My dear friend, Joe Freeman passed this along to me from his mentor and friend, Henri Nouwen. His practice of journaling prayer is profoundly relevant to all of us who experience despair and frustration.
“Dear Lord, in the midst of much inner turmoil and restlessness, there is a consoling thought: Maybe you are working in me in a way I cannot yet feel, experience or understand. My mind is not able to concentrate on you, my heart is not able to remain centered, and it seems as if you are (at times) absent and (I fear you) have left me alone. But in faith I choose to cling to you. I believe that your Spirit reaches deeper and further than my mind (can currently know) or my heart (currently feel), and (therefore) profound movements are not the first to be noticed, (while amidst such challenging circumstances).
“Therefore, Lord, I promise I will not run away, nor give up, nor stop praying, even when it all seems useless, pointless and a waste of time and effort. I want to let you know that I love you…and that I hope in you, even in despair. Let this be a little dying I can do with you and for you, as a way of experiencing some solidarity with the millions who suffer far more than I do. Amen”
"And I will lead the blind in a way that they do not know, in paths that they have not known I will guide them. I will turn the darkness before them into light, the rough places into level ground. These are the things I do, and I do not forsake them." Isaiah 42:16
"When I sit in darkness, the Lord will be a light to me."
"Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good, for his steadfast love endures forever. Give thanks to the God of heaven, for his steadfast love endures forever." Psalm 136:1,26
“When we finally stop struggling with life, stop wanting it to be anything but what it is now –not giving up, but giving it over –then our hearts will indeed fall open, and we shall know beyond all doubt that, however dark the night, all is already well.”
—Roger Housden, Epilogue: Ten Poems to Open Your Heart (Thank you, Pastor Joe)
[When we finally give up the struggle to control everyone and everything]...then, and only then do we become as open-minded to conviction and as willing to listen as the dying can be." —The Twelve Steps & Twelve Traditions, p. 24
On the journey with you,