Matterofprayer: A Year of Everyday Prayers – January 24, 2015
Coming to God with My Wounds—in Prayer
I am faithfully, even obediently reading the next chapter in my trusty prayer guide. I find “Wounds” is the topic of today’s chapter. Yes, I can immediately relate to the expressions I find Rev. Howell uses, the examples he gives from Henri Nouwen and Dietrich Bonhoeffer. Sure, I find I can easily identify, and not just compare.
But, Lord Jesus, I find myself skidding to a mental stop when I come across an excerpt from Isaiah 53. These words bring tears to my eyes, yes! But, I cannot relate to them very well at all. Not in the sense that You actually experienced them. Your incredible suffering, pain and anguish during the time of Your passion and death are too distant for me to consider. (Very often, that is.)
But Psalms? Ah, yes. Psalms are much more accessible. More identifiable. I see the raw emotion, desperate grief and longing, and ecstatic praises written in the Psalms. Those difficulties and agonies in my life? As Bonhoeffer mentioned, I can surely cast my cares upon God, because God alone knows how to handle suffering. Praying the Psalms can help me in my effort to try to give God my agony, grief and suffering, as well as my joys, praise and delight.
Dear Lord Jesus, perhaps I can see Your suffering as making You real. Real to me, anyway. You suffered in order to feel with us. Not to remain remote, light years away from us humans. I know, that’s part of the reason for the Incarnation, for You being born and a growing up a child in a human family.
I read in Isaiah that You have borne our griefs and carried our sorrows. Please, dear Lord, impress this on my consciousness, especially as we are going to commemorate this once more on Ash Wednesday, in just a few weeks. (Much less the penitential season of Lent, culminating in the Passion Week and Good Friday.)
Please, God, help me come before You faithfully, even though I don’t understand—much. Help all of us. Lord, in Your mercy, hear our prayers.
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(also published at www.matterofprayer.net
 Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Psalms: The Prayer Book of the Bible (Minneapolis: Augsburg, 1970), 48.