When Prayer Doesn’t Feel Like Enough

“Experience teaches us that we do not always receive the blessings we ask for in prayer.”

Mary Baker Eddy

We are struggling. Struggling in a way we haven’t in many years. There’s feelings of shame, guilt, regret, betrayal, hurt, and just overall massive amounts of pain and darkness. There are only 4 reasons to keep moving forward right now, and those 4 reasons have been hurt by us so much that they, too, are feeling big feelings. The darkness feels unsurmountable.

Being a part of the Celebrate Recovery program, we have friends, brothers and sisters in faith, a pastoral connection, and a sponsor. We haven’t appropriately reached out to many of them because hearing “I’ll pray for you” feels trite and useless right now. We understand the power of prayer and believe in it. We still cling to God and pray many times a day, yet it doesn’t feel like enough.

Praying for someone is sitting in your comfort and having a conversation with God. It’s not a bad thing, it’s one of the most precious gifts you can give someone. But what does that do for their immediate needs? Why am I even thinking like this?

If God isn’t enough, where exactly are we and what are we doing? As I discussed with someone close recently, there’s a constant screenplay going on in our mind. It’s playing everything we’ve ever done wrong all day, everyday. It’s playing everything done wrong to us all day, everyday. It’s stuck. There’s no pause, there’s no stop, and there’s no eject or delete. It’s just there. The more we try to ignore it, the louder it gets and the larger it gets. The only rest is sleep, or when we’re successfully able to keep our brain busy and focused. Prayers aren’t changing that.

We can only handle daily life in short bursts. 20 minutes here, 15 minutes there, and a couple hours in the evening. If we try for more, the precious balance in our brain shifts in the wrong direction. Prayers aren’t changing that. Even the thought that we’re meant to learn something from this (and I believe we most certainly are) feels like victimization. It feels like confirmation that we are simply here to be treated terribly, and to make choices that hurt people, deserving the terrible treatment. The idea that we deserve to be treated well actually hurts.

This isn’t God’s fault. This is entirely our fault. The bad choices belong to us and us only.

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