindless and maybe you’ve done it too. But I’ve had to stop and remind myself of the basics a lot when this urge to consume arises. Because I think this urge to consume, digest, and repeat hides a lot of the questions we’re afraid to ask.

Like, “Will she be healed?” or, “Does God really hear me?” or “Am I supposed to take that job?” or “Is this relationship honorable?” or “Do I really believe in grace or just working hard?”

You probably have your own questions – the ones a little too scary to ask. I understand. There’s enough distractions in the wide world to keep us from asking the scariest of questions. Just to admit we have the question can be a bit unnerving.

Because once we have a question we have to admit we’re trusting someone with the answer. 

David had a lot of questions.

He’s my spiritual hero and not just because of the name thing. I admire David because he went there. He asked that. He didn’t distract himself through daily doubt but asked. He thought someone was on the other end who had the answer.

Prayer can feel like a chasm. It can feel like we’re told to jump – not with our bodies but with our deepest doubts and questions. We’re invited to lay out flat and trust we won’t get run over by the silence. I think that’s what we’re scared of – the echoing question with no reply. The silent answer to our doubting hearts and fear filled minds is sometimes enough to never ask the question.

Even the simple prayers lay us bare, on our backs, showing our need. And while this is accurate of our condition it’s just plain scary.

But we’re met in prayer. We’re met in the chasm. When Jesus lay bare and wounded and mocked – he ended all the silent answers. He took the silent answer. On the cross, our Maker, had his “Why have you forsaken me?” inquiry echo for all the world to hear.

This is what I’ve had to remind myself of – one of the basics of our faith and yet so easily dismissed. I’ve sought the loud distractions often in the past few weeks. I’ve even distracted others.

Yet, this is our invitation – to not fear the silent answer (that cannot echo twice) but to go into the chasm of prayer dancing with expectation. We may tremble. We may be scared. But I invite you – I invite us – to go there – to ask that question.

Perhaps our Father loves our questions. 

 

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