Finding Hope When Prayer Lags

prayer -woman-sunsetSometimes prayer comes easy and feels like a special connection with the Divine. The words flow with a spiritual electricity. We believe God has indeed heard us, and something miraculous will happen soon.

But other times we struggle to know what to say. The words stick in our throats, and God feels far away. We can’t even fully imagine how anything good can come out of this frustrating conundrum.

That’s where I am now. I don’t know how to pray for my mom.

She’s no longer in assisted living, not even in the Alzheimer’s unit. Now she lives in a bed in the nursing home wing, shares a small room with another woman we don’t know.

This situation is specifically what I prayed would never happen.

Mom is living, but not really. The pain from her twice-broken hip and a broken shoulder. Her right arm affected — her dominant side.

She cannot feed herself and doesn’t want to eat anyway. She fights those who try to get near, because every time they move her, the pain increases.

Add to this horrific scene the fact that none of us can be with her. Because of Covid-19 restrictions, her nursing home is still in Lockdown. The already isolated elderly are now imprisoned within solitary confinement.

Mom does not understand what’s happening in her world. She just feels the pain of loneliness and physical hurt.

Does she think we have abandoned her?

What kind of life is this? How should I pray?

So far, God has not chosen to free her from the pain. He has not come to her room, touched her broken limbs and made them whole again.

I often pray that he will be close to her, hold her near his gracious heart and whisper consolations only she can understand.

But I don’t know if he’s doing that, if he’s answering my prayers.

If I pray for her final healing, for complete release, I am asking God to stop her heart and take her to heaven — to end her suffering forever.

Yes, I have prayed those words. Then felt immediate guilt.

I don’t want to be an orphan. I don’t like this season of life. I hate that my mother is going through this — alone.

So how do I pray? How can I stay in hope when my prayer lags?

What is best for this woman who always wanted the best for me?

Scripture tells us that Jesus has a job in heaven. He, too, is working from his home. He’s praying for us (Hebrews 7:25).

So I swallow my tears and ask him to pray for Mom.

And when I cannot even utter those words, I revise the last verse of “Away in a Manger” and hope God understands the cry of my heart.

Be near her, Lord Jesus, I ask you to stay

Close by her forever and love her, I pray.

Bless now my dear mother in nursing home care

And take her to heaven to live with you there.”

 

©2020 RJ Thesman – All Rights Reserved

16 thoughts on “Finding Hope When Prayer Lags

  1. I feel your pain. I went through something similar with my mother. It’s in God’s hands now. Trust and believe. I’m praying for you both.

  2. I was so touched reading this today. It brought tears and such sadness. When my mom was dying from cancer and could no longer speak, I prayed God would take her quickly to keep her from suffering. My sister prayed He would heal our mother. I truly believe God answered both our prayers. He took her quickly and healed her at the same time. I don’t believe you should feel guilt from wanting your mom free from suffering. And the hardest thing to do is let go of the woman who raised and loved you (I still grieve over my own mother and miss her deeply). My prayers are with you and your mother. May God grant you comfort and give your mom the assurance of His presence. with love bea

    Beatrice Fishback http://www.beasattitudes.net http://www.facebook.com/Beasattitudes

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  3. RJ,
    My heart goes out to you in this particularly difficult season of life.
    I know what it’s like to not know how to pray for a mother. After my mom’s massive stroke, I felt guilt asking for God to take her home. But knew she would not want to live as she was. You and your mother are in my prayers.
    Amy xx

  4. That has touched my heart to the core. My prayers are with you, and your precious Mom. Our LORD JESUS HEARS YOU, He will answer, trust HIM to bring peace to your Mom soul and spirit. And peace to you and family. Love your words to Away in the Manger. Leave your PAIN at the foot of the Cross, when you pray,

  5. RJ, this is Rosa Worth, Parker’s mom. It’s been many, many months since I was able to read your blog posts. But in that time my mom is now in nursing home care. Not only that she can’t hear hardly at all. She’s locked down, too, and we can’t get to her either. I was thinking of her just this morning and then I read your post just now. Wow, I can only offer the scripture that the Spirit gave me, when I wondered if my mom nursing home would be attacked by COVID-19. Psalms 56:3 “What time I am afraid, I will trust in thee.”
    God bless you and your mom.

  6. So great to hear from you again, Rosa! But I’m so sorry your mother is also in nursing home care and in lockdown 😦 Great verse – one of my favorites. I will pray for you and your family as well. Stay in hope.

  7. Dear Rebecca, I feel so sorry that your Mom has to go through that alone, yet not alone because Jesus promised he would always be with us. I’m sure the Holy Spirit must be speaking love and comfort to her heart. The Father who knows all things will do what is best for both you and her. Thank you for sharing your heart. May God speak to you and comfort you.

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