When Praying Is Hard, Just Come

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"When praying is hard" by Carol Bannon (CatholicMom.com)

Image credit: Pixabay (2015), CC0 Public Domain

I envy people who say, “just come on in.” In my mind, I need to have special food to serve and my house not just presentable, but perfectly decorated. Many can do this at a moment’s notice, but I am not one of them.

Case in point: I wanted to invite our new pastor for dinner. That was over a year ago. Then life became complicated. My parents became ill, moved into assisted living, and we put their home up for sale. Soon after,  our daughter became engaged and we began planning for a wedding and readying for a shower. Equally important to note is my husband’s reticence in having clergy to dinner. We have yet to invite our pastor to dinner.

Life can be complicated!

Life has a way of creating obstacles to even the best of intentions. During periods of upheaval and change our energy and enthusiasm slowly ebbs. Laughter becomes less frequent during these times, smiling is forced, and tears trickle forth at the most inopportune moment. Maintaining a daily schedule is a huge accomplishment.

Questioning our faith is not uncommon when life becomes complicated. I have been there!

I greet  prayer requests with my own personal caveats: ” I will do what I can, but I am warning you — God has his headphones on when I pray.” Or, “Ask and ye shall receive! Just not sure He will hear, because it is me.” Another one guaranteeing a laugh is, “Ask and ye shall receive! Just say it is not for me.”

There is always an element of truth in my replies. Other’s prayers are answered, mine are not, and this child-like sense of unfairness is palpable. I felt this futility in praying yet again for the same need when approaching my church. The words would not materialize from within, my soul was empty. For the first time ever, I understood why children say, “Done.”

Suddenly, though, these words formed from within: “When you can’t pray, just come.” Sitting in the pew before Mass began, I can honestly say I was not praying, but my soul was quiet. God knew exactly how I was feeling, just as a mother knows her child feelings without a word being spoken. He understood.

Just Come!

When you cannot pray, just come. Bring to Him your anger, frustration, hopes, dreams, and fears. Come and sit with Him!

Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest.” (Matthew 11:28; emphasis mine)

Unlike me and my need to have the perfect home before inviting people, God’s home is always ready. His table is always overflowing with food. He is not concerned with appearances for He sees us at our worst. And still loves us.

Just come, sit, be still, and let Him be in charge.


Copyright 2018 Carol S. Bannon

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About Author

Carol Sbordon Bannon is a full-time writer with a degree in elementary education from Worcester State University. She is a substitute teacher and has been a catechist for over thirty years. In addition to A Handshake From Heaven, she is also the coauthor of Our Family's Christmas Elf. She is happily married and currently resides in Concord Township, Ohio. Visit Carol at HandshakeFromHeaven.com.

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