Wednesday, September 12, 2018

Devotionals for the Heart: When your heart is heavy and you cannot pray

Sighs, groans, and prayers
A devotional by Melissa Henderson

“Likewise the Spirit helps us in our weakness: for we do not know how to pray as we ought, but that very Spirit intercedes with sighs too deep for words.” – Romans 8:26 (NRSV)

The words wouldn’t come. My heart was heavy. My body was exhausted from worry for a family member who had been making terrible life decisions. I had taken matters into my own hands thinking I could “fix” everything. I had not prayed to ask for help. Why did I not go to God first?

Praying doesn’t mean everything will turn out the way I want things to be. Praying gives me a relationship with God. He knows my thoughts before I think or speak.

Yet, years ago, I held on to my thinking of how life would be different for my family member if only I could help. Offering to go along on doctor visits, to cook special meals, to take the person on outings every week and much more.

If only these offers would make the person happy and find a way out of the dangerous decisions they were making. If only… I could fix this problem and make them feel better. I truly wanted to help.

Worry and anxiety consumed my days and nights. Just thinking about the wrong decisions the person was making made me physically ill. Knowing the potential of this wonderful family member brought tears more than once or twice. Watching them take a downward spiral broke my heart.

Why won’t they listen? Why do they repeat bad behavior over and over, not only hurting themselves but hurting the people around them? Why? Questions came over and over. Yet, I had not gone to God during those moments.

Oh, I may have complained and shown a less than friendly attitude when talking with God about the situation. I’ll admit that. My questions continued to be “Why is this happening? Why are You letting this happen?” Why? Why? Why?

Instead of surrendering to Him and placing the burden at His feet, I tried to carry the burden alone.

After a period of time passed, with my body weak from stress, worry, and sadness, I finally surrendered the situation to the Father.

On my knees, I asked for His forgiveness for not coming to Him sooner. I thanked Him for the love He provides freely each and every moment. I didn’t have special words. I spoke from my heart. I did not have a beautiful, thought out prayer. My prayer began with groans and sighs “too deep for words”.

And He found me, in my despair. He lifted me up. As I gave the situation to Him, my burden lightened and peace was found.

Shortly after that surrender, life began to change in a wonderful way for my family member. I know God was listening and He answered prayers in His way and in His time. God reminded me to take burdens to Him. He will handle the outcome.

Melissa Henderson

Author Bio:
Melissa Henderson and her husband Alan live in South Carolina.

Married for over 38 years, they have one son (Mike) who is married to daughter-in-love (Christine) and now are blessed by a precious grandson (Rowan).

Melissa was taught the love of reading and writing at an early age from her parents. She is now working on her first inspirational fiction novel.

Her passions are volunteering, Bible Studies and reading and writing. Connect with Melissa online,


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